STEM Takes Root

Yearly Celebration of the Scientific Method Brings Joy and Medals to Young Experimenters


Mr. Pierog looks over Roy’s science fair project. Photo by Jade Lee.

Michelle Kim, Jade Lee, and Alyssa Chang

Agnew juggles to demonstrate her project. Photo by Jade Lee.

The DIS STEM fair was a surefire success. The event took place on November 5th: there were over 75 participants in middle and high school and a great turnout by in-school visitors. In the crowd, there were judges of all demographics: 11th and 12th graders, school staff, and teachers. The contest’s participants did intense, hands-on research in the fields of Psychology/Sociology, Physics/Astronomy, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Computer/Engineering, and finally, Mathematics.

In the past years, DIS had parent judges looking over students’ projects. This year, COVID safety practices handed the responsibility off to student judges, instead of parent volunteers. As it’s the first year that high schoolers have spent as official judges, these new appraisers reported enjoying the participants’ projects and their different perspectives on scientific problems. 

Lisa, an 11th grader, was one of many student judges in this year’s STEM Fair as well as a contestant in the Physics & Astronomy category. She remarked that judging was an amazing opportunity because she was able to explore the unique, creative projects by middle and high school students. Lisa also added: “I got a huge impression from the psychology ones. [Psychology] is a complicated topic to investigate. However, I could see so many projects that were appealing.” 

Junior Ricky explains his project to Ms. Lualhati as she listens attentively. Photo by Jade Lee.

On the other hand, contestants reported loving the experiences the STEM Fair taught them. Seventh-grader Jio, a winner in the Biology category, basked in her win. “The sense of victory is really sweet because I devoted a lot of time to my project,” she said. Jio was inspired by her everyday life while choosing her topic, noticing the significance of Science in her daily routine. The toothbrush-cleaning machine in her house motivated her to investigate her topic – testing if UV rays actually have an effect on killing the germs on moldy bread. 

At this year’s STEM Fair, DIS students worked hard on their projects, showing devotion to the scientific process. Despite the difficulty of putting together a high-level science project, students overcame obstacles by putting in the necessary effort. The winners found their hard work rewarded with the 3D-printed STEM Fair trophy – design courtesy of Mr. Gum’s 7th Grade Fabrications class.

Finally, let’s congratulate the incredible winners of the STEM Fair!


Middle School Winners:

1st Place: Jimin, Psychology/Sociology

2nd Place: Solah and Allie, Psychology/Sociology


1st Place, Mary: Physics/Astronomy

2nd Place, Jayden: Physics/Astronomy


1st Place, CJ: Environmental/Plant Science

2nd Place, Kaylie: Environmental/Plant Science 


1st Place, Lydia: Chemistry

2nd Place: Leewen, Chemistry


1st Place: Sophie, Biology

2nd Place: Jio, Biology 


1st Place: Jason, Computer Science

 2nd Place: Yujun, Computer Science


High School Winners:

1st Place: Eugene and Ethan, Psychology/Sociology

 2nd Place: Ella and Chaewon, Psychology/Sociology


1st Place: Minchae and Elizabeth, Physics/Astronomy

2nd Place: Lisa, Physics/Astronomy


1st Place, Andrew: Environmental/Plant Science

2nd Place, Jin: Environmental/Plant Science


1st Place: Isabella and Jessica, Chemistry

2nd Place: Hailey and Grace, Chemistry


1st Place: Serena, Biology

 2nd Place: Louie, Biology


1st Place: Ricky, Computer Science/Engineering

1st Place: Tommy, Mathematics

2nd Place: Anna and Sarah, Mathematics