SOMERVILLE, NJ - What if Christopher Columbus had a GPS when he set off from Spain in search of the New World?

That was the premise of an essay written by IImmaculata High School student Carmela Streicher, selected as the winning essay in a national contest sponsored by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution.

The NSDAR joined with the National Italian American Foundation to sponsor the annual national essay contest on Christopher Columbus. Chapters select one essay as their chapter winner and forward to the State American History Chair for State Competition.

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This year's topic challenged students to explore the possibilities and the technological advances that would have been most beneficial to Christopher Columbus.

Streicher, wh lives in Clinton Township,  put a GPS system into the hands of Columbus and his navigators. Her essay considered the possibilities of changing the course of history through technology, different cultural or leadership scenarios, or even nature itself.