To say that the 2nd Annual iSTEAM Expo at Fordham Prep was a wild ride through technological wonder would be an understatement.
Over 100 guests had the opportunity to learn about the Prep’s iSTEAM happenings from clubs and courses such as Cybersecurity, Robotics, Aviation, eSports, Computer Science, Sports Analytics, and more. Exhibits included a robotics pit, a 3D printer in action (printing the face of Ryan Irving ‘23), a presentation on Walter Berry’s basketball stats, a Bluetooth-powered rotary phone station, two flight simulators, and an eSports arena, to name a few.
“Your innovative enthusiasm and passion for robotics, cybersecurity, coding, eSports, aeronautics, and so many other areas of our iSTEAM program is an inspiration to us old timers,” Principal Joseph Petriello, PhD ‘98 expressed candidly after the ChatGPT written portion of his speech. He then thanked Jimmy ‘23 for bringing back childhood memories with the sound of the rotary dial phone.
Computer Science teacher and Assistant Director of Technical Operations Danielli Antoniou converses with Jimmy ‘23 over a Bluetooth-powered rotary dial phone.
Raymond Gonzalez, EdD spoke about the Sports Analytics Club’s effects on his recent experiences as a spectator of sports.
“Why was I thinking in terms of runners in scoring, position whips and all these other stats that I didn't care about two years ago? Because my students have become my teachers,” he stated.
Gonzalez gave the floor to Harvard-bound Sports Analytics Club President Onyinye ‘23, who talked about his love for Sports Analytics. “The project is really enjoyable, even through all the stress that it brings. Sometimes we stay in our classroom for over an hour after school just bringing ourselves to exhaustion, putting together the slides for our portfolio or metric stats and everything, but we do it for the love of the game,” he explained.
He also reflected on the club’s trip to Barclay’s Center in March, where they got to meet their data partners (NBA analyst Kelsey McDonald and Dr. David Rosenthal from St. John’s University) as well as Buck Williams, the subject of their 2022 project. “When I saw him my jaw dropped. He's so tall!” Onyinye said as the crowd laughed.
The Sports Analytics Club presented their data on basketball player Walter Berry during the iSTEAM Expo.
New chair of the Computer Science Department Thomas Noone gave a brief talk on developments in robotics, the first year of the Prep’s new iSTEAM courses (Cybersecurity and Computer Science A), and the accomplishments of several student-founded clubs. This was Noone’s first iSTEAM Expo.
He also gave an exciting update on eSports. “Our Fordham Prep eSports team has just begun competing in the newly formed CHSAA League for eSports. They actually had a match this afternoon and they won so that was great,” he stated.
Guests battle it out with eSports Club member Stephen ‘23 in Super Smash Bros during the 2nd Annual iSTEAM Expo on May 4, 2023.
He segued to introduce the next student speaker, Robotics Club member and Computer Science Club founder Chimdindu ‘23.
“Four years ago, when I first came to the Prep, I knew even then I wanted to do something with computer science,” he stated. “Using my free time freshman year, I took many online courses and watched videos by the dozen on topics ranging from data science to web development. In the Computer Science Club, I taught much of what I knew to its club members, and as I like to say, as I taught, I was also learning,” he continued. He went on to note that the new Computer Science class with Danielli Antoniou inspired him to choose software engineering as his college major.
Robotics Club members go head to head on the basketball obstacle course.
Mehr ‘23 closed with John Haag’s Science Prayer in English and then in Punjabi. “In English,” he explained, “what this means is ‘We seek your blessing and pray for your guidance to channel our efforts so that your creative work benefits all of humanity’.”
Mehr ‘23 and Gabriel ‘26 cook an egg on the bed of a 3D printer at the iSTEAM Expo.
After dinner, members of the Prep’s 3D Printing Club, FP3D, made a little snack using heat from the bed of their 3D printer. Mehr bravely tasted the egg after Gabriel finished cooking it over hard. The effort received a thumbs-up from Mehr.
Here’s to next year’s iSTEAM Expo!
Students pose for a group photo at the 2nd Annual iSTEAM Expo.
Read more about the 2nd Annual iSTEAM Expo and learn about the program at fordhamprep.org/isteam.