St. Brendan High creates new STEM club, wins competition

Ninth grade students are exploring their options for the academy selection at St. Brendan High School. St. Brendan is among the first Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to incorporate “schools within the school” in which students will be geared towards courses and extracurricular activities that will lead them to greater success in their college and career performance.

The academy directors are working closely with universities and professionals in the various fields to enhance the students’ experience. Students will be choosing from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy, Law and Global Business Academy, Medical Sciences Academy and the STEM Academy. Each academy will offer students a rigorous curriculum, relevant clubs, competitions, and mentorship opportunities.

Students interested in the STEM fields — which involve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — had the opportunity to start the STEM club. The club already has hosted its first “Walk on Water” competition in which students built structures that would allow them to walk across the surface of the pool.

FIU Women in Engineering accepted applications for a mentorship program for 11 high school girls interested in engineering and five students — sophomores Francesca Callejas, Juliana Mena, Nina Rudd, Ashley Silvarrey, and senior Deanna Delgado —now are working to bring the knowledge they gained in the four-month program to local middle schools.

The STEM club members also had the opportunity to participate in a global competition sponsored by Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software and services. The Snap, Style, and Share competition required students to take a photograph and enhance the photograph using the Pixlr app. Students at St. Brendan High School use iPads in all their classes and were able to use them for the competition.

The competition was open to students around the world and over 400 photographs were submitted. Two freshmen students, Emily Alvarez and Allison Martin, were selected as finalists in the competition. Emily Pena- Velasquez, also a ninth grader, took first place in her division which included the following prizes: a mini-iPad loaded with Autodesk apps, professional critique of the photograph, display of the photograph at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco, and various promotional items.

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