Central students place at national STEM conference

posted Jul 16, 2019, 11:36 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 16, 2019, 11:36 AM ]

This summer students from Central's Gateway to Technology STEM program attended the national Technology Student Association (TSA) conference in Washington, DC. Om Ghonasgi, Lily Talbot, and Mehdi Achour qualified for nationals by placing 1st Place in Middle School STEM Animation at the state conference in April. Mehdi was unable to attend nationals, so Central TSA officer Evan Hathaway joined Om and Lily to form the school's STEM Animation team for nationals. Griffin Craig qualified for nationals with Om and Mehdi with their 3rd Place for Leadership Strategies at state, and Griffin was part of the delegation to nationals. At the conference, the school's STEM Animation team placed 6th in the nation, earning a spot on the stage. 

Central Middle School TSA sponsor Lolly Williams and Central Principal Keri Gardner chaperoned the students in the nation's capital. Over 8,000 people were at the conference. The students met up with other state conference participants and national officers and enjoyed a week of activities.

Principal Gardner stated, "These students gained valuable school and life skills on this trip. They connected with others from all over the world and have created many new goals for the upcoming year. [I am] so proud of our TSA group and Ms. Williams!"

Central Middle School was named a Distinguished School for its Gateway to Technology STEM program by Project Lead the Way in 2017-18 and 2018-19, since they offered STEM courses in all three grades, had at least half of the student body participating in STEM courses, and had at least 25% of their students advancing to high school participate in two or more STEM courses while in middle school. Central also hosted its first VEX Robotics tournament in January 2019

Bartlesville's other secondary school STEM programs also earned Distinguished School status for Madison Middle School in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and for both Bartlesville High School and Tri-County Tech in 2018-19. The district's elementary STEM program, Project Lead the Way Launch, will expand this year with a third STEM module, on engineering, being added to the existing computer science and biomedical modules in all first through fifth grade classrooms.

Central's team at TSA nationals
Central Principal Keri Gardner with students Griffin Craig, Evan Hathaway, Lily Talbot, and Om Ghonasgi and Central STEM teacher and TSA advisor Lolly Williams at the National Technology Student Association Conference in Washington, DC