Gables’ SECME: Bringing STEM Back to Life


Maria Odio

During Gables’ Club Fair, SECME displayed their past club shirt designs in hopes of attracting possible future members.

Maria Odio, Staff Writer

At Coral Gables Senior High, Cavaliers with an aptitude for the scientific and mathematical fields can expand their horizons and grow their passion by joining the Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics and Enrichment club.

SECME is Gables’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition club that allows students to participate at the local, state and national level. Students are given the choice to participate in various contests including building a mousetrap racecar, robotics or putting their knowledge to the test in the math and science Brain Bowls.

For the more artistically inclined students, there are competitions that involve designing a banner or creating a STEM-related video.

After a year of talking to one another via Zoom, the current and past board members finally got to meet each other in person at a socially distanced picnic at Tropical Park. (courtesy of Jennifer Urbina)

“I decided to join SECME last year because I realized I wanted to do something that involved STEM since I plan on majoring in engineering… This year I’m looking forward to competing for the first time since elementary and being the club’s secretary,” senior Jasming Senel said.

Meetings will take place on the second Tuesday of every month. At these meetings, activities will range from playing games to foster a sense of team bonding, practicing material for the Brain Bowls and designing water bottle rockets or mousetrap cars for competitions.

Members are also encouraged to suggest ideas for the club shirt. These shirts will be designed with the help of SECME’s board and voted on by the members themselves.

In past years, the SECME shirts have included designs that incorporate science puns such as “moment of science please”, or spelling out the club’s name with made-up formulas like “Se=c^2me”.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 SECME competitions were canceled. Despite these circumstances, the club pulled through and created its own in-class tournaments.

SECME’s Florida Power and Light water generator has won two years in a row at the District competition. (Maria Odio)

Instead of competing against other schools, the Cavaliers competed against one another in friendly math and science-related Kahoot games. Occasionally, they also used their drawing skills while playing Pictionary and participated in critical thinking games with one another online.

“When I first joined SECME, I would have never thought that I would present in front of a huge crowd of other students and in front of the judges, yet now I’m more comfortable with my public speaking skills. SECME is a club that you should experience once as it does not only help you expand your skills in STEM but also your interpersonal skills,” senior Jennifer Urbina said.

After a year of not competing, the Gables SECME is ready to welcome new members at its first meeting on Oct. 12. They plan to hit the ground running and begin helping incoming members choose their competitions.

“I have been the sponsor for SECME since 2014 and Gables has always been very involved in the SECME competitions and olympiads. COVID-19 took a small toll on the club but we are working on regaining momentum and taking SECME back to the level we had it at two years ago,” Ms. Phillips said.

For more information on the club visit SECME’s Instagram. To get updates on future meetings and events, join the club’s Remind by sending a text to 81010 with the message @secme2122.