They created products to make swimming or sunbathing safer. They programmed robots to support manufacturing. They defended against cyber security threats.
And they did it all at the 10th annual STEM Trifecta hosted by Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) at the Virginia Beach Convention Center June 7. The event, coordinated by the VBCPS Office of Technical and Career Education, is the culmination of a yearlong initiative that engages students in grades K-12 in afterschool science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities.
More than 1,000 students from 71 schools participated, working together in teams to compete in one of three Trifecta events: Robotics Challenge, Maker Challenge and Cyber Security Challenge. Awards were presented to elementary, middle and high school teams in each area of competition.
The Robotics Challenge featured an advanced manufacturing theme. Students had to control robots they designed, built and programmed to transport, sort and package manufactured parts. Points were awarded to teams based on their successful completion of the timed task.
The following teams won awards in the 2018 Robotics Challenge:
Grand Champion (all school levels)
- Kellam On 2nd Thought, Kellam High
Best All Around Teams
- Best All Around Elementary School: Magnificent Manufacturers, Ocean Lakes Elementary
- Runner-up Elementary School: Raspberry Pioneers, Strawbridge Elementary
- Best All Around Middle School: Shark Industries, Salem Middle
- Runner-up Middle School: MEME Team, Princess Anne Middle
- Best All Around High School: Windows 10, First Colonial High
- Runner-up High School: Kellam On 2nd Thought, Kellam High
E-portfolio Winners, Elementary School
- First Place: STEM Stingrays, Arrowhead Elementary
- Second Place: Magnificent Manufacturers, Ocean Lakes Elementary
- Third Place: Team Gears, Landstown Elementary
E-portfolio Winners, Middle School
- First Place: MEME Team, Princess Anne Middle School
- Second Place: Shark Industries, Salem Middle School
- Third Place: Screwdrivers, Salem Middle School
E-portfolio Winners, High School
- First Place: OJAMA, Advanced Technology Center
- Second Place: SCHRECENGHOSTS, Advanced Technology Center
- Third Place: S12, Kempsville High School
Student entrepreneurs in the Maker Challenge designed and created 3D-printed products to solve a problem for the city of Virginia Beach. Products to protect beachgoers, support swimmers and more were pitched to a panel of judges.
The following teams were Maker Challenge award winners:
Elementary School Maker Challenge Awards
- First Place: Water Guard Line, White Oaks Elementary
- Second Place: 3rd Grade Makerbot Team, Kempsville Meadows Elementary
- Third Place: Techniters, Three Oaks Elementary
Middle School Maker Challenge Awards
- First Place: Lyfe Rescue, Bayside Middle
- Second Place: Team Proteus, Old Donation School
- Third Place: The Beach Birds, Virginia Beach Middle
High School Maker Challenge Awards
- First Place: Kool Katz, Virginia Beach Career and Technical Center
- Second Place: Water Guardian, Landstown High
- Third Place: Water Boys, Ocean Lakes High
Best Production Plan and Video: Team Kool Katz, Virginia Beach Technical and Career Center
The Cyber Security Challenge featured high school students working together to secure and defend a digital infrastructure against security threats and exploited vulnerabilities. Elementary and middle school students competing in the Cyber Security Challenge were given a task to build and code onsite before presenting their work to local judges.
The following teams won awards in the Cyber Security Challenge:
Elementary School Cyber Innovation Awards:
- First Place: InFinite CodERZ, Old Donation School
- Second Place: Coding Peeps, Strawbridge Elementary
- Third Place: The Coding Pis, Bayside Elementary
Middle School Cyber Innovation Awards:
- First Place: Ranch, Independence Middle
- Second Place: The Pi Guys, Princess Anne Middle
- Third Place: Conn M, Old Donation School
High School Cyber Security Awards:
- First Place: Kempsville Power Sharks, Kempsville High
- Second Place: Isaiah Uzzle’s Team, Advanced Technology Center
- Third Place: LAN B4 Time, Advanced Technology Center
Also featured at the event was a STEM playground, a mobile STEM lab from Huntington Ingalls and Newport News Ship Building, and a manufacturing/STEM career expo hosted by Opportunity Inc. Participating students and event attendees were able to explore a variety of hands-on activities and learn more about careers in STEM fields.