Sunday, June 6, 2021

PHS STEM Team Takes 4th in Statewide Competition

Submitted Photo
Pottstown High School's STEM team is, from left, Will Levey 10th grade,  Andy Bachman, Nada Elgendy 11th grade and, Abdel Elgendy 10th grade.

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by the Pottstown School District.

A team of Pottstown High School students took on the economically devastating problem of the Spotted Lantern Fly facing Pennsylvania as part of an award-winning entry to the Governor's STEM competition.

The team was comprised of Nada Elgendy, Abdel Elgendy, and William Levey, and overseen by Pottstown High School engineering teacher and advisor Andrew Bachman.  

Their goal was to provide a workable solution to one of Mother Nature's latest puzzle, in the form of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly. 

They submitted the design, an ingeniously simple but effective way to scrape and collect Spotted Lanternfly eggs from the trunks of trees, and their research to the Governor's STEM competition in April. 

The device is designed to allow a long broom handle to be screwed into the handle to extend the reach of the device to higher heights on trees.

Their research and design efforts earned them a 4th place finish in the statewide competition. 

To combat the the Asian infestation, scientists recommend scraping egg sacs off tree trunks in the affected area with a card. However, scraping and effectively collecting egg sacs poses challenges. 

The team designed the Spotted Lantern Fly Egg Sac Mitigator which allows homeowners and community members to safely, easily and efficiently scrape and collect the egg sacs. 

The Governor’s STEM Competition challenges student teams from across the state to research, design, and present a device or project that can make the quality of life better for Pennsylvanians by accomplishing a series of practical tasks that can fulfill real-world needs. 

This year’s theme was “Improving Pennsylvania Through STEM.” 

During the school year, teams of students designed and built solutions to real-world problems. Teams were required to work with a member of their local community, a business, or an educational entity to help create an authentic experience while also providing opportunities to learn more about careers in STEM.
The Pottstown team overcame the added challenges caused by distancing due to COVD and learned a great deal about how to coordinate efforts in order to solve problems. 

"It is an experience that will serve them well in the work world," said Bachman.

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