Midland students win Cal Ripken Foundation’s national STEM competition
A group of students from Midland hit a home run at the 2022-2023 Cal Ripken Foundation (CRSF) STEM Challenge in Baltimore.
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Midland (YWLA) not only took first place at the competition featuring teams from across the nation, but also won $5,000 for its school in the process.
The Ripken STEM Challenge featured 32 teams competing for top honors. Students were tasked with creating a prototype tool to help count and/or identify money. YWLA and a second team, Tulsa Dream Center from Tulsa, OK, earned trips to the final round in Baltimore on Thursday, May 18, where both teams delivered their final presentations to board members of CRSF, along with representatives from sponsors XTO Energy and Devon Energy.
The YWLA team from Midland presented an innovative prototype known as the “coin counter.”
“Using snap circuits and an Arduino processor, the team utilized their coding skills to operate the Arduino and create a coin counter that accurately counts coins as they pass in front of a sensor,” officials at CRSF stated. “Their project showcased not only their technical expertise but also their ingenuity and resourcefulness.”
Steve Salem, president and CEO of the Ripken Foundation, said both finalists “demonstrated exceptional talent, and their projects truly exemplify the innovative spirit that we aim to foster through this competition.”
In addition to the competition, finalists explored Baltimore, visiting the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center, attending a Baltimore Orioles baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and meeting the legendary Cal Ripken, Jr., himself.
The YWLA is a Midland ISD school of choice focusing on college preparatory academics, leadership development through community service, and health and wellness. It opened in the fall of 2019, currently serves grades 6-10 and will eventually expand to 6th through 12th grades. For more information about YWLA, visit its website here. For more information about CRSF and its initiatives, visit www.ripkenfoundation.org.