Our Schools

May 2017 - STEM Clubs and Competitions

STEM club enrollment has risen steadily across the district in the last few years. The newsletter below provides a snapshot of some of the activities and competitions that have taken place this year.


STEM Team - 1st place at State Competition

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The New Providence High School STEM team recently visited Northern Highlands Regional High School for the first annual New Jersey Interscholastic STEM League State Competition. Twenty-four high school teams competed in the day long event that presented student teams with a real-life design problem and challenged the students to solve the problem by collaborating on the application of their science, technology, engineering, math and 21st Century skills.

Students spent the morning brainstorming and prototyping while completing STEM documentation, engineering notebooks and CAD drawings. After designing, building and testing their prototypes, the students then had to present their design to a panel of judges.

Teams were assessed on all the components of the challenge, including quantitative prototype data and the ability to present their design to the judges.

When the scores across all the areas were totaled, New Providence was awarded first place and the winning trophy. Congratulations to all the students and staff advisers involved.

NPHS Hosts STEM League Competition

New Providence High School recently hosted their own STEM League competition. The competition included teams from Summit, Governor Livingston, Jonathan Dayton, Waldwick and North Star Academy high schools and was sponsored by Nokia Bell Labs.

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Students were asked to design, build, and test a scale model of an emergency shelter that could be used by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The scale model had to address size, strength, heat retention and portability and had to fit within a shipping crate for ease in transportation and distribution.

The task was designed by the New Providence High School STEM teachers, and judges were drawn from a variety of local companies including Bell Labs-who also provided a guest speaker, Linde, One World, Edge Therapeutics, Synergic Design and Langan Engineering.

Many thanks to Nokia Bell Labs for sponsoring the event, the NPHS PTSA for providing breakfast, and to the judges who volunteered their time to oversee this exciting event.

More Competitions

In addition to the five STEM League competitions, the STEM club has also entered these competitions.
  • IEEE Robotics
  • Hydrogen Cell Car
  • Bridge Building
  • Thomas Edison Design Challenge
  • Panasonic Design Challenge
  • TEAMS Engineering
  • APP Innovation Challenge

Members of the club have also started an after-school STEM tutoring program at Salt Brook

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STEM League Competition

A combined team of AWR, Salt Brook, and Middle School students recently attended the "Middle School STEM is Making Waves" competition at Columbia Middle School in Berkeley Heights. The teams were tasked with designing and building a tsunami prevention system that would prevent the destruction of their miniature prototype home and coastal community.

In addition, the teams were judged on their knowledge of the topic, their action plan outlining their problem solving approach, schematic drawings, their working prototype, and a "bid" outlining the expected budget for the project.

Finally, they had to make a presentation addressing environmental concerns related to the project.

New Providence placed third in the event and took home the award for best presentation.

Columbia Middle School STEM Meet 3
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Solar Sprints

The Middle School STEM Club recently participated in the Junior Solar Sprint competition sponsored by TransOptions. Teams of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders spent months designing, prototyping, testing, and redesigning their solar-powered model cars built from everyday materials and solar panels.

Teams then competed in divisional races to determine the fastest, most-innovative and best-engineered vehicles. The winners from each division race go on to compete against the best of the best at the Inter-County Final.

This year New Providence will send three teams to the Inter-County Final to be held in Florham Park.

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TEAMS Competition

STEM Club members recently entered the 2017 TEAMS competition entitled “Engineering the Environment,” sponsored by the Technology Student Association. In this one-day event students had to focus their minds on the concepts of energy efficiency, geothermal heat pumps and wastewater treatment.

Student teams then collaborated to solve a real-world engineering challenge based on the environment by practically and creatively applying their math and science knowledge, analytical thinking and engineering skills.

The STEM Club was successful in the State level competition and is eligible to move onto the National competition in Orlando this summer.

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Stevens Institute of Technology Partnership

Over the last year, Stevens Institute of Technology and the STEM Department have provided the professional opportunities listed below.

  • Workshop on integrating Literacy into STEM instruction for the grades 1-4 STEM Pilot teachers.
  • Workshop on Engineering Integration across the middle grades for all grades 5-8 Science and STEM teachers.
  • Three day workshop on Exploring Engineering through Underwater Robotics for Middle School STEM teacher
  • Reverse Engineering pilot with high school Introduction to Engineering class

We look forward to developing this partnership further over the next few years.

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Third Grade

The third grade STEM club used the littleBits electronic building blocks to create models of today's technology and invent their own solutions to today's problems . After researching self driving cars, students used the engineering design process to create their own prototype. Students also looked into how engineering is used in toy design and created their own spin art. Students then proposed a solution to a problem found in their homes or classroom and prototyped and tested their inventions.

Fourth Grade

The fourth grade STEM Club focused on computational thinking and coding. Students were introduced to coding vocabulary and coding practice as they explored the online, self-guided, and self-paced tutorials and problem solving activities on code.org. They also put their coding skills into action by completing team challenges with Dash and Dot robots.

Fifth Grade

The fifth grade STEM club focused on problem solving and the engineering design process. Each week, the students were given problems such as how do you clean polluted water?, or how can you build a wind powered car with limited materials?, to solve. Students first made prototype drawings in their small groups, and then the students worked on the design process, prototyping and testing their designs. Each group then worked on improving their designs and came up with some pretty cool inventions.

The Sixth Grade STEM Club participated in the Solar Sprints Challenge.

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K-6 Engineering is Elementary Pilot

This year, some STEM Club advisers and members of the 1-4 STEM Pilot group incorporated an Engineering is Elementary kit into their instructional program.
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  • First grade students loved the Designing Lighting Systems unit as they problem solved like optical engineers and explored how light interacts with different materials.
  • Third grade students tested the Water Filters unit and became completely engaged in learning how to think and speak like engineers while also working on their literacy, geography, real world problem solving, math, and science skills.
  • Fourth grade students tested both the Designing Walls and Marvelous Machine units and enjoyed designing solutions to everyday problems and then testing their prototypes.

The feedback from the teachers and students will be used in the design of the K-6 STEM curriculum framework outline this summer.

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And in Other News.........

New Providence School District has been named 2017 National District of Character.

We are proud to announce that the New Providence School District is 1 of 4 districts in the nation to be named a National District of Character. The district earned the award for its dedicated focus on character education, fostering a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, school climate and the community.

Congratulations to everyone involved in earning this prestigious award.