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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More photos from the TransOptions Hydrogen-Powered Model Car Challenge, 2014

Written by Barbara Rybolt

NEW PROVIDENCE — The winners of the TransOptions Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge were announced both at the meet and by email Thursday.

Awards were presented to the winners at the conclusion of the races in the categories of speed, progress journal, craftsmanship and engineering. The top winners were members of Team Quick Silver from Union County Magnet High School. See a video of the winning team talking about their win here.

The winners were:


1st Place – “Quick Silver” – Union County Magnet High School – Yuji Sujimoto, Sarah DiIorio, Kristianna Elbert and Chris Yang

2nd Place – “Turbo” – High Point Regional High School – Andrew Elzinga, Hunter Attanasio, Carlo Gulotta and Jason Gaccione

3rd Place – “R.C.” - Piscataway High School – Justin Wanzie, Austin Theofanides, Kim Sarza and Jacob Vitalicio

Progress Journal

1st Place – “HyDrive” – Union County Magnet High School – Adel Setoodehnia, Benjamin Liang, Daniel Pattathil and Ethan Cheung.

2nd Place – “Aqua Kart” – Piscataway High School – Henry Rodriguez, David Skup and Sean Daly

3rd Place – “R.C.” – Piscataway High School - Justin Wanzie, Austin Theofanides, Kim Sarza and Jacob Vitalicio


1st Place – “Quick Silver” – Union County Magnet High School - Yuji Sujimoto, Sarah DiIorio, Kristianna Elbert and Chris Yang

2nd Place – “Hydro-Lancer 1” – Livingston High School – Julian Sowa, Aditya Bhamidpati, Forrest Song and Eddie Mina

3rd Place – “Heat Miser” – Newton High School – Michael Vitiello, Bobby Koontz, Bradley Carnegie and Brian Hoskins


1st Place – “Quick Silver” – Union County Magnet High School - Yuji Sujimoto, Sarah DiIorio, Kristianna Elbert and Chris Yang

2nd Place – “Frostbite” – Newton High School – Robert Borgognoni, James Dellagiacoma, Steve Sherwood and Lance Fischer

3rd Place – “Jersey Strong” – Morris County School of Technology – Jason Caprioni, Anne Jacobs and Cynthia Cypoletti

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning came to life for more than 145 high school students who participated in TransOptions’ Hydrogen Fuel Cell (H2) Model Car Challenge, powered by Linde, on Dec. 17 at New Providence High School, on New Providence.

The 8th annual H2 Challenge was hosted by TransOptions, the Transportation Management Association for northwestern New Jersey, to promote technology in education and foster student interest in STEM learning. The Challenge was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Energy for their annual National Science Bowl competition.

“Hosting the Challenge is part of our ongoing commitment to support environmental education and inspire high school students to explore careers in engineering and science,” said John F. Ciaffone TransOptions’ president. “We are extremely grateful to The Linde Group for their support and sponsorship this year,” he added.

As race day began, each of the 42 teams from 14 area schools stopped at the judges’ table where a panel examined their model car on craftsmanship and engineering. Each team also presented their Progress Journal that documented the concepts, designs and development of their model car.

Prior to their race, teams huddled at the starting line to power their model car’s fuel stack by producing hydrogen through a process known as electrolysis. Students then competed against each other, racing their cars down a 33-foot-long track.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM in Afterschool!

NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities promotes and supports the development, continuity and expansion of quality programs for children and youth during out-of-school time.

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM.

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click here to access the survey and begin!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cumberland County College professor shows the art in science

Written by Spencer Kent

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — When conducting his research in cell imagery, Dr. Robert Clark doesn’t just see cells and tissue — he sees art.

Recently, the Philadelphia International Airport displayed images that Clark — an award-winning professor at Cumberland County College — and staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school had captured while researching a disease called laminitis — a common but debilitating ailment in horses’ hoofs.

The exhibition — which concluded last week — was called Larger Than Life: Cells Made Visible from the American Society for Cell Biology, which had recently featured cell imagery created by research scientists from the Greater Philadelphia area.

While on a six month sabbatical studying the disease, Clark and the group of researchers realized that the beautiful images might engage people who might not otherwise be exposed to such work.

“I’d like them to be attracted to the beauty,“ Clark said. ”So that they can see studying tissue is an exciting and stimulating field."

Vivid lime green and orange-red patterns curving throughout a black background, the images are highly magnified pictures of the cells in horse’s infected hoof captured by a confocal microscope.

“The work that we do is quite beautiful and we went to engage the public and let the public know the work that is being done. It is a way of education people about the work that we do.”

