Weather Forecast


STEM All Stars named

Karla Simonis, who represents the Bismarck Larks STEM All Star Team, awards All Star certificates to, at left, Rebecca Heidt, and Agatha Benedicto at Dickinson High School on April 26. (Linda Sailer/The Dickinson Press)

Two students from Dickinson High School  -- Agatha Benedicto and Rebecca Heidt -- have been named to the Bismarck Larks STEM All Star Team.  Karla Simonis represented the Bismarck Larks on April 26 in surprising the students at DHS with certificates and prizes.

The Larks teamed up with MDU Resources and Gateway to Science to bring STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) to the baseball field, she said.

“Two students from Dickinson out of the 12  were chosen -- and that’s a very, very big deal,” she said. “Out of the 12 STEM All Stars, Agatha was selected as one of five Super Stars.”

The winners were selected from a pool of teacher-nominated students who exhibited hard work, dedication and commitment to using STEM to serve their school and community.

Benedicto and Heidt are both sophomores and members of the Dickinson Science Club. The advisors are Dena Venneman and Elisa Kensinger.

As part of Science Club, the girls competed this year in both Science Olympiad and Science Fair. They have volunteered numerous hours representing the DHS Science Club at community outreach events in elementary schools, Dickinson State events and Parks and Recreation, said Kensinger.

“Both experiences have required the girls to go above and beyond the classroom to learn new skills and concepts,” she said.

They learned 3D modeling, using AutoCAD and Google Sketch Up for this year’s Science Fair project. They learned the programs during study halls and off periods with the help of drafting instructor Maggie Lehman.

“Once they completed the 3D file of a scale replica of a wind turbine, they were able to be the first students to use the school’s 3D printer for a school-associated project,” she said.

The high school received the 3D printer through a Dickinson Public Schools Foundation grant last year.

For Science Olympiad, both girls designed and constructed a balsa wood tower and a mousetrap vehicle.

“The reason why I nominated these girls for the Bismarck Larks STEM All Star Team is because these girls have never backed down from a science-related challenge,” Kensinger said. “They are innovate in their approach to design and committed to seeing projects through completion. They are a dynamic duo within our Science Club.”

The STEM All Star program allows teachers to recognize students who are All Stars in the classroom.

“Agatha and Rebecca have put countless hours of study and preparation for the Dickinson Science Club,” Kensinger. said. “This opportunity rewards their hard work. The community of Dickinson has produced many STEM All Stars over the years, and I am just grateful to the Bismarck Larks for helping me acknowledge them. Maybe this recognition will inspire some of the younger students in our district to become STEM All Stars, too.”

The club will conclude the year by  presenting mini-lessons at Roosevelt and will judge the Science Fair at Prairie Rose.

Agatha said science is her second favorite subject behind math.

Rebecca added, “You can do a lot of things that are cool in science…. I’m going to help judge the Science Fair.”

Each All-Star receives a one-day contract with the Larks, a jersey, four Larks tickets to a game, a private meet & greet with the team, on-field recognition, the opportunity to throw out the first pitch, and a Gateway to Science one-year student membership. In addition, the Super Stars receive their name on back of their jersey, they may display a STEM project at the STEM Expo and may produce their own radio ad leading up to their special game.