The 10th annual event features robotics, maker and cyber security challenges in which students from more than 71 schools will showcase their skills after months of preparation in afterschool activities that emphasize science, technology, engineering and math, better known as STEM.
The Robotics Challenge will feature an advanced manufacturing theme. Elementary, middle and high school teams will control robots they have designed, built and programmed, which are capable of transporting, sorting and packaging manufactured parts. Their robots will be tested on manufacturing scenarios of varying difficulty. Points are awarded to teams based on their successful completion of the timed task, according to a news release from public schools.
Student teams competing in the Maker Challenge and Cyber Security Challenge also will bring their creativity and competitive spirit to the event. Student entrepreneurs in the Maker Challenge will pitch to a panel of judges the 3D-printed products their teams created to solve a problem for the city.
The Cyber Security Challenge will feature high school students working together to secure and defend a digital infrastructure against security threats and exploited vulnerabilities, according to the news release. Elementary and middle school students competing in the Cyber Security Challenge will build and code onsite before presenting their work to local judges.
Also featured at the event is a STEM playground in which student teams and event attendees can explore a variety of hands-on activities.
Public schools officials said new this year will be a mobile STEM lab from Huntington Ingalls and Newport News Ship Building, and a manufacturing/STEM career expo hosted by Opportunity Inc., where business and higher education representatives from the region will be available to discuss careers and share technology and equipment used in their work.
The 2018 STEM Trifecta is free and open to the public. The hashtag #STEMTrifecta2018 will be used to share event photos and videos on social media.