HISD Students Pack Palo Alto College for Ingenium Engineering Fair

Harlandale ISD hosted its fourth annual Ingenium Engineering Fair at Palo Alto Community College on Dec. 18-19. This engineering fair provided students the opportunity to create projects based on the world around them and their special interests.

Both elementary and middle school competitors were encouraged to infuse their interests into this thematic competition designed to develop the critical thinking ability in students, as well as their ability to communicate their ideas to a panel of judges. Along with informational poster boards covered with research, statistics, and even scaled drawings, students were encouraged to create a model or prototype of their idea or solution to end their problem.

The first Ingenium Engineering Fair started in 2014, and was hosted simultaneously with the district’s Science Fair. Anthony Khosravi, GT/STEM Coordinator for Harlandale ISD, envisioned creating a competition where students could demonstrate their ideas and discoveries.

 “We wanted to give our GT students an opportunity to 'show off' their minds and ideas,” Khosravi said. “It’s beautiful how they think and question the world around them.”

Gifted and Talented Facilitators Charles Hernandez and Sonia Cuellar have helped orchestrate the fair since its first year. Along with the district’s GT teachers who are crucial to the fair’s success, Khosravi believes that an event like this requires everyone’s help.

“So many people are involved in the success of this event,” exclaimed Khosravi. “We have teachers who sacrifice so much of their own time to ensure that these projects get completed and that this event is pleasant for our students. The help of all the volunteers, parents, staff and especially administration that support our students is really tremendous and necessary!”

When students were not being judged, they would go through activities dealing with Snapology and recycling. Sea World, SAWS and the Boys and Girls Club were also there educating students in a fun and creative way.

Sea World gave a demonstration on certain wild life that they have in their park and showed the students different animal specimens. The Boys and Girls Club added a little holiday spirit to their activities and had the students create Christmas drawings with paper electronics!

“We want our kids to not only use their minds, but use their hands too,” Khosravi said. “We want them to build something, design something, so that in their future, they will always be able to not only discover a solution to a problem, but be skilled and motivated to put that solution into reality.”

Students were also able to have a tour of Palo Alto Community College. Fifth grade Gifted and Talented Teacher uanita Oropesa thought it was great that her students got to see what a college campus looks like.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about college, no matter what grade you are in,” Oropesa said. “I think it’s great for our students to get to see the ins and outs of a college campus and to see them get excited about their future!”

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