Article | Everett Advocate

EHS takes first place in STEM Week Challenge

Read this article in the Everett Advocate about students from Everett High School winning first place in this year’s STEM Week Challenge!

EHS takes first place in STEM Week Challenge
Christopher Roberson | Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Three Everett High School juniors recently received first place honors in the high school division of this year’s STEM Week Challenge with an app designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Breetika Maharjan, Alyssa Hurley and Lakisha Kirnon, students in Anna Seiders’ math and engineering classes, created Speckles: The COVID-19 Fighter. The app offers a host of features ranging from the current number of positive cases in the city to a 24/7 hotline for anyone suffering from anxiety or loneliness.

“In a district that is nearly 100 percent remote; developing authentic learning experiences feels almost insurmountable. This project could not have come at a more perfect time,” said Seiders. “Not only did it fit perfectly in my curriculum, but it also allowed my students to engage in a real world problem that drastically impacts their community. To be able to integrate the COVID-19 pandemic into our class and give my students an opportunity to discuss, design and develop meaningful solutions was so powerful. This applied learning project was a meaningful way for them to see how what they learn in class directly affects their neighborhood as well as inspire them to consider different STEM career pathways for their futures.”

Seiders lauded the efforts of her three juniors that resulted in the first place finish.

“I am extremely proud that my students came up with such a valuable product for their community,” said Seiders. “During the time of virtual learning, everything is hard and new. Collaboration has never been more challenging, but yet they surpassed all barriers. All of my students learned a lot through this activity.”

A Boston civil engineer was also impressed with the design of Everett’s COVID-19 app. “This app goes above and beyond the task of contact tracing, devising a comprehensive view of how to flatten the curve,” he said. “I would absolutely download this app and feel confident that my community would be safer as a result.”

Everett and other top teams in the competition will have the opportunity to pursue further collaboration with experts at IBM iX, Dell Technologies, the New England Aquarium, Partners In Health and Bionic Project, Inc.

“The projects submitted for the STEM Week Challenge reinforce how effective applied learning is when it comes to engaging students and driving authentic learning,” said Katherine Skrivan, director of Mass STEM Hub. “We’re proud of all the students who took their learning to the next level by submitting their projects for review and feedback by STEM professionals.”

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