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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Professors Plan Science Olympiad with Robots, Electric Cars, Monoplanes

Constructing an electric car, building a robot, and launching monoplane gliders will number among the two dozen exciting opportunities for more than 500 New Jersey middle and high school students participating in the upcoming New Jersey Science Olympiad at NJIT.

More than three dozen local schools will participate Jan. 17, 2008 in these and other equally challenging events in the annual regional competition.   An awards ceremony will be held that day at 3 p.m. in NJIT’s Campus Center Ballroom. 

Highlights to include:

  • Robot Ramble: Students design and build a robot to perform on a prescribed playing field.
  • Electric Vehicle: Students construct a vehicle using electrical energy as its sole means of propulsion.  Students adjust the vehicle to travel a distance specified by the judges and to predict the time it will take to travel that distance.
  •  Balloon Launch Glider:  Teams construct and fly monoplane gliders launched from a balloon to achieve a maximum flight time.
  •  Wright Stuff: Teams construct and test up to two monoplanes to achieve maximum flight times.
  • Build a Tower:  Students design and build the lightest tower, with the highest structural efficiency, capable of supporting a load up to 30 pounds or 15 kg.
  • Boomilever:  Students design and build the lightest cantilevered wooden structure which, when attached to a vertical testing wall at one end, must also support a load of up to 30 pounds or 15 kg at the distal end.
  • The Scrambler:   Before the event, students design and build a mechanical device, which uses only the energy from a falling mass to transport an egg along a straight track. Students must stop as close to a terminal barrier as possible without breaking the egg.

The competition is one of three regional Olympiads held across the state. At each event, the top half of the teams with highest total scores will be eligible to compete in the upcoming state competition slated for March. The top teams from the March competition will then go on to compete in the National Science Olympiad. To learn more, visit http://www.njscienceolympiad.org/.

The competition is divided into two divisions, one for middle schools and the other for high schools.  Each school sends a team of up to 15 students, plus two alternates.  Two or three students per team compete in over 15 individual events, with each student typically competing in two or more events.

“NJIT has a long history of working with New Jersey’s K-12 education community,” said John Carpinelli, PhD, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at NJIT.  “Our work with the New Jersey Science Olympiad draws on our past experiences and allows us to extend our work with the State’s middle and high schools.”  Carpinelli, who also directs NJIT’s Center for Pre-College Programs, will work with Howard Kimmel, PhD, professor of chemical engineering and executive director of the Center, coordinating this year’s competition

The New Jersey Science Olympiad has been on the leading edge of educational innovations since its inception. These innovations include high academic standards; demonstration of skills through performance testing; learning through hands-on activities; cooperative learning through events that require teamwork; improved self-concept through success in achieving high standards and making applications and connections to the real world.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.