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2016 Drawing and Essay Contest for Middle Schools

       This contest theme involves the impact and potential solutions from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on worldwide challenges. This topic will be emphasized by the keynote speaker at the 2016 Texas A&M University chapter of Sigma Xiís Awards and Induction Banquet to be held in the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, Tuesday May 3rd, at 6:00. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Ian Tizard  will be speaking on "Penguins and Their Problems."

This contest in sponsored by the Texas A&M University Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Research Society (http://sigmaxi.tamu.edu) which focuses on recognizing, encouraging, and promoting research among scientist scholars. To promote science and honor young scholars, two (2) separate contests are being hosted that students may enter: a Drawing Contest and an Essay Contest. Middle school students (6th-8th grades) are invited to submit entries in one or both competitions.


Introduction:
       In STEM projects, the approach follows the flow of research, design, build, test, and improve. Within teams, this approach develops critical thinking, communication, assessment ability and inquiry skills. Integrating these four subjects to create consistently proves its importance in the classroom and in the real world. Companies all over the world use this basic model in all disciplines of work to attack and solve problems. The STEM knowledge and skills used to complete projects can be greatly expanded and used to create solutions to global issues. According to Richard Smalley, Nobel Prize winning physicist and chemist, the top ten problems of humanity are energy, water, food, environment, poverty, terrorism/war, disease, education, democracy, and population.
For this contest, analyze how we are affected by worldwide issues, and think of ways to create solutions by using knowledge from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Consider the top ten problems of humanity listed for inspiration.


Drawing Contest:

Drawing Contest Description: Based on the information you have obtained from web sites listed below or elsewhere, use your imagination to visualize and illustrate your STEM rescue plan. Keep in mind existing ideas and creations used for the particular world problem you selected, but remember to be creative and to think outside of the box; most inventions and discoveries come from sources that people wouldnít normally expect. This drawing can involve dialogue or not. It is up to you. Just make sure it is well thought out and well executed.

 

Drawing Rules: ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED ON PAPER NO LARGER THAN 8.5ííX 11í. CREATE A DRAWING USING COLORED PENCILS, MARKERS, PAINT, OR INK. NO COMPUTER DRAWN IMAGES WILL BE ACCEPTED. DO NOT INCLUDE GLITTER OR OTHER MATERIALS THAT MAY BECOME DETACHED.

INCLUDE THE STUDENTíS NAME, AGE, GRADE, SCHOOL, LOCATION, TEACHERíS NAME, AND TEACHERíS CONTACT INFORMATION ON THE BACK OF THE DRAWING.


Here we have provided four examples of pictures that could give you ideas. These pictures creatively show possible designs and ideas to solve real-world challenges. These are Google images from the internet. However, it is not acceptable in this contest to copy an image from the internet or any other source or use computer drawn images! We are seeking ďyourĒ idea and image, not one that has already been created by others! Let your imagination guide you!    
   
   
   

 

Essay Contest:

Essay Description: Using information you have obtained from the web sites listed below or elsewhere, reflects on a problem or challenge faced by the world on a day to day basis. Then explain what STEM based solution you have that can be applied to address that challenge. Describe how your plan will work in detail and what the anticipated results would be. You can be creative with how you format this, but be clear and specific when you are addressing the real world challenge you selected. Make sure you back up your argument with scientific knowledge and research about your selected topic and cite your sources.

 

Essay Rules:  ALL ENTRIES MUST BE AT LEAST 300 WORDS LONG AND NO LONGER THAN 800 WORDS. THE ENTRY MAY BE HAND WRITTEN LEGIBLY OR TYPED.

INCLUDE THE STUDENTíS NAME, AGE, GRADE, SCHOOL, LOCATION, TEACHERíS NAME, AND TEACHERíS CONTACT INFORMATION ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE ESSAY.

General Information:

Eligibility and Due Dates:
These two contests are open to all 6th-8th grade students who have not received these awards in the last 2 years. They may enter one or both of the contests if they wish. Only one entry in each category per student will be accepted. All entries are due in the office of Dr. Larry Johnson no later than March 15, 2016. Entries will be judged by a panel of Texas A&M University students. Teachers of winners will be notified early in April. They will be recognized at the Sigma Xi Awards Banquet.

 

Awards Banquet Location: Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History

Date and Time: Tuesday May 3rd, 2016 at 6:00

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ian Tizard

Topic: "Penguins and Their Problems"

 

Cross Curriculum Tips for Teachers:

Interdisciplinary collaboration among teachers of different subjects may be advantageous. For example, language arts teachers and science teachers can collaborate and take a dual grade from the essay contest and the drawing. Art teachers may be able to collaborate as well with the science teachers and take a grade for the drawing contest.

 

Prizes:
Five (5) winners will be chosen for the drawing contest and five (5) for the essay contest. Each will receive a cash award, a certificate, and an invitation to the Sigma Xi Awards banquet and dinner. Winners of drawing and essay contests will receive $75 each. Parents and teachers of winners are invited to the dinner and lecture. All drawings and essays will be displayed in the foyer before the lecture at the Sigma Xiís Awards and Induction Banquet.

 

All Entry Materials are due by 5:00 pm, March 25, 2016.
Submit all entries to: Larry Johnson
Dept. VIBS - MS #4458
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX  77843-4458

References:

Video examples of how STEM is applied in the real-world: http://www.edutopia.org/article/stem-everywhere-science-technology-engineering-and-math-real-world

Practice using math in realistic simulations: http://www.stemcollaborative.org/

A case study of students working with adults to solve real-world problems using STEM: http://www.districtadministration.com/article/students-work-us-air-force-solve-real-world-stem-problems

Examples of good STEM lessons and real-world problems which can be addressed by STEM: http://www.middleweb.com/5003/real-world-stem-problems/

Environmental case studies and how STEM can address them: http://www.eeweek.org/ee-week-case-studies 

Current health news/issues: http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases 

Current science news/issues: http://www.nsf.gov/news/ 


© 2000 Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health
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The PEER Program is composed of three grants entitled "GK-12 Fellows Integrate Science/Math in Rural Middle Schools", "Integrating Environmental Health Science in Rural Schools," and a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) entitled "Science Promotion in Rural Middle Schools".

Major funding for the PEER Program is provided by John Deere,
the
National Science Foundation, the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).