May 2, 2018
Two Granbury Middle School eighth graders competed in the STEM State Competition sponsored by the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) on April 27, 2018, at the YMCA Collin County Adventure Camp in Anna.
Rebecca Valentine placed sixth on her team composed of students in grades 6-12 from schools across the state. Also competing was classmate Jorge Jaramillo.
The pair qualified based on scores from a divisional competition in January. Each took a science and math test and then joined one of forty randomly selected teams, which were tasked with completing an engineering design challenge building a structure that solved the given problem and worked correctly. For the state contest, students were given sixty minutes to design, build, and test a laser optical system that can enlarge and shrink a laser beam that is passing through it.
Also at the event, students heard from Texas state senator Van Taylor and Raytheon executive and former astronaut Robert Curbeam, who served on three NASA space shuttles and completed seven spacewalks.
At the divisional competition at Richland High School in January, GMS engineering club members placed:
- Engineering Design Challenge: Rebecca Valentine (Team Melted Hershey), first; Jorge Jaramillo (Team Optimus Flag), second and Judges Choice Award; Maci Smith (Team Alien Landers), third and Judges Choice Award; Abbie Pruitt (Team Ceiling Fan), Most Creative Design Award
- Math: Abbie Pruitt, third; Jorge Jaramillo, fifth
- Science: Jorge Jaramillo, second; Emily Pyle, fifth; Brandon Eartherly, sixth
The students are led by Gateway to Technology teacher Jillian Parsons.
GTT is the beginning of the Project Lead The Way engineering courses offered at Granbury High School. The classes prepare students to be innovative and productive leaders and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world. The program provides a rigorous education through an engaging, hands-on curriculum and helps students develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning.
GMS and Acton Middle School students are getting a head start on high school-level courses through the GTT classes, which include an activity-oriented program designed to challenge and engage the natural curiosity of middle school students. The program is taught in conjunction with a rigorous academic curriculum that includes courses on design and modeling, electrons, the science of technology, and automation and robotics.
PLTW curriculum will also be incorporated into the new elementary STEAM Academy at Mambrino, which will begin in the 2018-19 school for students in grades K-5.
Since 1976, TAME has been working to building a strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) workforce that reflects Texas with more women and minorities contributing to their communities and to the world through STEM careers.