Chester County Intermediate Unit

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Young scientists compete in STEM Design Challenge

Pictured left to right, winning team members in the 6-8 grade division, Finley Reynolds, Hannah Hulton, Mackenzie Muldoon and


The conference center of the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) was transformed into an arena for students to design and build the next big amusement park. Using only K’Nex kits and motors, teams were asked to build a family-fun amusement park ride that inspired others to be environmentally friendly.


Budding STEM enthusiasts from 25 Chester County elementary and middle schools competed to create an environmentally-friendly amusement park ride at the fourth annual STEM Design Challenge on March 3. The engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) challenge aims to ignite a spark of excitement in these young minds for all things STEM-related.


Earning the first place medal in the 4-5 grade division was The Flume Foursome made up of team members Christian Carroll, Reilly Koitzsch, Zach Levin and Anna Wilson from Vincent Elementary School. In the 6-8 grade division, Water Works from Octorara Intermediate School took home the top prize. Water Works was made up of team members Hannah Hulton, Mackenzie Muldoon, Finley Reynolds and Cole Shatto.


“We spent a lot of time practicing and it feels great to win after working so hard,” team member Mackenzie Muldoon said. “It just feels so good and we are so excited.”


Serving on the panel of judges were ten industry experts drawn from area companies, including: Accenture, Omega Design Corp, Micronic USA, CA Technologies, Blue Leaf Development, USSC Group, Inc. and Urban Air Trampoline Park.


The STEM Design Challenge is sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific and coordinated by the Innovation Institute, which assists educators in developing instructional strategies to better prepare students for the 21st century global society. This event is just one example of involving students in projects where they are empowered to make sense of the world and apply their skills to solving real-world problems.



Photo Caption: Pictured left to right, winning team members in the 6-8 grade division, Finley Reynolds, Hannah Hulton, Mackenzie Muldoon and Cole Shatto (back) from Octorara Intermediate School, with their winning project “Water Works.”