North Brunswick students create innovative products for STEAM Tank Challenge

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KEN DOWNEY JR./STAFF
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Samantha Guadagnino, left, and Rose Rykus created the Bouncy Barrier.KEN DOWNEY JR./STAFF
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KEN DOWNEY JR./STAFF
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Samantha Guadagnino, left, and Rose Rykus created the Bouncy Barrier.KEN DOWNEY JR./STAFF

 

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Two of the four teams that competed in the STEAM Tank Challenge in Atlantic City this week practiced before the audience at the Oct. 17 Board of Education meeting.

Administered through the New Jersey School Boards Association and the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the program encourages students in the areas of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) to create innovative projects, and present their inventions before a judging panel of entrepreneurs, business and education leaders.

North Brunswick Township High School seniors Meha Pandejee, Daniel Ortega, Ashwin Gokhale, Shakthi Rave and Bruno Andino created the Equanimity Band, which controls various functions while worn on the wrist.

The four modules include water test strips to test drinking quality; a vibration mode to calm those with autism; a speaker module to provide notification alerts; and a flashlight.

“When everything you need is on your wrist, people tend to stay away from phones, which causes a distraction,” Ashwin said.

Daniel said the materials would be locally sourced and include recycled glass and rubber.

The $40-$60 investment would be sold for $80-$100 each, he said.

Future capabilities could include music storage, temperature regulation, vital sign monitoring and calming anxiety.

“We looked at any problem that couldn’t be compared with an Apple Watch,” Ashwin said.

The elementary team consisted of Samantha Guadagnino and Rose Rykus; they were fifth graders when the project began but are now enrolled at Linwood Middle School as sixth graders.

According to the girls’ presentation, there are 73.7 million children under age 18 living in the United States as of 2017, as well as 69.9 million pet dogs. They created the Bouncy Barrier to counteract balls and toys that are lost under furniture. The soft barrier connects to metal to help items “bounce back.”

The girls created three different prototypes before settling on their current version, which is set back a few inches so that it matches all patterns and sizes.

They said it is made of recycled materials, and only takes 20 minutes to manufacture.