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Rocky Heights students take top honors in STEM contest

A group of eighth grade students from Rocky Heights Middle School worked diligently to come up with a plan to create a pedestrian bridge to their school.  The project was submitted to Samsung as part of their “Solve For Tomorrow” contest and the team took first place in the state of Colorado.  Congratulations to Ms. Sharon Majetich and her talented team of Explorer students.

By Amy Shanahan, photo courtesy of Sharon Majetich

The eighth grade Explorer team at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) was thrilled to take home the first place award for the state of Colorado in the “Solve for Tomorrow” contest sponsored by Samsung.  

The contest prompted students to find a solution for a problem in their community using STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  A committee of students from the RHMS team called the Explorer Student Committee (ESC) took on the daunting task of solving the monumental traffic problem at RHMS by proposing the building of a pedestrian bridge over Monarch Boulevard.  

Eighth grade Social Studies teacher Sharon Majetich oversaw this project and explained, “The ESC discussed and debated numerous ideas for change before settling on the idea of investigating and presenting the possibility of a pedestrian bridge to local civil engineers.  Their issue was student safety on streets and in the school parking lot.  The main idea of the project was to understand the requirements, actions and impact of civil engineering as it directly relates to the local community.  Students looked into city planning, street maintenance, civil engineering, traffic flow patterns, and geographic space options in order to make suggestions to start the project.  The consideration of a pedestrian bridge included looking at architectural and structural engineering, as well as the financial issues, land rights, land usage, and eminent domain factors of the project.”  

Student Camille Krieger served as the project manager of the ESC.  “Samsung was a great experience for all who participated in it,” Krieger remarked.  “We were able to get to know each other better and were able to try to help our community.  The planning of the project was probably the most important part.  I went in early some mornings and spent my extra work period on this project.  It took a lot of time, but produced a great result.”

The students were excited when they learned that their proposal took first place in the state of Colorado.  “The Samsung ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ contest was a tremendous, thrilling opportunity for me,” stated student Madison Dittmer.  “My classmates and I had the freedom to uncover a solution for a problem in our community.  I had such a phenomenal time planning out this project. I helped organize fellow classmates into groups for designing bridges, plotting areas for the bridge to go, and many other tasks.  While sharing laughs with my friends, I was able to use STEM to solve a major problem in my community today.  Everyone who contributed, including myself, had a superb time.  If I could do it again, I would.”



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