BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston was host to a NJ Interscholastic STEM League competition where seven schools competed in a challenge to design a space glove that would meet "unique needs and constraints of astronauts in this day and age." Students were to create a space glove that could theoretically be used during a mission to Mars.
The 14 teams, two from each school, were from host Gov. Livingston High School, New Providence, Summit, Edison, Waldwick and St. Mary's high schools.
Students were judged on a final prototype, a model using CAD or Google SketchUp, and testing results with respect to mass, pressure, and thermal transfer. The glove must enable its user to interact with an iPad and the fingertips should be able to complete a series of tasks that an astronaut might need to complete, ie work with nuts, bolts and screws -- and mechanically, the gloves would need to pick up objects.
The students had access to the internet and could outsource and consult with local specialists with expertise in mechanical, electrical and structural engineering. It was necessary for the students to communicate how the design works and how it would be manufactured.
"There is a lot of learning going on," said District Science Supervisor James Finley. "Everything they do -- building and engineering components to knowing the science behind it. They have to solve problems and research. The world is theirs."
The teams were judged by industry specialists and awards were given to the team that scored best in the individual components of the competition. The scores were then tallied to give overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards.