Daisy Garcia -Montoya 
Education Reporter

Students, staff and community members filled the Grand Plaza at Union Station on Friday, March 1st as they participated and attended Frontier School’s annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Fest. 

The one-day festival serves as an annual science fair for Frontier School students of all grade levels to showcase science projects for students and community members to view. The event is admission free and open to the general public to attend. 

This year, the total number of  projects and exhibits reached over 300, an increase from last year. Projects and exhibits varied from solar system displays, robotics, volcanoes as well as a featured art corner.

Students said that the festival gave them the opportunity to meet new people and teach others more about science.

Juniors Abdikani Ali and Jovanny Martinez said they worked three weeks in preparing for their exhibit that included foam board structures and self portraits from other students.

“The sculptures are supposed to give you the feeling of ascending and descending, so that means that sculptures are meant to go up or down. So when you look at it, it gives you the feeling of a rising or falling action,” Ali said. “We made repeated shapes to provide a visual of descending or ascending. This can be used in real life too by architects,” said Martinez.

Although Ali and Martinez have been student exhibitors before, they said that having this experience allows them to show others the project they have been working on while getting the opportunity to talk to new people every year.

Nasir Yusuf, a Frontier senior, presented research on chromatography and showcased how colors can be separated from each other as well as how the colors are made. Yusuf said that the projects allow them to show parts of their personality and their own interests while still teaching about science as well as preparing her for post-high school plans.

“I’m not really good at talking to people but it’s like coming out of my shell. This is definitely a way to get ready, especially with English as my second language. Talking to people now will help me a lot because in college you do presentations so this helps me practice,” Yusuf said. 

Beyond current students and staff members in the crowd, former students were also in attendance as they made their way around, exploring various science themes.

Alumni Nabil Abas says that he enjoys taking time to attend the festival every year. “They do such a great job at promoting interest and engagement in the STEM fields in today’s society while showing us why Frontier Schools is a premier charter school option in our city. This event does that at the same time,” Abas said. “As an alum, attending STEM Fest has been meaningful to me because it brings us together in a shared space while offering us opportunities to celebrate the school’s commitment to STEM education and the accomplishments of its students.” 

Assistant School Counselor Ashley Martinez says that the festival gives students the opportunity to show their talents and knowledge that they have been obtaining throughout the school year while learning social skills while showcasing their projects. 

“Students work from day one on these projects. We have students staying after school and even coming in Saturday mornings to work on their projects. So seeing all these people interested in their projects means so much to them,” Martinez said. “The facial reactions they have as someone approaches their project tells you how hard they have worked on their project and the eagerness they have to tell you about it.”

The festival concluded after two hours with visitors from around the Kansas City metro and is expected to come back in Spring 2025.