National C-STEM Challenge Kicks Nearly One Thousand Students into High Gear for the Summer

ABOVE: Students participate in National C-STEM Challenge at The Health Museum

This past Saturday, May 20th, the National C-STEM Challenge hosted nearly 1,000 students in the city of Houston, with a myriad of projects related to the increasingly popular fields of CSTEM (Communication, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Attendees gathered at The Health Museum, where the energy and enthusiasm amongst the children participating in the National C-STEM Challenge was electrifying.

Nearly 1,000 students from 26 schools, ranging from pre-kindergarten to high school seniors, competed in robotics, innovation, computer programming, art, film, photography, mural, sculpture and debate. The competition was intense and the students were gracious competitors at the National C-STEM Challenge.

Dr. Flowers, founder and CEO of C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services in Houston, used her own resources twelve years ago, to build C-STEM, and it has grown to be an organization that has impacted more than 100,000 students across the country, serving urban, suburban and rural communities in Texas, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Oregon, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

The nonprofit provides fun and exciting ways to introduce students to communication, science, technology, engineering and math , while training teachers in those fields.

“Right now, STEM jobs are outpacing STEM degrees in the United States,” says Dr. Flowers. “We have an untapped pool of potential in children in underserved communities and schools sitting on the bench.  This is why the work C-STEM is doing is so important. We can’t have all this talent sitting on the sidelines. Children must be introduced to STEM fields and be supported along the way, so that they can take advantage of the economic opportunities that are available.”

This event was extremely important to Dr. Flowers, in that hip-hop mogul and entrepreneur, Russell Simmons, sponsored a group of students through RushCard. The six high school students from their team of 20 students at Detroit Edison Public School Academy took home awards.

“This is the largest national STEM competition in the country where more than 80-percent of the contestants are minorities and at least 50-percent are girls,” says Dr. Flowers. “Having the continued support of our title sponsor Shell Oil Company, and now joining forces with Russell Simmons and RushCard, and other sponsors, gives the youth a chance to become thought leaders and innovators in STEM.”

The largest group of students came from Houston Independent School District (HISD), and other local and regional charter schools. Tekoa Academy of Accelerated Studies STEM School in Port Arthur, Texas brought 65 children to the competition.

This year’s sponsors included Shell Oil Company, Women’s Energy Network of Houston, RSM US Foundation, RushCard, Fluor, Comerica Bank, ECS, and HEB.

A list of all the winners and their schools are listed below:

Grand Prize Winners: The Euclid Award: The Highest Scoring Teams Nationally – $1,000.00

Winners included: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Holy Redeemer Middle School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin); and Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI)

First Place Challenge Awards:

Innovation winners included: Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); Holy Redeemer Middle School (Milwaukee, WI); and Westside High School (HISD)

Mural winners included: Betsy Ross Pre-K – First Grade (HISD); Betsy Ross Elementary School (HISD); Tekoa Academy Middle School (Port Arthur, TX); and Energy Institute High School (HISD)

Robotics winners included: Tekoa Academy Charter Pre-K to First Grade (Port Arthur, TX); Beatrice Mays Institute Charter Elementary School; Southwest Middle School (Southwest ISD); and Energy Institute High School (HISD)

Film winners included: Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy Elementary School (Detroit, MI); Tekoa Academy Charter Middle School (Port Arthur, TX); and Energy Institute High School (HISD)

Photography winners included: Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy Pre-K to First Grade (Detroit, MI); Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); Holy Redeemer Middle School (Milwaukee, WI); and Sharpstown International High School (HISD)

Sculpture winners included: Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); Hamilton Middle School (HISD); and Tekoa Charter Academy (Port Arthur, TX)

Debate winner: Jack Yates High School (HISD)

Computer Programming winners included: Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); Holy Redeemer Middle School (Milwaukee, WI); and Westside High School (HISD)

Quiz Bowl winners included: Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); Hamilton Middle School (HISD); and Energy Institute High School (HISD)

Specialty Awards:

Spirit Award winner: Tekoa Academy (Port Arthur, TX)

Rookie Award winner: Francone Elementary School (Cy-Fair ISD)

Maker Space Award winner: Tekoa Academy (Port Arthur, TX)

The Top STEM Student Ambassador awardees included: Kemya Trotter: Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); Joseph Rolle: Holy Redeemer Middle School (Milwaukee, WI); and Cindy Nguyen: Sharpstown International High School (HISD)

The STEM Teacher of the Year awardees included: Lisa Dickman: Holy Redeemer Elementary School (Milwaukee, WI); D’Shunata Stewart: Holy Redeemer Middle School (Milwaukee, WI); and Krisztina Pazmandi: Sharpstown International High School (HISD)

The Comerica STEMing the Tide Scholars were: Andrew Farias: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Avin Pasalar: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Chandler Ransfer: YES College Prep School Southeast (Houston); Jakobi Tooks: Detroit Edison Public School Academy (Detroit, MI); Justin Tamborello: Sharpstown International High School (HISD); Kaleigh Davis: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Nancy Mastache: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Nathaniel Lee: Roeper School (Detroit, MI); Robert Hooks: Energy Institute High School (HISD); and Tanal Dawson: Detroit Edison Public School Academy (Detroit, MI)

The STEM Honor Cords Recipients were: Andrew Farias: Energy Institute High School (HISD);

Avin Pasalar: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Danyelle Thomas: Detroit Edison Public School (Detroit, MI); Chandler Ransfer: YES College Prep School Southeast (Houston); Hihiri Woodberry: Detroit Edison Public School (Detroit, MI); Jakobi Tooks: Detroit Edison Public School Academy (Detroit, MI); Justin Tamborello: Sharpstown International High School (HISD); Kaleigh Davis: Energy Institute High School (HISD); Micah Howard: Detroit Edison Public School Academy (Detroit, MI); Nancy Mastache: Energy Institute High School (HISD)

Nathaniel Lee: Roeper School (Detroit, MI); Robert Hooks: Energy Institute High School (HISD); and Tanal Dawson: Detroit Edison Public School Academy (Detroit, MI)

Congratulations to all winners, awardees and participating schools from the Forward Times!

For more information on C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services and the National C-STEM Competition please visit www.CSTEM.org, email info@cstem.org, or call 713-443-4521.