Drones and robots win big at Dream On STEAM On student competition 

Flying drones and spinning robots impressed the judges in the Capital One Bank Dream on STEAM on Student Showcase at Northside High School on Jan. 24. Four elementary, two middle, and three high schools competed in the STEM/STEAM contest for a top spot in each category.

The Looscan Elementary School Lions won with multiple colorful drones, explaining ethical uses for drones that include medical needs, helping law enforcement, and deliveries. Other participating elementary schools were Osborne, C. Martinez, and Mading.

Marshall Middle School’s small airborne drone took an extended flight, while the team talked about how each member of the team had made an important contribution. They took first place over Williams Middle School and their robot made from Legos.

Booker T. Washington’s Future Farmers of America presented the judges with eggrolls they had prepared from fresh ingredients grown in the school’s garden. They also showed a video of the students working in the garden and shared snacks and cucumber water with attendees.

Sterling High School displayed their spinning robots, but they were no match for first-place Northside’s large flying drone, which delivered a message to Principal Julissa Alcantar-Martinez in the audience.

The judges were Capital One Bank Houston Market President Jim Nicholas; Capital One Bank District Manager Carla Hamilton; Dr. Carolyn Nichol, director of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement; and Young Audiences Executive Director Mary Mettenbrink.

Capital One is a longtime supporter of HISD and the district’s goals of impacting student achievement.

“Your participation in this program — and the hard work you’ve put into getting the most out of it — demonstrates your grasp of the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in building a bright future for yourself,” Nicholas said.

He then presented HISD with an additional check for $30,000 to supplement their original grant of $30,000.

“This contribution is an investment in the HISD teachers who are preparing their students to succeed the digital age — and in the students themselves,” he said.

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