Students place in Divisional STEM Competition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2019

To The Leader


A math and science competition that four of Vidor Junior High School 7th grade students participated in over the past weekend.  Orion Burroughs, Elliot Gravis, Clarke Johnson, and Michael Rodriquez attended the Divisional STEM Competition for the Golden Triangle chapter of the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME).

The TAME website says, “Every year, TAME brings together students to compete and celebrate achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). During a STEM Competition, students participate in both a math and a science test and then team up in different engineering roles to solve real-world problems in a timed Engineering Design Challenge.
TAME Chapters across the state host Divisional STEM Competitions in winter. Out of those participants, 300 high achieving students from Divisionals are eligible to receive an invitation to the State STEM Competition in spring.

Participants take a timed math and science test administered by grade level that will combine math and science, including questions from both subject areas. Students also compete in an Engineering Design Challenge at the event. In addition to testing student knowledge of math and science concepts, the competition promotes teamwork, leadership, and academic achievement.

  • Students in middle school (grades 6, 7, 8) will take the Middle School Math Test and the Middle School Science Test.
  • Students will have 45 minutes to answer 50 questions on each test. Middle school tests are based on middle school TEKS but focus on critical thinking and analytical skills.

The top six finishers in each test and the top three teams from the Engineering Design Challenge will be recognized. Three teams also receive a special Judges’ Choice Award for creative problem-solving. One student from each grade level will be recognized as the Ace Award Winner for the highest combined math and science score.

The Divisional STEM Competition for the Golden Triangle Chapter took place Saturday, February 9th at Lamar University.  Our students earned the following awards, including the top four spots in the 7th grade Math competition.

  • Orion Burroughs: 4th Place Math
  • Elliot Gravis: 1st Place Math, 2nd Place Science
  • Clarke Johnson: 2nd Place Math, 4th Place Science
  • Michael Rodriquez: 3rd Place Math, 3rd Place Science

Clarke’s team for the Engineering Design Challenge earned 3rd place in that portion of the competition.

Additionally, Elliot was recognized as an Ace Award Winner as he earned the highest combined math and science score for 7th graders.  He will be invited to the State STEM competition this spring.  Last year, Elliot earned a spot in the State competition and placed second in 6th-grade science.

Orion, Elliot, Clarke, and Michael elected to participate in this competition on their own, outside of their normal school and elective responsibilities.  While they were not officially participating as a Vidor ISD team, they did a wonderful job representing the district.