2024 Ripken Foundation STEM Student Challenge

Jun 03, 2024

Launched in 2018, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation STEM Student Challenge provides Ripken Foundation STEM Centers with an opportunity to participate in a national competition that uses real-world problem prompts to encourage youth to apply science, technology, engineering, and mathBGC Alabama STEM skills and knowledge to develop innovative solutions; and to foster inquiry, self-discovery, and problem-solving skills. Teams from all Ripken Foundation STEM Centers in 23 states are encouraged to participate, but only a select number of groups from across the country present their solutions to a panel of judges.

The 2023-2024 STEM Student Challenge began October 23, 2023, with fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students tasked to imagine, design, and create an exciting, new amusement park attraction to increase ticket sales and entice more visitors, of all ages, to the park.

In the first round of the competition, the Ripken Foundation received 49 entries. After three rounds, the top three finalists: the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama-Athens from Athens, Alabama; R4 Creating, an afterschool organization from Rio Rancho, New Mexico; and Greenwood Intermediate School from Midland, TX were flown to Baltimore to celebrate their hard work and present their final projects to a panel of judges.

BGC AlabamaA big congratulations to the 2023-2024 Ripken Foundation STEM Student Challenge winner, Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama from Athens, Alabama who won $5,000 as their first-place prize. Their attraction called “Into the Deep,” centered around the layers of the ocean. They used lights of varying brightness and 3D printed animals to showcase the differences between each ocean layer.

The 2023–2024 STEM Student Challenge showcased the ingenuity and technical skills of young students, particularly highlighting the winning team's creative approach to combining STEM education with an engaging amusement park attraction theme. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation would like to thank our wonderful sponsors, Devon Energy, the ExxonMobil Foundation, Worthington Direct, DP Solutions, and Southwest Airlines, for making the 2023-2024 Ripken Foundation STEM Challenge possible.