By Amanda Escher ’16
On February 25th the Ridley High School STEM club won the Delaware County Regional Competition. The club’s next and final competition will be the state competition. Five seniors, Alberto Girod, Aja Simms, Chris Haines, Lindsay Glavin, Micky Stowe, and teacher Mr. Bradley String are in the RHS STEM club.
“I was really impressed by our team, their presentation to the judges was clear and thorough, and I really thought they did a nice job in explaining the prototype [Steering wheel] and how it worked,” said Mr. String.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math education. Recently there has been a demand for students with STEM degrees; urging more people to evaluate whether STEM could be right for them.
After winning the first round Ridley STEM club was awarded five hundred dollars to improve their current prototype.
Their invention is a steering wheel that knows when someone removes one or both hands from the wheel. “We hope that our steering wheel will be implemented in busses, trucks, taxis, cars and by recording when the driver has one or both hands off the wheel we would then be able to reduce distracted driving in Pennsylvania,” said Mr. String.
Now that the first round is over the STEM club must begin preparing for the final state competition. “Our plan now is to buy small computers and have the steering wheel actually record the times when someone’s hands are off the wheel,” Mr. String goes on to explain, “We might even try to use a GPS to record specific locations in which someone’s hands were off the wheel.”
Many of the obstacles the STEM club faced happened during the club’s first months. In the beginning the STEM club spent their time brainstorming ideas. STEM member Aja agreed “Finding out what to do was not easy.” Once they decided on their future prototype they ordered the equipment required to assemble the steering wheel. “Micky Stowe was a huge help when it came to putting together the prototype,” said Mr. String.
With the date of the state competition approaching the STEM club seems eager to show off their invention. “I am so excited. We’ll have a new and improved model, I’m excited to see how it all came together,” said Aja. If the STEM club wins the state competition all of the student members will receive scholarship money as their prize.
“Fun, tense, innovative, challenging,” Aja Simms believes these words best fit the atmosphere in STEM club.
“Definitely I would encourage others to join STEM club because it challenges you because you think everything has been created. You don’t realize what you can create with a group of kids. So yes, I would if you like challenges.” said Alberto. To any Ridley student interested in engineering or math STEM club might be something worth looking into.
“Mr. String and the other staff members know what they’re doing. Were going to be successful.” said Alberto Girod.