Clark said the incredible aesthetic appeal of the images might shed light on the important research going on in the field and the disease of laminitis, which he noted is the second-most common reason horses are euthanized.

“It is a way to show young people that might catch their interest and then attract them into the biomedical veterinary research field,” he said.

Thea Clarke, director of communications at the American Society for Cell Biology, based in Bethesda, Maryland, said that she hoped people were impacted by the beauty of the images on display.

“We want people to be aware how our research works, how it is funded and how it is used for medical breakthroughs.”

She said she hoped it draws attention to the research being conducted and gets people to understand that funding for research should be increased and not cut.

Clark worked in collaboration with Hannah L. Galantino-Homer, senior research investigator at the University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center.

Clark, a 56-year-old Salem County resident, works in the field of experimental pathology and immunohistochemistry. He has been teaching at CCC for 24 years and is currently an associate professor in the STEM and Health Division.

In 2001, he was named New Jersey Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Jersey education commissioner confirmed

Written by Adam Clark

TRENTON — For the second time, David Hespe is officially New Jersey's education commissioner.

Hespe, who served former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman from 1999 to 2001, was confirmed by the state Senate today after nine months as acting commissioner.

"I am thankful that the Senate confirmed me today to once again serve as Education Commissioner," Hespe said. "I’m grateful for Gov. Christie’s confidence that we can continue to improve public schools for children throughout the state.

Hespe has had a varied career in education, holding positions as an interim school superintendent and a college professor, among others.

He most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Burlington County College and previously was vice president of the Liberty Science Center, where he worked on the development of the STEM program.

His appointment was well-received among the state's professional education organizations, including the New Jersey Education Association. Though the NJEA said it disagrees with Hespe on certain policy issues, it believes he's committed to working with teachers.

His confirmation was approved unanimously, both by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate.

"We still have plenty of hard work ahead if we are to close the achievement gaps and make certain that students leave high school ready for college or career," Hespe said. "Still, I believe that the excellent educators across New Jersey will meet those goals."

Three residents testified against Hespe during his confirmation hearing, saying they had concerns about his support of Common Core standards.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

AT&T Contributes $600,000 to Help New Jersey Students along the Path to Graduation

TRENTON, N.J. -- AT&T this year contributed more than $600,000 to organizations across New Jersey as part of AT&T Aspire, the company's signature education initiative focused on high school success and career readiness. With an unwavering commitment to data-driven education outcomes, AT&T Aspire has impacted more than one million students since its launch in 2008.

"At AT&T, we believe that when we invest in education, we are making our communities stronger, safer and more economically viable," said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid-Atlantic. "We understand that investing in a well-educated workforce may be the single most important thing we can do to support a strong, competitive New Jersey. That's why we've teamed up with organizations across the Garden State to inspire students to stay in school and prepare them to be the next generation of leaders for New Jersey."

Schweder added that AT&T and its employees have a tradition of giving back to the communities where they live and work. All told, AT&T and its employees contributed more than $14.4 million from 2009-2013 through giving programs in the state.

In 2014, Rowan University received a $50,000 contribution for its Junior Aim High Academy, which exposes high school students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

"AT&T is one of the leading corporations in New Jersey supporting STEM initiatives. These initiatives are essential as we introduce students to educational and professional opportunities in science, engineering, medicine and other fields. AT&T's contributions are critically important for our region and our state, which needs well-trained talent in these high-demand areas," said Dr. Ali Houshmand, president, Rowan University.

New Jersey City University (NJCU) received $40,000 to support the Proyecto Science program that provided under-served high school students with STEM-based academic enrichment classes last summer.

"AT&T's generous support of NJCU's Proyecto Science program is a priceless gift to 250 high school students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to advance their interest in science. Proyecto Science introduces young science students to study on a university campus and opens their eyes to the countless possibilities a higher education can offer," said NJCU Vice President for University Advancement Daniel P. Elwell.

The 2014 funding recipients are:

ASPIRA Association, Inc. (Newark, Paterson, Jersey City): $198,000
To support the expansion of ASPIRA's Youth Peer Development, an after-school program serving high school students who are at risk of dropping out. The students receive academic support and guidance, including behavioral management, community involvement, and college and career exploration. Paterson, Newark and Jersey City are among the locations that will share in the over $990,000 contribution to ASPIRA to support programs in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Rutgers University Foundation (Statewide): $150,000
To support the expansion of the STEM-related curriculum of Rutgers Future Scholars program, which annually introduces 200 first-generation, low-income and underrepresented middle school students to the opportunities of a college education.

