STEM Students to Compete at Purdue

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The team from Benton Central Junior-Senior High School in Oxford won the national contest last year. The team from Benton Central Junior-Senior High School in Oxford won the national contest last year.

A contest that aims to develop interest in the world of STEM among young students will hold its Midwest regional at Purdue University this weekend. The Phoenix Contact Nanoline Contest focuses on students working in teams to build a working automation system.

Eight teams from seven middle and high schools, six from Indiana and one from Ohio, will compete in the Midwest regional. The teams are meant to build the automation systems using a Nanoline controller, related electronic components and nanoNavigator software. The controller and software were developed by Pennsylvania-based Phoenix Contact USA.

"The Phoenix Contact Nanoline Contest is a great way to spark interest in and enthusiasm for STEM, particularly logical thinking, computer programming and automation," said Purdue Professor Alka Harriger. "It's a great way to respond to President Barack Obama's call to action to teach children programming."

Teams were provided with tool kits and gift cards to help with the cost of additional materials for the projects.

The qualifying team from the Midwest regional will move on to the national contest February 20 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The winners will earn a trip to Orlando, Florida.

The team that won the national event last year came from Benton Central Junior-Senior High School in Oxford. The team won with a fully automated T-shirt cannon. Two teams from the school will compete again this year.

You can view a video of last year's winning project below:

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