Google and the Kirkland Parks Foundation announced the winners of the KITE STEM Challenge at an awards ceremony on May 23. The winners — all Lake Washington School District schools — received a combined total of $41,500.
The KITE (Kirkland Interactive Technology Experience) STEM Challenge took place from April 23 through May 13, and was open to K-12 students in the Lake Washington School District. During that time, students earned entry points for their school by answering STEM-related questions via the KITE STEM app on their phones. As a way to encourage students to spend more time outdoors, those who answered questions while outside in a Kirkland park received additional entries.
“At Google, we believe in creating an environment where all students can engage with science and technology and have fun doing it,” said Darcy Nothnagle, Google’s Head of External Affairs for the Northwest. “We hope that this program helped students realize that STEM is for everyone, and see that just by participating they can make a positive impact on themselves and their schools.”
In total, approximately 3,000 students participated in the challenge, answering 300,000 STEM-related questions. Top participating students received individual prizes, including Pacific Science Center memberships, IMAX tickets, and other items. The money received by the winning schools will be used to increase STEM programming.
The KITE STEM Challenge winners:
- First place high school ($10,000): Redmond High School
- Second place high school ($5,000): Lake Washington High School
- Third place high school ($3,000): Tesla STEM High School
- First place middle school ($6,000): Kirkland Middle School
- Second place middle school ($3,000): Environmental and Adventure School
- Third place middle school ($2,000): Redmond Middle School
- First place elementary schools ($3,000 each): Kirk Elementary School and Thoreau Elementary School
Rep. Larry Springer, an Eastside resident and longtime Kirkland City Council Member, announced the KITE STEM award winners at the ceremony.
“As someone who began their career as an elementary school teacher, it’s exciting to see Google and the Kirkland Parks Foundation provide students in Kirkland with an opportunity to create a future in the world of STEM,” Springer said. “I look forward to seeing the programs that grow out of this challenge and the inspiration it fosters in students.”