Rowan University Foundation (Glassboro): $50,000
To support the Junior Aim High Academy where 25 underserved, rural high school students attended a three-week program on the Rowan University campus and gain exposure to STEM careers, learn about the college admissions process and participate in service learning activities.

New Jersey City University (Jersey City): $40,000
To support the Proyecto Science program that provides under-served high school students with STEM-based academic enrichment classes during the summer.

Drew University (Madison): $30,000
To support the Governor's School in the Sciences that provides opportunities for high-achieving high school students to explore STEM-related careers while living on a college campus during the summer.

Children's Home Society of New Jersey (Trenton): $12,000
To support a program where underserved high school students increase their level of school engagement while also developing leadership skills through their participation in STEM-based peer leadership activities and projects.

Latino Institute (Newark): $15,000
To support STEM workshops that introduces underserved high school students to STEM-related careers with the goal of increasing their interest in pursuing these fields after high school.

NJ SEEDS (Newark): $25,000
To support a college preparation program that provides accelerated classes, academic enrichment activities and college placement support to low-income, high school students during the summer and on Saturdays.

New Jersey Heroes (Mendham): $25,000
To support the Spirit of a Hero scholarship program that will provide five $5,000 scholarships to urban high school students who have a strong history of community engagement and volunteerism.

Civic League (New Brunswick): $25,000
To support the Intercede Scholars program that offers mentoring opportunities, academic enrichment activities, service learning projects and college campus visits for low income high school students.

Middle Earth (Bridgewater): $10,000
To support a STEM-based apprenticeship program that provides under-served teens with hands-on, paid work experiences for eight weeks.

Christ the King Preparatory School (Newark): $20,000
To support a STEM program where college students are paired with under-served, urban high school students to improve math and science comprehension.

Learn More About AT&T Aspire
AT&T Aspire brings together AT&T employees, nonprofits and community members to help equip students with the skills they need to lead the digital, global economy. AT&T is investing in innovative education organizations, tools and solutions; and employing technology and capabilities that are unique to our company to make a positive impact on education. To learn more visit and follow us @ConnectToGood.

About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Boonton Twp. Board of Ed. presents its self-evaluation

Charlene Peterson, New Jersey School Boards Association field service representative, gave the Boonton Township Board of Education a summary of its self-evaluation at the Board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10. This self-evaluation is no longer required by the state and the Board’s choosing to do so "shows good boardsmanship," said Peterson.

The Board showed that it understands the importance of planning, finances, and setting policy. It placed student achievement high on the list of priorities, and Peterson said this should always be placed most high on the list. One of the areas the Board must work on is being able to work better as a group.

Dr. Gayle Strauss, superintendent/principal, thanked Board member Jennifer Sowa for all her time dedicated to the BOE. Since she did not run for office this year, this meeting was her last. Strauss said an educator, such as Sowa, enriched the Board. Sowa has served for more than three years on the Board and is director of special services for Pequannock.

Sowa said, "I enjoyed serving as a member of the Boonton Township Board of Education. The time spent volunteering in this role was worth it." She got to see the students excelling in various areas supported by the BOE. She added, "Unfortunately, I could not devote the time needed any longer and chose not to run again. I wish my fellow Board members, John Murray, and Dr. Strauss the best."

Strauss explained to the Board that the State Board of Education streamlined the process of Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) for districts designated previously as high performing (HP) districts. If HP districts continue to meet 80 percent or greater on the QSAC continuum, they are now eligible to submit an equivalency request to be certified by the State Board for an additional three years as a HP district without further monitoring. Strauss was very happy to say that Rockaway Valley School (RVS) met all the criteria and received the three-year pass.

The QSAC areas of evaluation are in instruction, programming, fiscal, governance, operations, and personnel. Because Rockaway Valley School (RVS) test scores met or exceeded all state goals and the curriculum is current, the areas of instruction and programming received 100 percent. Strauss said that this is the most difficult area to address. Test scores are key.

The other four areas are a matter of administration complying with all state mandates in accurate and timely fashion.

Strauss stated, "The community should be extremely proud of the students and the entire school faculty for the continuation of RVS as a high-performing school district. Thank you to all the stakeholders for a job well done."

In a preview of what is to come by September 2015, Strauss informed the Board that the state is requiring the implementation of Office of Career and Technical Education Standard 9. It is called 21st Century Life and Careers. Their mission statement says: "21st century life and career skills enable students to make informed decisions that prepare them to engage as active citizens in a dynamic global society and to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century global workplace."

It also states that this is necessary because to be college and career ready, students must have opportunities to understand career concepts and financial literacy. These skills will be infused into the social studies, science, math, and other appropriate programs.

