JAMESTOWN – It was a busy day at Jamestown Community College’s Phys Ed building Thursday when over 900 area middle and high school students participated in the 5th annual STEM Wars.
The event is a collaboration between the Chautauqua County chapter of the New York State Technology and Engineering Educators’ Association, Dream It Do It Western New York, JCC, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and The Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier.
Chautauqua County Dream It, Do It coordinator Carly Abbate said it’s held each year to allow students an opportunity to showcase projects they’ve worked on while competing with others from around the region.
“The events incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics,” Abbate explained. “We have a math and science challenge to focus on those two. As far as the Technology component, we have a robotics competition. For Engineering we have a catapult that they have to engineer and create a catapult to launch items into a targeted area. So they’re using their creative juices to come up with these things. It’s awesome.”
In addition to the competition, representatives from several manufacturers and businesses were also on hand to give details about their operation and network with future job candidate.
County executive George Borrello was on hand to welcome the students in the morning. He said afterward that events like STEM Wars are good for engaging teenagers and young adults into thinking about careers after high school.
“Whenever there’s a level of competition like this it ups the game for their creativity and commitment to seeing this through, so I think this is a great opportunity for us to highlight and show these kids this is something incredibly important,” Borrello said. “And it gives them the opportunity to show us what they’re made of and what the future looks like here in Chautauqua County when it comes to the future of manufacturing.”
A total of 23 school districts from around the area competed in this years STEM Wars.