UHS Students Recognized for Exellence in STEM



UHS Students recognized for Excellence in STEM

Six teams of Uxbridge students from across four different courses at Uxbridge High School shared their class projects at the MassSTEMHub/Project Lead the Way student showcase, held on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The senior students in the classes who will be pursuing college careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) also participated in a “college signing” ceremony, indicating their pursuit of these endeavors beyond high school.

Also at the event, UHS senior Kevin Alves was recognized as the “Showcase Excellence Award” winner, besting more than 150 other projects for the top project at the event. Judges from industry, including more than 25 different companies and schools from across the Commonwealth like National Grid, GE, Lampin, and WPI, indicated that Kevin showed “mastery of topics, enthusiasm for the subject matter, and a high degree of articulateness in sharing his passion.” For his project, Kevin recreated a rotary engine to scale, using 3D printing technology and an electronic battery. The project took him nearly 100 hours of research time to complete.

In addition to presenting their work to their peers from more than a dozen schools across the state and to industry professionals, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito shared remarks with the students, congratulating them for “taking academic risks, learning to persevere through failures, and setting high standards that will hopefully benefit future generations for the Commonwealth.” She highlighted Massachusetts’ place as a leader for innovation and the opportunities provided by PLTW courses to enhance student creativity and relevance in learning.

“Project Lead the Way gives our students the opportunity to learn from each other, to apply academic skills, and to own their learning every single day,” said Uxbridge High School Principal Michael Rubin. “As we continue to expand our opportunities for students, and we continue to build our partnerships, we know that this learning can only help our students and communities achieve greater things in the future.”

Other student projects completed by UHS students included the manufacturing of fishing lures from recycled aluminum cans, using 3D printing and milling technology, card box manufacturing from corian and wood, designed and milled using CNC technology, and a truss built to more than 40% efficiency using just wood and capable of holding nearly 600 points. Biomedical student teams completed projects on acid/base reactions and pancreatic responses to diabetes.

UHS teachers Michael Smutok (Engineering), Melissa Silva (Engineering), and Tracy Larkin (biomedical science) accompanied the students to the event. This marked the third different STEM competition at which UHS students had been recognized for their work.

“To see where our program has come in a short period of time is a testament to the work of many,” Mr. Rubin said. “From the school committee and central office who have supported these opportunities, to the teachers who make this learning real, to our partners who have given us resources in terms of equipment and training, we truly believe that our students will be capable to transforming the world because of these opportunities.”

The seniors who signed STEM letters of intent included Kevin Alves (Wentworth), Emily Frick (WPI), Owain Nelligan (QCC), Cali Sander (WPI), Olivia HIcks (University of Maryland), Ryan Semle (Penn State), Hannah Smith (WPI), Braden Stewart (Mass Maritime), Thomas Sawyer (UMass-Lowell), and Madeleine Schleinitz (Cal Poly).