Some 700 middle and high school students from Northern New Jersey spent the day at NJIT competing in 13 contests, from firing water-bottle rockets to launching elastic gliders to building bridges.
At 3 p.m., judges selected three winning high school teams and three middle schools. All of the teams won trophies and will also advance to the statewide Science Olympiad. The winner teams in the middle school division were:
- 1st Place: Montgomery Upper
- 2nd Place: Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter #1
- 3rd Place: Rising Star Academy
- And the winners in the the high school division were:
- 1st Place: Millburn
- 2nd Place: Morris Hills
- 3rd Place: Hillsborough #1
“All of the students from the competing schools did an excellent job and demonstrated that you can learn and have fun at the same time,” said Suzanne Berliner Heyman, director for program operations and outreach at the Center for Pre-College Programs, which organized the competition. “The day was a great success thanks to the hard work of our volunteers.”
About 80 NJIT students volunteered at the event, she added, and university professors also served as contest supervisors. NJIT, with the most successful pre-college program in the state, has hosted the regional competition since 2007, she added.
Jeff Robbins, an 8th grade science teacher at the Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield, N.J., said his students enjoyed the Science Olympiad. It gave them a chance to compete against top students in the state, he said, and allowed them to see how their project compared to those built by other teams. One of Robbin’s students, Aaron Hecht, said the Olympiad was fun because the projects were competitive.
“We had to think quickly and build fast because we were under pressure,” said Hecht. “And that made it fun, like a sport.”
Robbins said that coming to NJIT, which he described as an “extraordinary campus,” was a “wonderful opportunity for my students.”
“NJIT is a university that educates its students in accordance with the evolving job market,” Robbins said. “The NJIT graduates I know don’t just get a job offer. They get several job offers and have to turn down many of them. It’s an amazing college in that respect and it’s wonderful that my students got to spend a day here.”
One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks fifth among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to Payscale.com.