Middlebrook creates club for ‘engineering-minded’ students

Last April, Middlebrook School formed a club for students interested in exploring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) beyond the classroom curriculum. It’s called the Wilton I-STEM Club.

The student-run club meets from 3:15 to 4:15 on Thursdays and Tuesdays at Middlebrook, and its mission is to help turn students’ ideas into reality and “show them to the world,” according to the club’s website.

“Right now there are about a dozen members,” said Adam Shopis, i-STEM teacher and the club’s adviser. “At its peak last year, 40 students were attending.”

According to a slideshow created by club members that was presented at the Board of Education’s Jan. 7 meeting, club activities include:

  • Exploring programming languages.

  • Assembling and modifying computer hardware.

  • Disassembling and analyzing mobile device components.

  • Expanding upon robotics.

  • Proposing projects.

This year, Shopis said, the club’s project lineup includes LEGO models, computer disassembly, operating system experiments and ping pong ball launcher experiments.

Club members participate in the district’s annual TechNext conference, formerly called TechExpo, which exhibits technology used by Wilton public school students. This year’s conference will take place March 21, from 3 to 5, and March 22, from 5 to 8, in the Wilton High School Little Theater.

The club plans to also participate in this year's Middlebrook Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 2, as well as the FIRST LEGO League, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow and Microsoft Imagine Cup.

The FIRST LEGO League is an event where teams of fourth through eighth graders research a real-world problem and are challenged to develop a solution by designing, building and programming a robot using LEGO Mindstorms, with which they then compete on a table-top playing field. Click here to learn more about the FIRST LEGO League.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a nationwide education contest that gives schools the opportunity to raise students’ interest in STEM subjects by awarding them with a share of more than $2 million in technology products. Click here to learn more about Samsung Solve for Tomorrow.

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is a global student technology program and competition that “provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrate solutions that can change the way we live, work and play,” according to the program’s website. Click here to learn more about the Microsoft Imagine Cup.

For more information about the Wilton I-STEM Club, call 203-609-4719 or visit wiltonistemclub.com.