Project Description

TEAMS National Competition

Contact Teacher(s): Kimberly Grissinger, Nick Swartz, and Amy Mateer

14 went to a national competition, 54 competed in local competition

Dates: June 28-July 1

Project Results:

Our trip was a resounding success. The students did an amazing job in all three categories of the competition (essay, prepared presentation, and the build category).

Each team was commended for their effort and achievements in the competition.

The students had an amazing time and met students from all fifty states. They had a chance to visit and network with various colleges.

They competed and represented Palmyra School District well at a national level.

TEAMS Competition
TEAMS Competition

Unanticipated benefits or challenges encountered with this project:

The hands-on portion of the competition was especially challenging this year as the students had to build a working tower that could capture the most heat energy with the lowest cost.

It was great when our 9/10 group was chosen as one of the top 12 9/10 teams in the nation for their prepared presentation. The group was very excited and it motivated them to work hard in each competition.

Final Costs:

Final Trip was $1,400 of which $1,000 was covered by PAEF.

Student Reflections:


During the National TEAMS Competition this year, I learned more about technology and the uses of it, including ways to make traffic more efficient. Our project taught me about autonomous vehicles and that the future will one day be filled with various technological advances. In addition, our team worked well together and we all became closer friends. The presentation portion allowed me to practice my public speaking skills and taught me that the most important thing after making a mistake is the recovery. To add on, the entire competition required us to research and work together to accomplish various goals. I really enjoyed the competition and learning more about areas in STEM. My favorite part had to be when we found out that we made it to the top 12, the semi-final round. Our whole team was so excited and it was amazing that our hard work paid off. Even though we didn’t bring back any awards, we all had an incredible time in Georgia competing together and learning together.


The 2018 National Competition in Atlanta, GA was honestly a really fun learning experience for me. I was so excited when I got the invite to join the 9-10 Palmyra Stem Team for the competition. We definitely had a lot of fun along the way, but we also put a lot of effort into our project, video, and overall preparation for the competition. We were all so excited when we heard we were going to compete a second day, and that just made our team prepare even more. The competition itself was set up very well, the overall layout was very convenient and made everything easy to find. The prompt that was given to the teams was very interesting and it was a very good topic. Now, I will never forget about autonomous driving any time soon. I personally learned a lot, and if I could speak for my fellow teammates I would say they all definitely learned something too. Lastly, my favorite part of the competition was seeing how many teams participated. It was really cool to meet people from other states, and to go to Georgia in general. We all had a lot of fun at the competition and that makes us want to work harder to eventually go to another.


I had such a great time being part of the 2018 National Stem competition. I learned so much from the trip and met a lot of interesting people that I would have never been able to meet if I weren’t part of Stem. This group gave me so many opportunities that I really enjoyed. One of my favorite parts of the Stem competition in Georgia was when we were competing in the build competition. Even though we didn’t do as well as we hoped, we now know what to expect at competitions, and we learned that our minds work better together. However, I think the best part about the competition wasn’t the competition itself, but everything before it. I enjoyed working with my team on weekends leading up to the competition, and practicing our script the nights leading up to the competition. The experience of just being in the hotel and having the responsibilities of getting everyone together and ready for the day was very fun, too. I loved being part of the Nationals competition and I really hope I can experience it a second time. I not only gained experience in science, technology, engineering, and math, I also became more confident and made a great group of friends.


The Georgia STEM trip was an amazing opportunity.  It marked the culmination of our hard work and dedication this year and is something that I will always remember.  Perhaps one of my favorite parts was the competition itself.  There was a great energy created from going head to head with top schools around the country and seeing how we compared.  The problems were also challenging and engaging, enhancing my critical thinking skills and experience.  This trip will always serve as a mark of our achievement and as motivation to our success in years to come.