V.I. students showcase skills at STEM fairs

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ST. CROIX - Students across the territory will continue to showcase their math, science and communications skills this week as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fairs take place in each district.

The 2014 St. Thomas-St. John District STEM Fair began on St. Thomas on Tuesday and will run through Friday at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center with the theme "Designing Experiences for the 21st Century through STEM."

The fair was organized by district science coordinator Gerald Walters and district math coordinator Ludence Romney, who said students in all public, private and parochial schools have been displaying projects in science research, science demonstrations, math real world problem investigations, math real world models, video presentation, Powerpoint presentations, music technology, Web page design, desktop publishing and programming.

Elementary school students showcased their projects Tuesday and Wednesday, and today secondary students will set up their displays in preparation for showing to the judges and to the public from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Cheryl Willocks, St. Croix director for the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, said her district's fair will be today from 10 a.m. to noon at Sunshine Mall's lower level. Public school students have set up their schools' top-rated STEM projects at the mall for judging early today.

According to Willocks an awards ceremony will follow about noon.

"STEM projects make the subject matters more fun and relevant for students, and they help to spark new ideas for them to broaden interest in research," Willocks said.

She said the fair today will include 100 entries from school on the elementary level and 24 entries from the three junior high schools. "This year we did not have any high school entries, but we will work on that for next year so they can get more involved in developing their STEM skills for college work," she said.

Willocks said the fair also helps the students learn on working through the process and sharpen their oral and written communication skills when they have to explain their projects to the judges and community.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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