First chartered in 2011, the SOAR 4-H Science Club has been an active club in a variety of national organizations and is recognized as one of the most dynamic clubs in the Houston ISD. Club affiliation include, Technology Student Association, 4-H, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Mexican American Engineering Society, and the National Society of High School Scholars. The following is a brief listing of the events that members participate in:
BEST Robotics is the first event of the year and introduces students to world of STEM. This event is sponsored by Texas Instruments and winning teams advance to a Regional competition in Arlington, TX for the championships. We did not qualify this year. This UIL program has several parts including the design of an information booth focused on the current year’s challenge. There are awards for spirit, performance and presentation.
SECME (South East Consortium for Minorities in Engineering) is supported by the University of Georgia and consists of 3 Regional events. These events include a National Essay Contest, National Water Rocket Contest, National Mousetrap Vehicle Contest. Our school has consistently sent teams to the national championships with travel to many southern state university venues. They also include events such as a bridge building, egg drop, jet car, VEX and LEGO and a banner contest.
FIRST TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE (FTC) is a series of robotics contests that poses a challenge for teams to master. The teams build metal robots and learn how to program the robots using coding. This is a UIL Robotics program. The teams compete in qualifiers and advance through league, regional and state contests. The state contest is in Austin and we have competed 3 times in this event. Team presentations are also a key factor in this contest.
4-H Club activities involve an incredible array of events that the members choose to work on. These events can include, cooking, fashion design, photography, robotics, insect collections, animal husbandry and agriculture. Project books are kept by the students on their works and those books are judged in the spring time for awards. Scholarships for outstanding students range from $5,000.00 to $20,000.00 through state competition.
The Technology Student Association (TSA) is another of our big events. This national program has events for students in a wide variety of workforce to STEM. Students work on projects and compete in a regional event during Engineer Week in February. Winning projects are then advanced to the State Contest in April.
Noche de Ciencias is an event held in conjunction with the TSA Region 41 Contest. This contest showcases student projects as they vie for advancement to the TSA State Contest. During this event, members may choose to take a state leadership test in order to qualify them to run for state offices at the state convention. The public is invited to visit the school and to look at the projects. Also, a program focused on FAFSA and club activities is hosted.
The National Fluid Power Action Challenge is an event limited to freshman students in groups of 4. These teams will create a device that is operated by fluid power supplied by compressed air moved through syringes. Prototypes to solve the challenge are designed, documented and prepared for the contest. On Challenge Day, the team must use only their notebook journals and completely build a device for the competition. The device is required to lift some blocks of wood and move the blocks to scoring areas in under 2 minutes.
Sea Perch is the last event of the year. This competition involves the design and construction of an underwater robot that is capable of solving a variety of underwater challenges for scoring. An important part of this competition is the presentation where the team members go before a panel of judges and relate their experiences with the engineering design process and other experiences.
Active student in the club take part in the leadership and mentor new members. Active members are also eligible to earn a letter jacket to recognize their accomplishments and activities after 2 years of membership. Members document their activities throughout their high school years and, as seniors, can qualify for scholarships over $1,000.00. Many graduating students received consideration and acceptance to out of state colleges and universities as a result of the STEM exposure received through this program.