STEM Fair 2024 Recap + Photo Gallery

Hundreds of students displayed their love and knowledge of STEM

Mahesh Thomas from Goodrich Elementary and her STEM Fair project

Milling through the MPS STEM Fair at the Baird Center on May 9th, you could find 282 kid-designed ideas. Tornado-proof houses, stethoscopes, a few different varieties of magnetic slime, and balloon-powered cars. Even elephant toothpaste. When students from kindergarten through high school had the chance to lead their own social studies curriculum for a few weeks, they gave in to their naturally inquisitive instincts. Two kids from Goodrich school created an experiment that asks, “Which berry will rot the fastest?” Four kids from Green Tree Prep Academy joined forces to research “How can you make bubbles last longer?” If this is what 592 MPS students from 49 schools can do on their own now, what will they think of tomorrow as members of the science and technology workforce, hobbyists, and volunteers? 

If you’re thinking the MPS STEM Fair is just like the science fairs of your youth, think again. These projects boast three categories: science investigation, which answers a question; engineering design that solves a problem; or research, a college-level project designed by high school students. By adding engineering, more students can be exposed to the thrill of designing technology. Engineering and technology have always been a large part of the Wisconsin economy and will certainly continue if our kids get the bug for it early. 

GE HealthCare’s significant sponsorship and support underscores the industry’s recognition of MPS students’ innovative potential. GE employees contributed as exhibitors, judges, and volunteers, demonstrating their commitment to nurturing Milwaukee’s future talent. Their involvement highlights the vital connection between educational initiatives and industry support.

GE Healthcare and MPS Foundation staff at the 2024 MPS STEM Fair

“Investments in our students are worthwhile. When you invest in them, you will see the returns because they’ll become more productive in class. They’ll increase their attendance. They’ll be excited to be in school every day and see that there’s hope,” said Willie Jude II, MPS Foundation Executive Director. 

Since everyone knows females have traditionally been left behind in science and technology fields, every MPS STEM Fair Discovery World offers a SHEro award to elevate female innovation. This year’s awardee was Hope, a 7th grader at Hartford University School. Hope’s science teacher describes her as, “A very dedicated and hardworking student who came from Kenya and moved to the United States in October. She is very excited about everything she learns in science and despite going through a huge culture shock, she keeps persevering.” Hope placed 3rd at the Hartford University School STEM Fair and went on to UW-Stevens Point to compete at the Wisconsin Science Olympiad State Competition. 

After every project at the fair was judged, awards were distributed for winning categories in each grade:

Kindergarten-2nd Grade Science

1st Place: Frederick J. Gaenslen School, “Melting Snow,” by Parker Rice, Jaykim Wilder, and Anonymous 

2nd Place: Riley Dual Language Montessori, “Is there metal in cereal?” By Harvey Lenz 

3rd Place: Carson Academy, “Taste Smell Connection” by Alexander Martinez 

3rd-5th Grade Science

1st Place: Westside Academy, “Can Rain Gardens Help with Floods?” By Lomir Oliver-Finch, Tee’Asia Johnson, and De’Khia Horton 

2nd Place: Golda Meir School, “How does Borax affect a bouncy ball’s bounce?” By Zanai Cunningham 

6th-8th Grade Science

1st Place: Golda Meir School, “5 Second Rule,” by Logan Vignieri 

2nd Place: Whitman Academy, “It’s Only Rocket Science,” by Rylan Fabian 

3rd Place: Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts,  “Primary Focus,” by Olivia Whitehead 

3rd Place: Golda Meir School, “Method to Improve Test Scores” by Spencer Robinson 

High School Science

1st Place: Reagan High School, “Engineering Models for Medical Sutures: The Effect of Suture Knots on Seam Strength,” by Gemma Vacaro 

2nd Place: South Division, “DNA Testing: How can DNA be used to identify possible relative, unique genetic characteristics, and potential genetic diseases,” by Halimah Bibi B Abdul Salam and Siti Norshahira Yassin 

3rd Place: Reagan High School, “Ophthalmology: The Effect of Short-Term Blindness on Visual Reaction Time,” by Leyna Fehr 

High School Research

1st Place: South Division High School, “La pandemia y su participación en el Cambio Climático,” by Oscar Delgado 

2nd Place: South Division High School, “Efectos y Consecuencias a causa de la contaminación en el Aire,” by Valeria Salcedo  

3rd Place: Bradley Technology and Trade High School, “Waste Diversion,” by Reflo interns 

Kindergarten-2nd Grade Engineering

1st Place: ALBA Elementary School, “Marble Maze #1,” by Alan Ojeda, Yatzil Mexicano, Jaime Bonfil, and Daniela Martinez Mora 

2nd Place: Westside Academy, “Make Your Own Stethoscope” By Charles Lucas III, Jamarco Johnson Ward, Anonymous, and Xaraina Spears 

3rd Place: ALBA Elementary School, “Marble Maze #2” by Enrique Gonzalez Sanchez, Santiago Rodriguez, Sofia Fregoso, and Charlize Lopez Rosales 

3rd-5th Grade Engineering

1st Place: Riley Dual Language Montessori, “Can I make a record player out of recycled materials?” By Lorelei Lenz 

2nd Place: Milwaukee Spanish Immersion, “Jumping Robot Toy,” By Zachary Cooper 

3rd Place:  Burdick School, “Potential Wheels” by Kayden DeLourdes 

6th-8th Grade Engineering

1st Place: Cooper Elementary, “Clean Cycle,” by Taylor Vang, CeCe Lewis, and Colton Medina

2nd Place: Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts, “Beauty and Brains,” by Nga Fei Sun 

3rd Place: Humboldt Park, “New & Improved Sports Inhaler Case,” by Chloe Rivera-Walz, Teagan Lee, and Gabriela Roche 

High School Engineering

1st Place: Reagan High School, “Breaking Bridges,” by Cornel Penager-Davidson

2nd Place: Audubon High School, “Restorative Justice App,” by Genesis Perez, Emma Rosales, and Chit Moe Win Oo 
3rd Place: MacDowell Montessori School, “Water Purification,” by Madison Robinson

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