N.J. students receive honorable mention at international STEM-focused research and design competition

Student teams from the Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains, the South Jersey Sudbury School in Medford and Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren have received honorable mentions in last week’s International Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition for their “innovative projects.” The teams, selected for honorable mention status from 20 global finalists, each was awarded $1,000 in prize money.

On Aug. 6, international teams of high school students representing five nations and nine U.S. states presented their projects to judges live online and, on Aug. 7, the winners were announced.

Ava La Lande of Team NJ Environmental from Union County Vocational Technical School, Sharon Eastburn and Anna Schwartz of Team Bug Brains from South Jersey Sudbury School of New Jersey and Arjun Singh of Team Conservatech from Watchung Hills Regional High School of New Jersey received honorable mentions as finalists in the Limited Resources Category.

The 20 finalist teams were from the United States — Arkansas, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon, New Jersey, New York –, Canada, Singapore, the Philippines and India. They competed for a share of $60,000 in cash prizes.

Videos of student presentations and awards program can be found at https://www.facebook.com/CleanTechComp/.

The competition is an outcome-based STEM focused research and design challenge for pre-college students. The goal of the program is to “inspire young people” to pursue STEM studies and careers. The program is managed by New York-based not-for-profit Center for Science, Teaching & Learning, led by STEM Crusader and Advocate Ray Ann Havasy, and sponsored by New York-based Spellman High Voltage Electronics.

More than 744 students registered for the competition, comprising of 395 teams, and of those teams 240 submitted projects for judging. This year’s competition theme, “Reducing Individual Impacts,” focused on ways to “change the course of our environmental future.” Teams displayed their projects offering solutions to specific issues relating to climate change or protecting resources using clean technology.

“The students who participated this year did a remarkable job considering the challenges they faced during the global pandemic,” said said Loren Skeist, president of Spellman High Voltage Electronics. Skeist added, “At Spellman HV we believe it is critical that we encourage young people to develop technology that will enhance the lives of people around the world. We are committed to this effort and making Spellman High Voltage’s sponsorship in this competition an integral part of our corporate mission. There are so many challenges facing our world today. It gives us great hope when we see high school students from all around the world use their STEM skills to develop solutions that have the potential to make a real impact.”

“The U.S. and nations around the world must address the shortage of STEM educated people to fill millions of well-paying and rewarding jobs,” said Ray Ann Havasy, executive director of Center for Science, Teaching & Learning (CSTL). “Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our finalists demonstrated that when students are motivated to explore science, they will do amazing work. It is truly remarkable to watch students from around the United States and world share their similar concerns about the environment and show their commitment to STEM skills and knowledge to find solutions.”

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