North Brunswick students create innovative products for STEAM Tank Challenge

KEN DOWNEY JR./STAFF

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Two teams that competed in the STEAM Tank Challenge in Atlantic City in October achieved significant standings.

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.

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.”

They tied for first place in the elementary category, winning $1,250 for the school.

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.

The team tied for third place in the high school category, winning a prize of $500 for the school.

The students are set to be honored during the North Brunswick Township Council meeting on Dec. 17.