To be in compliance with the 21st Century Life and Careers, the Board is looking into high-tech activities such as creating a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) lab that will make the library a full media center. The material presented by Strauss stated, "The strength of the labs lies in the philosophy of providing technology education, not technology entertainment. The environment provides computer-based learning resources that incorporate multimedia technology in a managed environment."

Science includes physical science, scientific reasoning, and environment. Technology includes principles of programming, coding, and robotics. Mathematics will include experiments in measuring speed, distance, and balance. It also will involve machines, transportation, and numbers. Engineering will deal with simple machines, power transfer, and gear trains.

The material on "Why a STEM Lab?" stated, "Building projects lead to experiments. Data is gathered, and comparative reports are presented. In each assignment, students are learning workplace skills, such as problem solving, team work, and communication skills."

The process of finding a replacement for Strauss is a Board priority, and purchasing uniforms for the school athletic programs is high on the list.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Jersey School Wins $50,000 for Promoting STEM Equity

Written by Joshua Bolkan

New Jersey's Peshine Avenue Elementary School has received a $50,000 grant to improve access to tools for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The school was awarded the grant, from Samsung, following a pilot program designed to inspire girls in grades 4 and 5 to pursue engineering and computer science careers by introducing them to people, technologies and processes behind software and hardware they may use in their own lives.

Dubbed Empower Tomorrow, the "program was first piloted at the Miller Street School in Newark, NJ, in the spring of 2014, and later at Peshine Avenue Elementary School in the fall of 2014," according to a news release. "The curriculum for the programs was developed by Discovery Education and licensed by Samsung. The grant will provide technology resources to sustain and expand the work that started with Empower Tomorrow."

"The United States must lead the globe in technology research and development, and we can't do that if we don't train and attract the best engineers, scientists and researchers," said U.S. Senator Booker, in a prepared statement. "STEM education in America is falling behind other nations, but engagement from the private sector, like we're seeing today from Samsung's announcement, is helping to turn that tide as we work to prioritize federal investment."

Click here to read from this article's source.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mantua's Tomlin School opens new STEM classroom

Written by Andy Polhamus

More than 75 students and parents of J. Mason Tomlin School in Mantua headed back to class Monday night for the launch of the school's new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classroom. The lab, which features space for group projects, a smart board and two 3D printers, will allow the fourth, fifth and sixth graders to carry out hands-on science projects.

The idea for the lab goes back about least three years, when computer science teacher Meredith Martin began attending STEM conferences.

"It tied into all the things I was looking for with math and science," said Martin. "It takes what they're learning and makes it into real-world projects."

The classroom, which uses mostly materials and technology that were either already owned by the school or donated, cost only about $7,000 to get up and running. As far as Mantua administrators know, it is the first elementary school STEM lab in Gloucester county.

The open house featured several tables where students and their families could try out demonstrations similar to the ones that will take place in the new classroom, which opens this week. At one table, students were challenged to build a structure out of gumdrops and toothpicks. At another, children powered strings of Christmas lights with nine-volt batteries, while across the room, their classmates built towers out of uncooked pasta and marshmallows. Meanwhile, a 3D printer worked in the corner, slowly producing a small plastic figurine of an octopus.

"They're making connections between what they've read and what they're seeing in action," Martin said.

The lab is part of a greater initiative in the district to introduce students to math and science at an early age. All of Tomlin's 650 students, as well as the district's third graders, use a school-issued Chromebook laptop for their studies. The program also aims to reach out to young girls and encourage more women to join the engineering and science fields.

"As a female, I think it's excellent," said Susan Mammoccio, whose daughter Olivia is in fifth grade at Tomlin. "I love that my daughter's mind is being stimulated. The challenge part is what I love the most. They make it fun. I wish they'd had this when I was in school."

"There's a lot of fun activities here," said Olivia, whose favorite subject is math. "So far I like the gumdrop one. And I like the electronic parts. It's fun."

James Miller, a sixth-grader interested in science, was building an electronic buzzer.

"I haven't gotten to use the 3D printer, but when I do I know that'll be my favorite part," he said. "I could build a Star Wars character."

James said he was looking forward to having class in the lab.

"You get to do all sorts of things with lots of different types of technology," he said. "I think this will be everyone's favorite place this year."

As happy as Superintendent Bob Fisicaro was to see the lab, he said he credited most of the students' enthusiasm with the work of their teachers.

"These are great tools, but the magic happens in the work of our dedicated teachers," he said. "You're seeing the integration of STEM in a state-of-the-art lab for our students, but I always tell people the magic comes in the work you do."

Click here to read from this article's source.