STEM & STEAM
NJ Institute of Tech Hosts Young Scientists in STEM Competition
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A college has once again hosted a science competition for middle and high school students. The New Jersey Institute of Technology, which opened its first computer lab some 65 years ago, welcomed 700 students to participate in its annual New Jersey Science Olympiad. Participants competed in teams on 19 activities designed to test their STEM skills.
Among the contests for this year's games were:
"Boomilever," in which teams designed and built a device to support minimum load with the highest structural efficiency;
"Disease detective," where students used their investigative skills to study disease, injury, health and disability in groups of people;
"Machines," in which participants tackled a written test on simple and compound machine concepts and constructed a lever-based measuring device for determining the ratio between two masses; and
"Ornithology," to test students' knowledge of North American birds.
Topics also touched on geologic mapping, protein modeling, experimental design and knowledge of environmental practices for agriculture. Teams received coaching from their own science teachers and were supervised on their projects by the Institute's faculty, student volunteers and industry representatives.
Source: New Jersey Institute of Technology
The top three overall middle school finishers were teams from:
Al-Ghazaly Middle School
Glenfield Middle School; and
Montgomery Upper Middle School.
The top three overall high school finishers were teams from:
Hillsborough High School;
Milburn High School; and
Union County Vocational-Technical Schools.
This was the 14th year in which the Institute hosted a regional competition for "some of New Jersey's brightest middle school and high school students on campus to compete in scientific, technological and engineering challenges," said Suzanne Berliner Heyman, director for program operations and outreach at the Center for Pre-College Programs, which coordinates the Science Olympiad for the state. This year's event welcomed eight new eight new middle and high schools, competing for the first time.
In March, winning teams will go onto a state finals tournament.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.