NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Ten New Providence High School students, along with 60 students from nearby high schools, participated in an engineering workshop lead by Jonathan Keaney, the STEM department head at NPHS. Keaney reached out to area high schools to see if there was an interest in a workshop brought to NPHS by Engineering Tomorrow, a non-profit organization that introduces high school students to engineering as a potential career path.
The participating high schools, Governor Livingston, Summit, Whippany Park, Hanover Park, West Orange, Edison, and Montville, sent ten motivated AP students over to NPHS. The workshop engaged the students in solving two problems central to people on every corner of the planet: lack of purified water and the need for renewable energy.
The students competed in two different areas of problem solving; purifying water cost effectively and building a wind turbine. After the students solved the problem of purifying water, they were challenged to lower the cost of their method. With each new step they were learning how to solve different problems. They then went to work creating a wind turbine, after which they were challenged to improve it several times through trial and error using a wind tunnel. As they adjusted it and tested it they learned how to make it more effective.
Principal Lauren Zirpoli and Superintendent of Schools David Miceli were on hand to see the experiments evolving throughout the process. As Michael Legg, a representative from Engineering Tomorrow, said, “Engineers solve world issues and global problems, our focus is on high school students to know what engineering is so that it can be one of their choices by the time they are filling out college applications and deciding on their major.” The program helped inform the students of the importance of engineering as a possible profession.