Story by Laurie Pearson on 04/02/2019Marines and civilians from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow enjoyed a day of judging art projects presented by students during the STEAM Fair held at Barstow High School, Barstow, Calif., February 21.
STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Art was added in recent years, thereby expanding the scope of the event.
"I have worked for BUSD for over 19 years now, and we have always had a Science Fair, but last year I changed things up a bit, and transformed the Science Fair into the STEAM Fair," said Danielle King, Science teacher. "The addition of the arts has been amazing! We have so many special and talented students in Barstow."
Students from grade school through high school entered projects based on their interests, and then fit them within categories. They were given a theme, and then designed each of their entries based on their interpretation of both the category and the theme.
The art submissions included entries for various media forms such as photography, painting, dry media and even sculptures. In science, the projects ranged from electrical ingenuity, to digital components, and even robotics.
There were 182 science and engineering submissions and 202 art submissions for the event, with 55 judges volunteering from all over the community.
"I think it is a privilege to experience these types of moments in the kids' education," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Valentin Murillo. "The genuine enthusiasm and creativity that these kids express through their work is amazing."
Three judges critique each project and submit their results to staff. Once every project is evaluated, then the staff tallies the results and announced the winners of the various categories at a later event.
"All of the projects are put into grade level categories," King explained. "So, students will compete with students in the same grade level and category. Each science and engineering category had a grand, first, second, and third place winner. Each art category had a gold, silver, and bronze winner. Fifteen science and engineering projects move on to the county fair at Fontana Auto Club Speedway on April 2nd."
The judges enjoy special treatment by staff and students of Shawna Santos' Restaurant management classes too as special meals are prepared and provided for both breakfast and lunch. This year the students baked muffins, prepared fruit and provided yogurt for the breakfast, then for lunch they prepared chicken Caesar salads using fresh ingredients.
Both gymnasiums were buzzing with excitement as the students stood by their projects, prepared to explain their thought processes and intents for their individual submissions. Each submission was evaluated based on a series of criteria provided in a matrix for the judges to use. It was up to each student to describe in both writing and in an oral presentation to the judges, how they gained inspiration for their projects, what materials they used and why, and how their project fit within the scope of the theme.
"The intent of the event is to highlight, encourage, and celebrate Barstow Unified School District's creative artists and scientists," King said. I cannot wait to see what they come up with in the future!"
"The STEAM Fair has a great group of kids participating and all with bright futures," said Murillo.