Tide-Tek offers numerous opportunities for Lengel students in STEM


Padraic Kerns

CREATE – Tide-Tek provides a variety of STEM opportunities for Lengel students. Pictured here are K’Nex roller coasters built by students.

Tide-Tek is an after-school club. Mr. Hughes is the teacher, as well as Mr. Selinko.  Anyone can join Tide-Tek. Usually there are 6th to 8th graders, but there are a few 5th graders. If you like STEM, you could consider joining Tide-Tek. 

You can learn to 3-D print and model, make K’Nex and Lego projects, run codes, animate, make robotics, use electronics, do fundamental carpentry, make digital movies, and record things. Also, as of 2022, it will go on a field trip at the end of the year. 

There are a variety of meetings. They are mostly from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm in room 111. In general club meetings, students come to do whatever they are working on or what they want to do. This is usually on the first Monday of a month. “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” meetings have the students continue to edit their video and ask questions. This is often held on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, “Pennsylvania Media and Design Competition” meetings occur. Participants continue to design, animate, or code whatever they are making. In “K’Nex STEM Design Challenge” meetings, the people keep building their K’Nex figures. There are also meetings for special events, for example, Trunk-or-Treat. 

There are three types of contests that are possible to participate and compete in. They occur at the middle and end of the school year. In “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing,” 8th graders create two-minute videos about a manufacturing company. The participating students learn about writing, marketing, interviewing, videoing, and communications skills. It is the first contest in the school year. People who get involved in “Pennsylvania Media and Design Competitions” are 6th to 8th graders and choose from 3-D design, Animation, Digital Movie, Logo and Graphic Design, Programming, and Web Page Design. After choosing, students will think of how they can make, code, or animate something that will solve a real-world problem. This is next after the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” contest. Finally, in “K’Nex STEM Design Challenges, 4th through 8th graders use K’Nex pieces to solve an engineering dilemma. The scoring system is based on the team’s creativity, teamwork, and success. This is the last in the school year. 

Tide-Tek has been involved in Trunk-or-Treat occasions, decorating cars and handing candy out. It also has DJed for DHH Lengel Middle School. The club picks up trash around the middle school on Earth Day. It continues to search for ways to help the community. Tide-Tek raises funds through fundraisers, as well as through community and school sponsors such as the Crimson Tide Foundation. Mr. Hughes is excited to take his 8th graders to Niagra Falls and other club members to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Adviser Mr. Hughes said, “I became a STEM teacher because I had experience with teaching computers, which fit into the technology portion of STEM. We created Tide-Tek because there were many students that were interested in doing STEM activities outside of STEM class.”

Adam Donya, 6th grade, said, “You get to do thousands of fun stuff. To be honest, when I first came, the things that the club was doing weren’t interesting to me. Luckily, I was able to do something I enjoyed. In particular, I liked the Pennsylvania Media and Design competition, Tinkercad, and Spheros.”

8th grader Jake Powers said, “It is my place. I like the videography.” 

These are the most important facts about Tide-Tek. After reading this, I hope you will join the club too! 

PRINT – Pictured here are two of the 3D printers available for student use in room 111. (Padraic Kerns)