Posted Date: 10/17/2023
Optimum STEM Day at ASU Three Rivers
About 100 sixth grade gifted and talented students from Dawson co-op schools participated in Optimum STEM day on Friday. Working in cooperative teams, students designed the ultimate mini-golf hole. Teams were composed of students from other schools rather than from their home district. This gave students the opportunity to work on both “soft skills” and STEM skills. Optimum awarded a $500 grant to pay for all the supplies, snacks, and prizes for the day. This is the fifth year Optimum has funded Dawson STEM days.
After several fun icebreakers to help everyone get to know each other better, each team received a bag of identical supplies and about 90 minutes to build their mini-golf hole. Teams had to build a putter to go along with their hole. Supplies included yardsticks, paint sticks, popsicle sticks, straws, paper plates, cups, and bowls; as well as cotton balls, and a few other items. Students could also choose colored streamers and duct tape to enhance their chosen theme. Prizes were awarded in five categories: Brightest Theme, Problem Solving Ninjas (most technical), Trailblazing Transformers (best use of resources), Team Spirit, and Judge’s Spotlight. ASU Three Rivers faculty served as judges for the day. Students explained their engineering design process to the judges and finished the day by playing the 20-hole course.
The completed 20-hole golf course was filled with a variety of themes, such as Jungle, Candyland, Halloween Town, Breast Cancer Awareness, 80s Roller Rink, 7 World Wonders, Space Galaxy, and many more. Schools attending the fun day were Malvern, Hot Springs, Fountain Lake, Poyen, Magnet Cove, Harmony Grove, Gurdon, Arkadelphia, and Benton.