Education

Gov. Livingston Hosts Interscholastic STEM League Competition: Students Tasked with 21st Century Space Glove Challenge

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New Providence High School took first place at recent NJ Interscholastic STEM League competition at Gov. Livingston High School. Credits: Bobbie Peer
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District Science Supervisor James Finley helped to facilitate the STEM challenge hosted by Gov. Livingston. Credits: Bobbie Peer
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Credits: Bobbie Peer
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Credits: Bobbie Peer
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Credits: Bobbie Peer
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Credits: Bobbie Peer
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Credits: Bobbie Peer
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Credits: Bobbie Peer
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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.  

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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.

First Place - New Providence High School
Second Place - Waldwick High School
Third Place - Summit High School
Outstanding Prototype - Governor Livingston High School 

Outstanding STEM Lab Document - Waldwick 
Outstanding Engineering Document - Summit 
Outstanding Presentation - Edison
 
The NJ Interscholastic STEM League is a grass roots organization designed by middle and high school teachers working together with industry who want to help students learn how to apply STEM when solving real life problems, said the NJTEEA website.
 
It is encouraged that schools participating in the NJ Interscholastic STEM League to host a competition.
Finley along with District Math Supervisor Drew Ziobro and club teacher advisor Dawn Buchan worked on creating the challenge and facilitated the program. The district and school administration supported the program every step of the way, said Finley. Tech support provided iPads and laptops and volunteers from Link Crew and Physics students helped throughout the day.  
 
The GL PTO supplied breakfast and lunch for participants and professional volunteers and the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation funded the challenge supplies.
 
Next, Gov. Livingston STEM Club will participate in a competition at New Providence High School later this month.

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