Two Richland HS Students Take First at State STEM Competition

GALLERY | Nine other North Texas students received awards at the competition in which they tackled math, science, and engineering tasks.

STEM students

Students from North Texas worked to solve engineering challenges designed by Raytheon in the recent State STEM Competition.

The annual STEM competition is coordinated by the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering. The April 28 event marked 33 years for the contest, which was sponsored by Raytheon and the YMCA Collin County Adventure Camp in Anna.

Students solved timed math and science problems before getting into teams to work on practical engineering challenges designed by Raytheon engineers from McKinney. One challenge tasked students with figuring out how to diffuse a laser beam. Raytheon employees also supported students during the competition.

Tenth grader Robert B. Taylor from Richland High School won first place in both science and math. Tin Ha, also from Richland, placed first with his team in the engineering design challenge and fourth in math. 

Twenty-eight students from the TAME Dallas Chapter competed at this year’s event. Nine received awards including:

Brisa Diaz from Generation Hope won the TAME Outstanding Senior Award. Diaz currently attends Everman Joe C. Bean High School and plans to study aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington in the fall.

Also from Generation Hope were Andrew Culbertson, who won sixth place in sixth grade math, and Joshua Velasquez, who placed fourth in eighth grade math and fifth in eighth grade science.

From the Lancaster High School Engineer Robotics Club, Dewitt Hunter received third place in 11th grade math.

Dallas ISD’s Science & Engineering Magnet High School at Townview Cener had three students place: Caleb Simmons, sixth place in ninth grade math; Carlos Medrano, fourth place in 10th grade math and fifth place in 10th grade science; and D’Juan Taylor, who won the Judges’ Choice Award for Teamwork in the Engineering Design Challenge.

Priya Mandava from Tarrant County College’s program won second in 10th grade math. Sixth grader Joaquin Eduardo from Watauga Middle School, received fourth place in math.


Photos courtesy of Raytheon. 

Raytheon employees provided support for students during the engineering design challenge.

Students work through the engineering design challenge.

Competing students used every day items to focus and diffuse a laser beam during the engineering design challenge segment of the competition.

Brisa Diaz, senior at Joe C. Bean High School in Everman, earned the TAME Outstanding Senior Award.

Raytheon executive and former astronaut Robert Curbeam had students asking questions about space travel and life on the International Space Station.

Raytheon engineer and TAME Board Member Aaron Maestas addressed the students competing in the TAME State Competition in Anna. Based at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems headquarters in McKinney, Aaron led development of the engineering design challenge.

In his morning address to students, State Senator Van Taylor highlighted the importance of STEM education at both an individual and a community level.

Tin Ha (second from right) a junior at Richland High School, helped his team win the first place blue ribbon in the engineering design challenge.

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