Tyrone Ag Ed Program Offers STEM AG Challenges


One of the groups sets up and gets ready to launch their catapult.

The Tyrone Area High School Agricultural Education Program recently began offering afterschool STEM AG Challenges for students enrolled in fifth through eighth grades. On Tuesday, January 21, the first challenge of building catapults was introduced to the participating students.

STEM AG Challenges involve forming teams of two or four students to accomplish the task of building a specific object to accomplish a goal at hand.

It was a fun experience watching what the kids could do themselves with just the little materials they were given”

— Junior Libby Buck

Students are given fifteen minutes to research the object before having thirty minutes to build the object out of the given materials. Following the construction of the object, the students test their creation and make modifications following the first test. After applying any modifications, a second trial is conducted. 

“It was very educational and I learned a lot while having a lot of fun,” said Dylan Ewing, a participant in the challenges.

For the first challenge, the students were given the task of building a catapult that could launch the small pieces of candy. Some of the materials provided included tongue dispensers, paint sticks, rubber bands, clothespins, and a small paper cup. 

“It was challenging but I had fun,” said Nora Hoy, also a participant in the challenges.

Multiple high school students in the agricultural education program assisted with the challenges as well. The high school students helped to guide groups with research using chrome books, extra hands for building, answering questions, and setting up different materials for the challenges.

“It was a fun experience watching what the kids could do themselves with just the little materials they were given,” said Libby Buck, a junior.

The STEM AG Challenges are open to any student in fifth through eighth grades, and the next challenge “Goldberg Machines” is set for Tuesday, January 28 in the high school AG room. The challenges begin at 3:00 pm and conclude at 4:15 pm. 

For more information contact: Tiffany Hoy, Tyrone Area FFA advisor at [email protected]