Just two weeks after school ended, a group of eight rising fifth and sixth-grade MAA students, their parents, and our science teacher, Mrs. Maria Lyons, packed their bags for the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project’s 39th Annual Youth Energy Conference and Awards in Washington, D.C.
We earned an invitation to the conference by being named the Massachusetts Elementary School of the Year by the NEED Project for the school’s STEM Fun Fair. Mrs. Lyons, who entered MAA into the contest, also secured a grant to cover conference expenses.
At the conference, students worked in small groups on Energy Challenges focused on how to utilize clean, renewable energy. The groups were tasked with formulating the electrical energy supply for a fictional town. They took on roles of mayors, town planners, scientists, engineers, environmentalists, and citizens and presented their projects to NEED instructors who chose a winning town. Two of our rising sixth-graders, Isabella and Mairead, lead the winning group and were honored at the final Awards Breakfast Ceremony. Sean, a rising MAA fifth-grader, won the Rocket Workshop Challenge. Congratulations to Sean, Isabella, Mairead, and all of our students for their great work.
“During the classes, I watched our students speak up and take leadership roles,” Mrs. Lyons beamed. “They were knowledgeable, creative, and worked well with other students.” She was not the only one to take notice of MAA’s students, though. Throughout the conference, the NEED instructors and coordinators distinguished MAA students for their leadership and cooperation, continually mentioning how great they thought MAA’s students were.
Mrs. Lyons and her students are excited to bring new ideas and experiences from the conference back to MAA. The NEED project has already sent a box of voltmeters to the school for our students to test appliances’ energy usage. Mrs. Lyons and her group of budding scientists plan to be back again next year. A big thank you to Mrs. Lyons and our students’ parents, who accompanied them on the trip. We are so proud of all of our students who participated at the conference and in the STEM Fun Fair this year!