New Providence Middle School Hosts Junior Solar Sprints Competition


NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - New Providence Middle School hosted TransOptions’ Junior Solar Sprints Competition this Thursday.

New Providence students – Science Club members from the sixth, seventh and eighth grades – competed in model car races against students from East Brook Middle School, Mt. Pleasant Middle School, Harding Middle School, Lincoln Park Middle School, Hillside School, Eisenhower Intermediate School, Park Middle School and Terrill Middle School.

TransOptions provided the wheels, axles, motors, and solar panels for the teams, free of cost. All cars had to carry a “payload,” that is, an aluminum can. TransOptions encouraged teams to construct their cars with recycled material and to be creative with their cars’ names and designs.

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Due to weather, the teams’ cars ran on battery power down a track in the school’s gym. Parents stood by to support their children.

Teams were judged according to speed, best use of recycled materials, craftsmanship, and engineering. The top three teams from each category, announced during the awards presentation at the event’s conclusion, received medals and will proceed to the Inter-County Finals. Racers also voted for their favorite car to win the Students’ Choice Award. 

James Finley, a science teacher at NPMS, headed the hosting effort. “It’s a great opportunity for them to have some alternative schooling, to learn how to make electrical circuits efficient and about transmissions ratios," Finley said. "Plus, the kids have a lot of fun.”

TransOptions has been running these races for 13 years. NPMS has hosted a competition for the past seven years as one of the five divisional races throughout New Jersey.

More students are competing in this year’s races than ever before. In total, 4,529 students on 1,120 teams from 61 schools in Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties will participate.

Funds for this year’s races came entirely from sponsors. The Alcoa Foundation served as the events’ primary sponsor, along with PSE&G, ThorLabs, Pitsco, FirstEnergy Foundation, and the New Jersey Herald. 

“The students get some hands-on, S.T.E.M. education – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It gets them to learn how to truly engineer this vehicle, which depends on alternative energy,” said Daniel R. Callas, director of marking for TransOptions.


The Division 4 winners are:

1st Place – “Blue Lightning" - Eisenhower Middle School - Ehtan Wu, Sidd Gupta, Justin Lee, Shivam Patel
2nd Place  - “Limo" - Hillsides School - Michelle Huang, Diya Gandhi, Lauren Clapp and Ella Pfaff
3rd Place – “Rainbow Racers" - Mt. Pleasant Middle School - Josh Minion, Sydney Jacobsen, Adam Shrayman and Rachel Appelbaum

1st  Place – ““Limo" - Hillsides School - Michelle Huang, Diya Gandhi, Lauren Clapp and Ella Pfaff
2nd Place – “Sun Showers" - Hillside School - Camilla Jimenez, Jessica Brookner, Ashley Jin and Dagney Julia Holz McCann
3rd Place – “The Trial & Error Car" - Terrill Middle School - Kevin Tong, Steven Holmes and Dhvanil Nanshah

1st Place –  “Sun Showers" - Hillside School - Camilla Jimenez, Jessica Brookner, Ashley Jin and Dagney Julia Holz McCann
2nd Place – “Taco Raco" - Mt. Pleasant Middle School - Benjamin Weiss, Eliza Kolin, Mia Bucich and Sahil Chandiramani
3rd Place – “Sunfari" - Allen W. Roberts School - Elizabeth Rucki, Kyra Pitarresi, Julianna Boyle and Kylie Burton

Best Use of Recycled Materials
1st Place – “Solar Burst" - Eisenhower Middle School - Ashana Makhija, Sofia Ludwig, Caroline O'Sullivan and Carla Mattaliano
2nd Place – “Sun Showers" - Hillside School - Camilla Jimenez, Jessica Brookner, Ashley Jin and Dagney Julia Holz McCann
3rd Place – “Alligator" - Lincoln Park Middle School - Chiara Totoli, Danny Fongaro and Brandon Wong

Documentation Portfolio
1st Place – “Can't come up with a name" - Harding Township School - Lauren DiRienzo, Luke Boylan and Drew Johnson
2nd Place – “Limo" - Hillside School - Michelle Huang, Diya Gandhi, Lauren Clapp and Ella Pfaff
3rd Place –  “Pasta Mobile" - Eisenhower Middle School - Leah Juechter, Johnny Skunakis, Shiven Tyagi and Brianna Floystrop

Students’ Choice
1st Place – “Limo" - Hillside School - Michelle Huang, Diya Gandhi, Lauren Clapp and Ella Pfaff
2nd Place – “Solar Burst" - Eisenhower Middle School - Ashana Makhija, Sofia Ludwig, Caroline O'Sullivan and Carla Mattaliano
3rd Place – "Amazon Warrior" - Allen W. Roberts School - Faith Dobias, Aisling Kruger, Laila Hassanein and Shrishtika Balamurugan

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