December 9, 2016
Dean Middle School students celebrate their first-place awards at the third annual Texas A&M Spark Conference on Dec. 3. Pictured, front row from left, are: Elijah Daigle, Katherine Rios, Maleny Rojas, Jacquelyn Pham and Melanie Acosta; and (back row) Kendrick Dugar, Abastion Caballero, George Kamau, Jacob DeGeorge, Jackie Sanchez.
Dec. 9, 2016—In their first year competing at the third annual Texas A&M Spark Conference, the students of Dean Middle School rose to the challenge by winning multiple first-place designations in individual and group projects among hundreds of students competing from districts across Texas on Dec. 3.
Dean Middle School student Maleny Rojas creates the best filter design to clean dirty water during the Texas A&M Spark Conference, facilitated by the TAMU student organization, Engineers Without Borders.
The Spark Conference is an engineering design competition with a strict focus on inspiring K-12 students to explore the field of engineering, increase student awareness and provide exposure to Texas A&M University’s culture and tradition.
The conference was held in the TAMU Memorial Student Center and hosted several impromptu design competitions on-site for each age group, with competitions for elementary, middle and high school students. In the middle school category, the competitions included:
Dean student Vanessa Castillo uses Newton’s third law to design and build a race car powered by balloons during a Spark Conference event facilitated by the TAMU student organizations, Society of Women Engineers.
Each competition was divided into rounds and rotations. Dean students won first place in four out of nine rotations, bringing home 10 total first-place designations in both individual and team categories.
The students who were awarded first place in their events are as followed:
Other students who attended the conference from Dean included:
Teachers and staff members who attended included:
Dean students enjoy their experience at the third annual Texas A&M Spark Conference on Dec. 3.
“I’m extremely proud of our students and grateful to have had the opportunity to accompany them to this event,” said Derrick Crowder, Dean assistant principal. “The day was filled with fun activities, team building experiences, rigor and relevancy. No matter how challenging the competitions appeared to be, they remained tenacious and persevered! These young men and women can do, will do and will be the new leaders of tomorrow’s world. This conference not only provided awareness of engineering, but also unimpeded visions of endless opportunities for students who may have never had exposure beyond their neighborhoods. I foresee them doing extraordinary things in the future as we continue to attend events that will cultivate students to their fullest potential mentally, academically and socially.”