December 2014 - Science Technology Engineering Math
This year the New Providence School District is developing a strategic plan for the development of an integrated STEM program. This newsletter will highlight some recent STEM activities from the various schools.
An Hour of Code
As part of the Computer Science Education Week New Providence schools recently participated in an Hour of Code.
The Hour of Code program is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in over one hundred and eighty countries around the world. Through this event students engage in a variety of introductory tutorials and activities in computer science designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.
In addition, the program helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity and provides a foundation for success in any 21st-Century career path.
Other students used an app called Lightbot on the iPads that challenged students to program a robot to light up specific squares in a sequence.
All activities were designed to let the students gain a practical understanding of basic coding, including sequencing instructions, writing simple procedures and utilizing loops to solve levels as well as learn the basics of drag and drop programming. Whatever activity the students chose, it required them to think critically, troubleshoot problems, and persevere until they were successful.
As part of the Hour of Code program, all Middle School students spent their Science classes investigating a number of coding activities including Code with Ana and Elsa, and an introduction to programming using the Angry Birds platform.
To help promote coding during the Computer Science Education Week, students were given the opportunity to code after school in a program offered by the Math Department. In addition, students can continue their study of code through the High School Computer Programming Club.
New Providence students recently competed against more than twenty other teams in the Union County Bridge Building Competition. The competition involved designing and building a Through Truss bridge using a predetermined set of simple supplies and then adding weights to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the bridge.
The NPHS advanced bridge teams placed third, fourth, and sixth in the competition and the novice team took second. Both teams outperformed all other public and magnet schools. Congratulations to all the students involved.
To see more detail of the Bridge Building Competition please visit the District web page.
Hydrogen Car Design
New Providence recently hosted the eighth annual Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge. The STEM program teaches high school students about alternative fuels and is organized by TransOptions, a transportation oriented nonprofit organization and The Linde Group, a local gas and engineering company. Forty three teams of students from 14 New Jersey high schools competed at this year's event.
To participate in the challenge, students from the Physics Club designed and built a hydrogen-powered model car by modifying and adapting the simple kit provided. Students had to include in their design a method to produce, store and transfer the hydrogen needed to power their cars and then submit a written portfolio documenting their car concepts, designs and comments. On competition day students raced their cars, and awards were given to teams for their cars' speed, craftsmanship, engineering and progress journal.