Charter students win STEM challenge

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Charter students win STEM challengeRidgecrest Charter School STEM teacher Mackenzie Brewster is pictured with Mozzma and Shiza Chaudry and Suphani Reagles, who also participated in the “Wonder Park STEM Challenge” — Photo by Ian M. Terry

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Ridgecrest Cinemas partnered with Paramount Studios to promote the upcoming release of “Wonder Park,” while also offering local students an opportunity to couple their design sensibilities with their physics know-how.

Middle Schoolers from Murray, Monroe and Ridgecrest Charter School were invited to enter a contest for designing working models of amusement-park attractions.

“Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park, where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive,” said Kelly Walden, general manager of the local movie theater. “With this project, we encouraged kids to use their imaginations and bring their own amusement parks to life.”

With the help of Paramount, Ridgecrest Cinemas sent out teacher guides and lesson plans that could be used in conjunction with the contest.

Eight teams from the local schools submitted their entries, which were judged on March 8 by the STEM students of the award-winning Burroughs High School Robotics team.

The robotics team selected the “Rapid Waves,” built by Charter six-graders Jayden Bostick, Eelin Hawkins, Sherman Ruffin and Juan Moreno, as the winner.

“About 15 students dedicated themselves after school and at lunch to work on these projects,” said Charter STEM teacher MacKenzie Brewster.

Ridgecrest Cinemas Assistant Manager Amanda Diaz added that Charter came through with the most entries. The winning class will win admittance to a free screening of “Wonder Park.”

“This is the first time we’ve seen an opportunity like this from one of the big studios, but we would love to host more events like this,” said Diaz.

“Yes, we are a movie theater, but we also want to be a resource to the community. We had a great response from our schools, and I think the challenge turned out great.

“We will definitely be looking for more ideas about how to tie in these kinds of experiences with upcoming movies!”

Story First Published: 2019-03-15