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MPS STEM Fair on May 9 will feature nearly 300 projects, 600 students, 50 MPS schools

At the 2023 MPS STEM Fair.What happens when Milwaukee Public Schools students of all ages combine curiosity with scientific rigor? Their projects have titles such as New & Improved Sports Inhaler Case, How Salty Does the Water Need to Be for an Egg to Float, and Does Hand Sanitizer Really Kill 99 Percent of Germs?  

Those projects and nearly 300 others will be on display Thursday, May 9, at the 17th annual MPS STEM Fair. Open to the public, it takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Baird Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., in Exhibit Hall B. 

The awards ceremony will be at 12:45 p.m. and will include the Tomorrow’s SHEroes in STEM award to recognize and encourage female innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM Fair is made possible with the generous support of GE HealthCare. Representatives of GE HealthCare will be among the 127 judges in this STEM competition, alongside MPS staff, retired educators, and others. 

About 600 MPS students from nearly 50 schools will be taking part, using mathematics and engineering to find the answers to their scientific questions. The students range from 4-year-old kindergartners to seniors in high school. Many of the featured projects already have succeeded at individual schools’ STEM fairs. 

Projects are in one of three categories: science investigation, which answers a question; engineering design that solves a problem; and research, for high school students only. To carry out their projects, students employ the knowledge and fact-finding skills they have acquired through their STEM education.  

“The Milwaukee Public Schools district dedicates many resources to enhancing STEM education in order to allow students to have excellent opportunities and prepare them for their college and career journey,” said Dr. Abe El Manssouri, MPS Science Curriculum Specialist. 

MPS offers many science courses, including regular sciences, Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses, dual credit classes, and more.  

The district collaborates with community partners to provide programs (such as the Science Education Partnership Award program) for teachers and students to experience college-level scientific research. MPS also is dedicated to educating students and staff about the importance of climate and environmental education. 

Community exhibitors also will be at the STEM Fair. The Zoological Society of Milwaukee, for example, will have a faux-fecal exam of fake bear scat; students will be able to find fake parasites and diagnose the bear’s ailment.  

Also in the community exhibition area, A.E. Burdick School students will demonstrate how a future city could generate clean energy, and Doerfler School will put on a “Trashion Show” of garments made from reused and recycled materials. 

Although the STEM Fair will bestow awards on the students with winning projects, “it’s more like a celebration of STEM education, as well,” said Rebecca Nowak Gimenez, MPS Science Instructional Coach and an organizer of the STEM Fair. 

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
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