Dream it. Do it. That’s exactly what Texas resident Ritvik Ramakrishnan did when he held a city-wide STEAM Fair a few months ago. This junior at Memorial High School in Frisco, TX worked in conjunction with Harsha Kolachina, a senior at Lone Star High School, to make this event a reality.
Ritvik says, “My friend Harsha and I moved to Frisco at the same time. There were things in the Northeast that we wish we had here.” One of those things were STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Technology) fairs. They put their heads together and decided to host a STEAM fair, which they did in February this year. Ritvik explains, “To execute this idea, Harsha and I recruited 16 people, including a social media team, sponsorship team, event outreach team, and volunteer coordinating team.” They acquired sponsors and also applied for an Ignite license. Best of all, this event was held exclusively by the students of Lone Star High School and Memorial High School. This innovative event was well attended by students from K-12 and was held at Lone Star High School. “It brought two schools (Lone Star and Memorial) together in one place for a common purpose,” explains Ritvik. He and Harsha put in 80 hours to make this event a success. Ritvik’s superintendent even made a video about the event, which can be seen as the following link:
Ritvik and Harsha also promoted the Ignite Frisco STEAM Fair at five local elementary schools at their morning meetings. They were invited by five principals to speak at their campuses. Flyers were also sent out to middle schools.
“We had over 1,000 people at our event,” says Ritvik. “We didn’t expect that much for our first year.” He hopes to make this an annual event in February.
The first half consisted of Ignite talks followed by STEAM talks, preceded by an opening speech by Harsha. Two guest speakers were present – one from the Frisco Arts Association and another from Discover STEM. Ritvik finished the fair with a closing speech.
Sponsors donated raffle prizes. Other sponsors donated water and cookies. Those in attendances learned all about STEAM through various booths. For instance, students made their own mosaics at one booth from One River. Other booths, such as the one from iCode, introduced students to robots as they watched the robots interact with one another. They saw how to build a robot and also maneuvered it. Others learned what components go into an iPhone, thanks to T-Mobile. Frisco Arts had lots of free giveaways and had an informational booth. Students also liked the Mathnasium booth, where they did a math puzzle and math games.
What’s next for Ritvik? He says, “I really want to make an impact on the community in whatever way that I can.” He envisions his future plans to be in the STEM field but always with a priority to give back to others.