Winter break is just wrapping up, and as our students get ready to return from a couple weeks of well-deserved vacation, we at the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute want to take a moment to applaud their achievements and hard work during the first half of this school year.

In November, high school students competed in FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for the first time. Three of our four teams were invited to participate in the semi-final rounds of the qualifying tournaments and one team was awarded for its advancement to the championship round of the qualifying tournaments.

Also in November, our middle school site participated in FIRST LEGO League (FLL), sending a record twelve teams to qualifying tournaments. Two teams were awarded Project Awards and one team was awarded Judges’ Award.  The team “King of the Ocean” was nominated for the Global Innovation Award and they will be presenting their research at a judged showcase in 2017.  Check out their research project on their website here. In addition, two teams are advancing to the district/regional championships in early 2017!

Students who didn’t participate in FLL or FTC this autumn have been working on research projects for ExploraVision. Throughout November and December, students pitched their ideas to both peers and a panel of industry professionals in order to get feedback and improve their projects before the deadline in January.

Lastly, in addition to mandatory participation by all students in the Math Olympiad and AMC contests, sixty students volunteered to participate in the Global Math Challenge (GMC) this autumn, and we are excited to announce that two 9th graders and one 8th grader placed in the bronze category, and one 8th grader placed silver, ranking 1st in the USA and 36th in the world. Well done!

Congratulations to all students in the program for all your effort, teamwork and support of your fellow classmates over the last few months! We hope you enjoyed your holiday break.  Happy New Year! We are excited to see all that you will accomplish in 2017!

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