STEM competition shines light on youth talent


WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – STEM learning has become part of many school curriculums, to prepare children at a young age for the real world.

Some students got to show off their ‘stem’ skills in a friendly competition yesterday. 

9-year-old Manhamudi Latifou will sling a marshmallow as far as possible using this contraption he made.

“I researched at home to make this catapult and I feel like I did a great job.”

In addition to the catapult challenge students are also competing in an ‘egg drop’.

The goal is for an egg to survive this fall *without cracking* while it’s cradled in a student’s homemade parachute.

This is the STEM Olympiad at Wilkes University, for students in first through eighth grade.

The students are part of an after school program called “SHINE of Luzerne County at Wilkes University”.

The program promotes “stem learning” – which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Carol Nicholas, the Executive Director of SHINE of Luzerne County, says these projects require students to solve problems in creative ways while working in teams, skills that are needed in the real world.

“These are all things the job market is really going to be looking for in a good employee, so we start them very early.”

Senator John Yudichak was among those who worked to bring the SHINE program to Luzerne County.

“They come from at least eight schools here in Luzerne County. We have over a thousand kids in the shine program in carbon, Schuylkill, and Luzerne.”

Students say the competition is “out of this world”… And so is their talent!

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