June 30, 2020
Emerson and Spartan Controls recently announced the winners of their inaugural virtual STEM competition, which was designed to foster creativity and ingenuity in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for children currently learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event took place over several weeks and featured submissions from nearly 30 applicants, ranging from six to 17 years of age. As an Emerson Impact Partner, Spartan Controls serves as an exclusive sales channel for many Emerson brands.
“We recognize many families are adjusting to at-home learning right now, and we wanted to do our part to help keep children actively engaged with STEM-related topics,” said Ryan Garrah, president of Emerson Canada. “Through the virtual competition, we encouraged kids of all ages to tap into their critical thinking skills and use their imagination to solve something meaningful to them, all while staying safe in their homes.”
As part of Emerson’s “We Love STEM” campaign – a longstanding initiative to inspire young people to pursue opportunities in STEM – participants were tasked with developing thoughtful solutions under one of two project themes: Automate & Transform and Conquer COVID-19. Through these two categories, applicants submitted proposals that included their own innovative solutions for challenges facing their communities, such as tackling safe physical distancing at schools, improving food security and transforming everyday tasks.
In addition to Garrah, judges included 11-year-old inventor Sophia Fairweather, founder of StartUpBySophia.com; Grant Wilde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spartan Controls; and Bill Rosehart, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary.
Throughout the design and development process, student volunteers from the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary were available as mentors, providing support and feedback as applicants built their submissions.
“The students at Schulich were incredibly eager to lend their leadership and expertise to mentor the children as they developed their ideas,” Wilde said. “As young visionaries themselves, I believe they saw the project as a great way to give back to the next generation of innovators, in addition to highlighting the many opportunities made possible through STEM.”
Submissions were reviewed by the judging panel, with the top five finalists from each category selected to present their project via live video. Winners and a description of their respective submissions are included as follows:
First Place (Age 6-9)
Kaiden and Caleb Manji, Calgary
Second Place (Age 6-9)
Katelyn James, Calgary
How to Make Handwashing Fun
Third Place (Age 6-9)
Aarav Pandhare, Calgary
First Place (Age 10-17)
Avani and Rheeya Sidhu, Calgary
Second Place (Age 10-17)
Sara, Emma and Jacob Durant, Calgary
Third Place (Age 10-17)
Prateek Shreyas, Calgary
Sterilizing N95 Masks with Electrolysis
Launched in 2015, Emerson’s “We Love STEM” campaign seeks to empower the next generation of engineers by connecting science to technological advances and modern conveniences. Organized by Emerson employees locally, dozens of We Love STEM events have been held around the world to reach thousands of young students.