JAMESTOWN – Hundreds of students from area schools filled Jamestown Community College’s Gym Thursday for the sixth annual STEM Wars, an educational and technology-based competition for middle and high school students.
Students worked to complete robotics and other projects throughout the year in perpetration for the annual event.
This year catapults, robotics, and a Rube Goldberg exhibit filled the court as pupils gained hands on experience.
Dream It Do It WNY coordinator, Jehuu Caulcrick, said Thursday’s event is the “Super Bowl of STEM.”
“It is a platform for students to display their work in technology and arts,” said Caulcrick. ” There is around fifteen events that students prepared for and many more for those who are just observing. ”
Ultimately, Caulcick hopes to get students enthusiastic about STEM-related fields and hopefully consider making a career out of it.
At a recent State of the County address, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said that businesses countywide have open positions in the STEM field but they can’t seem to find qualified candidates.
“This is my first time at the STEM Wars and to see around 700 kids in this room all focused on manufacturing , focused on ideas, problem solving, and building things is just very encouraging”, said Borrello. “These kids are smart kids, they’ve been able to do something a lot of others can not, that’s being able to think for themselves and realize the answer isn’t always right in front of you.”
Schools county wide are working to fill the rising need for STEM workers.
Recently, WNYNewsNow toured the new P-Tech Facility in Dunkirk where graduating students will be prepared to work in the STEM field with a Regents Diploma and an Associates Degree.
Southwestern Central School is taking a creative look at STEM with their STEAM program.
“Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Superintendent Southwestern Central School Maureen Donahue said. “If you come over to our school we’ve integrated our arts into it; it’s amazing what our students have created.”
Donahue also highlighted the growing number of girls who are showing interested in manufacturing.
“It’s really interesting to see the amount of girls, I’m a big supporter of that,” Donahue said. “When I first came to this there were less than 300 kids, there are over 1,000 kids here today.