VBCPS - Charting the Course
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dr. Heather Allen
Date: 05/26/16 Phone: 757.263.1797
News Release No. 075 Fax: 757.263.1010
Email: heather.allen@vbschools.com

STEM Trifecta features robotics, maker and cybersecurity challenges

Students from more than 60 schools will showcase their skills in the areas of robotics, entrepreneurship and cybersecurity at the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) STEM Trifecta, Friday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The event is the culmination of a VBCPS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative that engages students in grades K-12 in afterschool STEM activities.

The Cybersecurity Challenge is a new addition to the eighth annual STEM event. High school students will have to defend a cyber breach created by the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command while middle and elementary school students will present their cybersecurity research to judges. In the Maker Challenge, added last year, student entrepreneurs will pitch their 3-D printed products with hopes of winning the “investment” of a panel of judges. In both STEM Trifecta challenges, students qualified to compete based on performances in events hosted earlier this year.

The Robotics Challenge features a sports theme. Elementary, middle and high school teams will control student-designed robots to strike golf balls on various golf course holes, and points are awarded based on their successful completion of the timed task.

“The fact that participation in this event increases each year and new categories are added speaks to the enthusiasm for and engagement in STEM-related instruction and activities citywide,” said Dr. Aaron Spence, VBCPS superintendent. “It is exciting to see so many of our students challenging themselves and developing skills that will prepare them to explore STEM-related careers where we know there is a critical need for expertise.”

The 2016 STEM Trifecta is free and open to the public, and the hashtag #VBTrifecta2016 will be used to share event photos and videos on social media. The event’s opening session will include remarks from Spence and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, and the day will conclude with award presentations for all three STEM challenges.

For more information about STEM Trifecta or to volunteer, contact Stephanie Sutton in the Office of Technical and Career Education at 757-648-6180 or stephanie.sutton@vbschools.com.

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Department of Media and Communications, vbcpsweb@vbschools.com

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