Rosenwald students storm Citadel for February’s STEM competition

Two dozen students from Rosenwald Elementary and Middle School (REMS) “Stormed the Citadel” in February for some friendly, engaging STEM-focused competition.

The Citadel’s School of Engineering and the STEM Center in Charleston hosted the events. Rosenwald joined other K-12 students from South Carolina for the competitions, which featured trebuchet building, bridge building, water bottle rocket challenges and robotics challenges.  

REMS Principal Kim Mason said the school’s Math and Science Interventionist, Dr. Raymond Anacaya, helped guide the students to compete. 

“The Storm the Citadel event was one of several that Dr. Anacaya found as he searched for opportunities for our students,” Mason said. “I am so proud of my teachers and students for pushing themselves into this new territory of STEAM/STEM competition. It was a joy to see the wonderment in the students’ eyes and the wheels of learning turning in their heads.” 

Through the Project Lead The Way curriculum, REMS students are becoming immersed in logical thinking along with engineering process and design. Most REMS grades attend two, 50-minute STEAM Lab classes taught by Anacaya. For the competition, participating students spent days during and after school understanding the trebuchet and bridges competition guidelines. Some students built their devices at home with parental support, and others worked with their coaches at school. 

“Intending to advance our students in the field of STEAM and turn our school into a STEAM Immersion School, it was exciting for me to come across an opportunity for our students to hone their skills and critical thinking through competing under The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence,” Anacaya said. “We are actively looking for applications to use our engineering practices, mathematical reasoning, and our problem-solving skills, especially in teams. Storm the Citadel offered the perfect opportunity for our students.”

Three Rosenwald Elementary teams – sporting team names the Brave Eagles, the Smart Eagles, and the Soaring Eagles – built trebuchets and focused on precision in order to launch and land a rubber ball in a target area.

Rosenwald Middle students built bridges out of just wooden sticks and glue. The bridges of students Erin Douglas and Malik Harris withstood a whopping 78 and 70 pounds of pressure, respectively. Next time around, the school is aiming for bridges to withstand more than 100 pounds.

In total, 16 elementary students and seven middle school students traveled to the competition.   

The Citadel STEM Center’s mission is to promote interest and understanding of the STEM fields by employing research-based best practices to ensure all students are prepared to succeed in the 21st century workforce, according to the Center’s website.


Author: Stephan Drew

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