Mount Pleasant Middle Students' Solar Cars Shine in Competition

Mt. Pleasant Middle School students recently engineered solar power cars. Shown top, from left: Kevin Zak, Riya Bhansali, Tammy Zhuang, Lillian Tang, Carly Zymet, Camryn Ling, Jake Elkin and Vincent Napolitano. Bottom, from left: Sandra Rojas, Zoey Ching, Danielle Schwartz, Ben Shapiro, Sam Spitz, Drew Nathan, Joey Dallow and Ellie Bershad Credits: Marilyn Lehren

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Mount Pleasant Middle School sent four teams to the annual Junior Solar Sprint Car Region 4 Finals, sponsored on May 14, by Trans-Options of Cedar Knolls. 

Students earned their spots in the event through their exemplary work on the project as part of their sixth grade technology education coursework, where students engaged in the engineering design process and applied relevant math, science, and engineering knowledge and practices as they designed, built, tested and modified solar powered cars.  

Students in grades six to eight competed against their peers for prizes against schools in neighboring towns in the categories of speed, craftsmanship, engineering, design documentation and use of recycled materials. 

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Mount Pleasant Middle had a strong showing, with all four of its groups placing in the top 10 overall for speed out of a field of more than 40 solar cars.  

The final race featured two groups from Mount Pleasant Middle, ending with a third-place overall finish in the speed category for "The Mickey Mouse Members," consisting of Team 4 students Ben Shapiro, Rhea Bhansali, Danielle Schwartz and Zoe Ching.  

The Mickey Mouse Members just edged out Team DMC in the finals, which finished fourth overall for speed. DMC consisted of Team 3 students, Kevin Zak, Drew Nathan, Sandra Rojas and Sam Spitz.

The performances by both groups earned them a spot in the state inter-county finals on May 28.

Team 1 students Joey Dallow, Ellie Bershad, Vincent Napolitano and Jake Elkin also took first place overall for craftsmanship with their car "Zero Gravity," earning them a spot in the finals as well.  

The event also featured several races won by Team 1 students, Tammy Zhuang, Carly Zymet, Camryn Ling and Lillian Tang, who ended up finishing in the Top 10 overall for speed with their "Pi-oneer wagon.”

Groups that advanced will be participating in the State Inter-county finals competition on May 28 against top cars from all over the state to test their design and engineering know-how against the winners from the state’s other four regions.

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