Roosevelt High School

On February 7, 2014 STEM-Up Initiative and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District partnered to bring Viva Technology to Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, CA. The program, which brings students a heightened level of awareness and motivation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), allowed close to 90 Roosevelt High JROTC students the opportunity to participate in a full day of STEM-focused challenges. In attendance was Col. Kim Colloton, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District who served as the key-note speaker for the program and shared her story, as well as her role and responsibilities with USACE, with the audience.

Throughout the program, students worked in teams led by engineering and science students from surrounding colleges and universities. Students were engaged, displayed teamwork and in doing so, were able to effectively complete all three challenges. One being the Paper House challenge, which calls on teams to help build and design homes entirely out of newspaper and resulted in some of the largest structures ever built at a Viva program. The Dream Invention Challenge has students design, build and market a new invention for the year 2030. This challenge produced some very good inventions and even better sales pitches and allowed the individual characteristics of each team to be exposed. Lastly was the Beam Bridge Challenge, where students constructed a beam bridge within an allotted time limit. Students were able to once again interact with Col. Colloton, who supported this challenge. The Colonel shared examples of various situations that occur in the workforce with regards to changes to original designs and introduced a last minute fax that would change the challenge parameters and would require all teams to replace several beams of their completed structure. After a few groans from the students when they were given their new instructions, they got back to work and did well in the challenge.

Additional attendees from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included Ms. Jennie Ayala, STEM Program Manager and Jonathan Machorro a USACE engineer from the Los Angeles District Office who worked with the students throughout the day. Ms. Anna Park, Great Minds in STEM CEO and Lupe Munoz Alvarado, Director of Education Programs were also present at the program alongside Roosevelt Principal Bruce Bivins and Roosevelt MST Magnet Principal Randy Romero.

Participants in the program left understanding the correlation between their math and science studies and the many exciting careers in technology. Active participation gave students the opportunities to accrue points and win educational technology related prizes.


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