Shaping Good Samaritans with The Entrepreneurs & Their Experience Biodegradable footwear. Affordable, bomb-proof housing. Insect repelling, essential oil-infused apparel. You might guess that these products are emerging from the latest Silicon Valley startups. But they all originate closer to home — in Philadelphia. These creations and many more were showcased at the inaugural 2019 STEM Expo at Pope John Paul II Regional Catholic Elementary School. The creators? Fifth through eighth grade students. The expo is supported by a partnership with ProjectEngin, which provides resources and guidance to teachers looking to incorporate more STEM-based activities into their lesson plans. For the expo, each group of four to five students chooses one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and a location where that goal has not yet been reached. Then as a team, they develop a product or process within real-world constraints to solve the problem. In addition to making a brochure, an engineering notebook that documents their design process, a prototype or model, and a trifold display, the groups need to rehearse a pitch of the benefits and utility of their solutions to attract potential investors—just like in Shark Tank. 20 Julianna Grant (5th grade) Sean Griffin (6th grade) SDG: Clean water and sanitation Solution: A cheap and simple water filtration system Biggest challenge: Time and resources. We worked as quickly as possible and eliminated distractions to finish. I’ll always remember: The expo itself. I enjoyed answering questions and seeing what others had done to help their countries. SDG: Sustainable cities and communities Solution: A round house that has a secret basement where people can seek shelter Biggest challenge: Building our product. But we never lost focus of the goal and eventually we succeeded. I’ll always remember: Taking charge of the group as the project manager. Nate Engel (7th grade) Keira Sherwin (8th grade) SDG: Good health and well being Solution: Prevent mosquitoes from attacking the people of Benin Biggest challenge: Finding a power source for our product. We chose solar power! I’ll always remember: The day we presented to the judges and learning how other countries aren’t as fortunate as us. SDG: Zero hunger Solution: A pulley system that carries fish to people in need Biggest challenge: Learning to work in a group and around our constraints. I’ll always remember: Winning 2nd place at the STEM fair in the 8th grade division!