Whitfield Receives Award at STEM Student Forum

Whitfield Receives Award at STEM Student Forum

Whitfield’s team earned a $1,000 award at the 2022-2023 World Wide Technology (WWT) STEM Student Forum, an annual program that encourages high school juniors and seniors to consider careers within the industries of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The award will be used to support Whitfield’s STEM initiatives.

Whitfield student participants were Jacob Charmley ’23, Braeden Calhoun ’23, Kingsley Goodwin ’23, Audrey Long ’24, Abby Ressner ’23, Kate Rose ’25, Will Rose ’23, Stephen Roseberg ’23, JP Vestjens ’23, and Victoria Yang ’25. Computer Science Integration Specialist Andrew Asikainen and Director of Technology Lisa Barry Jenkins served as faculty sponsors.

This year, WWT STEM Student Forum teams were asked to consider how schools can use education and technology to create a more sustainable future. Types of sustainability include environmental, financial, and social.

“The students on our team believe that our school community is still feeling some negative effects of the pandemic in relation to connectivity across grade levels,”  said Computer Science Integration Specialist Andrew Asikainen. “Ultimately, they decided to explore ways to enhance the Conant Café experience for students and parent volunteers—social sustainability— and also examine the environmental and financial sustainability of the Café.” 

For their research, students conducted interviews with the school’s business office, parent volunteers who work in the Café, and with students who regularly purchase items. They explored alternatives to the current software used for ordering and purchasing in the Café, and after finding none, students decided to design and build a web-based mobile ordering application for the Café complete with front and back end features to accommodate the needs of users and the school’s business office. The app features an online menu and is user-friendly for both students and parent volunteers. 

“Even though we are not moving on to the next round in the WWT STEM Student Forum competition, our team wants to keep working on their concept and present their idea to the school’s administration for consideration,” said Mr. Asikainen. “They did a great job with this project and we are proud of their work and enthusiasm.”