A T3 club debuts in Kotzebue

October 6, 2023

Kotzebue students engage in the Marshmallow Challenge.
Photo by George Reising/ACEP
Kotzebue students engage in the Marshmallow Challenge.

“On your mark, get set, GROW!”

Over 120 high school students from Kotzebue heard those words recently as staff from UAF and the Teaching Through Technology program came to town to launch the Kotzebue T3 Club.

Students were introduced to the T3 program, learned about growth mindset and practiced with a team building activity. They were then invited to the Saturday STEAMfest, an all-day intensive workshop that engages students new to the program in a variety of technologies.

The team building activity included the Marshmallow Challenge, a design challenge that requires quick collaboration, creativity and engineering principles with the goal to see how high a team could raise a marshmallow. They were allowed to only use 20 strands of spaghetti, a meter of tape and a meter of string to achieve the goal. This challenge gave the students a taste of what T3 is all about. 

Nine motivated students attended STEAMfest early Saturday morning. They unboxed and set up a Bambu 3D printer. They impressed the staff by building their own robots (brushbots) and Raspberry Pi computer boxes without instructions by lunchtime. They continued the day learning coding with NodeRed and exploring curriculum that was provided by Haleigh Reed from the Renewable Energy Alaska Project.

With an additional student participating, the group continued their learning on Sunday afternoon by 3D printing objects, flying drones and creating a fun atmosphere.

The first Kotzebue T3 Club meeting, after the initial launch, was held on Sept. 20 at the Alaska Technical Center under the coaching of ATC instructor Merle Green. Several students showed up to the meeting to continue to work on the activities that they started over the STEAMfest and had the opportunity to hear from Ajit Subramaniam, a marine biologist from Columbia University, who is using a RPi to study plankton in the Arctic.

The Kotzebue T3 Club will continue to recruit new members throughout the year and work on a variety of curricula, relevant projects and problems facing the community. Students specifically interested in all things energy have been invited to the T3 Energy Club and the fall Energy Club event hosted in Anchorage Oct. 20-23.

For more information about the Kotzebue T3 Club, contact George Reising, gbskrabareising@alaska.edu.