Graw Innovation Center

Nine Upper and Two Middle School Teams Compete in National STEM Challenge!

The Graw Innovation Center buzzed with activity last Thursday, March 2nd as Severn School's Upper and Middle School students participated in the National TEAMS STEM Competition. Under the direction of Ms. Kelly Wilson, Ms. Minda Wesley, Ms. Chris Lepi, Ms. Mary Coutts, Ms. Whitney Etchison, and Ms. Maura Rudder, 61 Upper School and 18 Middle School students competed in the three-part competition focused on "Engineering the Environment."

The Challenge

  1. Essay – Each team researched and wrote an in-depth essay on a renewable resource from Maryland. They submitted these electronically prior to the competition date. 
  2. Multiple Choice – High school teams had 90 minutes to solve 80 multiple choice questions focused on 8 engineering scenarios related to Engineering the Environment. Middle school teams had 60 minutes to solve 40 multiple choice questions.
  3. Design/Build – Teams (both middle school and high school) had 75 minutes to complete the hands-on design challenge: to build a robotic arm that could lift a water bottle using simple materials like cardboard, duct tape, paper clips and rubber bands.
"This is an exciting national competition that our students have volunteered to participate in that fosters creative thinking, collaboration, problem-solving and building along with the fundamental skills of research and writing."

— Ms. Kelly Wilson

About the Graw Innovation Center

Severn School seeks to challenge the thinking of students and faculty and to provide a space for exploration and leadership opportunities. Innovative and entrepreneurial ideas don't just happen; they require work and persistence — failure is a part of the process. The TEAMS competition gave us the opportunity to put these ideas to the test using the full capacity of the Graw Innovation Center (GIC). Located on the lower level of the new Teel Academic Center with more than 4,000sf of space, the GIC  is divided into three collaborative spaces for thinking, designing and building. Our TEAMS competitors used every inch.

Check out the videos and photos below to see students build and test their robotic arms!
(Click here for more TEAMS videos)

Photos from the Event


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    • Upper School students construct their robotic arms for the competition.

Lower School

Preschool-Grade 5
Chesapeake Campus
1185 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Arnold, MD 21012

Middle/Upper School

Grade 6-12
Teel Campus
Severna Park, MD 21146