Students Thrill During STEM Design Challenge

Over the first half of 2017, more than 3,000 Pennsylvania students participated in a statewide STEM Design Challenge that our colleagues judged from the regional level all the way to the final event in the state's capital which was held this past May. The young innovators worked in teams to construct eco-friendly amusement park rides built entirely out of K'NEX.

Upon arriving at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, the 48 competing teams were asked to construct their designs using only their previously created blueprints. Employees from five of our sites across Pennsylvania, along with some of our supplier partners, judged the projects based on teamwork, creativity, blueprint, narrative and team presentation.

After two hours of building and several more hours of judging, the Woodland Hills Academy team from Pittsburgh placed first in the elementary division, and the Lackawanna Trail team from Scranton placed first in the middle school division.

"This event, organized by the Pittsburgh Community Action Council, is a terrific way for our employees across different businesses in the state of Pennsylvania to come together in one place for one of our largest community outreach efforts," said Tom Wright, Sales Representative and Pittsburgh Community Action Council Coordinator.

The STEM Design Challenge began in 2010 as a partnership between our Fisher Science Education business and Allegheny Intermediate, a subdivision of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Since then, it has become a key component of our Corporate Social Responsibility program, impacting more than 83,500 students worldwide in 2016 alone.   

In addition, it has evolved into a statewide competition in Pennsylvania, challenging the imaginations of more than 15,000 students. "It has been amazing to watch the STEM Design Challenge grow from a germ of an idea into a statewide competition involving thousands of children this year," said Jill Jones, General Manager of Fisher Science Education and co-founder of the STEM Design Challenge. "I am more and more impressed each year with the creativity, scientific knowledge and enthusiasm the students bring to the competitions."

Students from the Boston Renaissance Charter School build nano-robots to treat cancer in the STEM Design Challenge hosted during the Thermo Fisher Annual Leadership meeting in Waltham, MA.