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Bullis Girls Tackle Climate Change in STEM Competition

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Bullis Girls Tackle Climate Change in STEM Competition
All-Girls STEM Competition

On February 25, seven Bullis students joined 109 girls from 14 schools in the DMV area to compete in Foxcroft's 12th Annual STEM Challenge in Middleburg, VA.

Our girls were divided into two teams:

  • Team A: Skylar A. '24, Laverna Y. '24, Ashley H. '24, and Julia Z. '23
  • Team B: Jiselle J. '24, Victoria D. '24, and Victoria M. '23

Teams worked through five unique challenges in biology, chemistry, physics, coding, and mathematics revolving around this year's "Be Green" theme.

In the Biology Lab, "Pollinator Paradise" had teams imagine a world where Milkweed was extinct and then construct an ideal alternative for pollinators.

In the Chemistry Lab at the "Turning the Tide on Sea Level Rise" challenge, competitors investigated the cause of sea level rise in two mini-experiments. Students analyzed data on sea level rise temporally (in time) and geographically (in space). Finally, the competitors observed the impact of sea level rise on different types of shorelines and engineered their own shorelines based on their observations.

In the "It's Not Easy Being Green" event, students had to harness the power of the wind to complete two tasks. First, they had to build a wind turbine to power a light that would alert the scientific community of the dangers of climate change. Next, they had to create a vehicle that could travel using wind power. These "sail cars" raced across the floor of the Dance Studio, and the winner was the team whose car traveled the furthest.

In the math-coding challenge "Recycling Robots," participants programmed a human robot to navigate a maze and collect eco-friendly materials while avoiding non-recyclables! Teams were exposed to algorithmic thinking and collaborative coding to write the most efficient program and find the optimal routes for their human robots.

The engineering challenge, "Drop it Like it's Hot," involved students evaluating blueprints of a device that separated cans and bottles.

Bullis Girls in STEM

Team B: Victoria D. and Jiselle J. (Victoria M. not pictured).

Team B won the overall 1st Place in the high school division competition and received a solar-powered robot kit and unique medals designed and fabricated by Foxcroft STEM students. Our girls also placed top three in all five stations.

  1. Biology - Team A (2nd Place)
  2. Chemistry - Team A (2nd Place)
  3. Physics - Team B (3rd Place)
  4. Coding - Team B (2nd Place)
  5. Mathematics - Team A (2nd Place)

Some of our girls opted in for a panel where female engineers at Stryker, a biomedical engineering company, discussed their positions and education, and provided advice for those interested in the field.

Throughout the competition, Ms. Rachael DeLawder, Upper School Science Teacher, received numerous compliments from faculty regarding the positive behavior and teamwork displayed amongst our students both last year and this year.

Bullis School is now back-to-back champions at this event. We are so proud of our girls for not only winning but for how wonderful they were throughout the entire competition. Congratulations!