Marsteller Students Honored for Winning NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions Engineering Challenge

| June 21, 2013 | 0 Comments | Education

Winners of the Engineering Challenge sponsored by Northern Virginia Community College’s SySTEMic Solutions met at Micron Technology Virginia for an awards ceremony. The students represent Manassas Christian School, Marsteller Middle School, Porter Traditional School and Saunders Middle School. (Credit NOVA)

Northern Virginia Community College’s SySTEMic Solutions recently held an awards ceremony for eighth-grade students who won the SySTEMic Solutions Engineering Challenge, including those from Marsteller Middle School in Bristow.

Formerly called the Micron Challenge, the SySTEMic Solutions Engineering Challenge competition includes a language arts component.

The competition was open to students from Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park and included two separate challenges, one in the winter of 2012 and the other in spring of 2013. Most students participated in one of the challenges, and a few aspiring engineers competed in both.

The winter 2012 challenge called “Magnify It!” focused on understanding the nature and technological applications of light. Students were tasked with designing and building a portable optical device using the provided lenses and resources found in the home.

In addition, literacy skills were incorporated into the project as students also had to write a research presentation to explain their design and building process.

As part of the spring 2013 challenge, students created a Rube Goldberg Machine, a device deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a very complex fashion. In this case, the students were challenged with creating a machine that turned on a light switch, inflated and popped a balloon or squeezed toothpaste onto a toothbrush.The task had to include three energy transformations: electrical to mechanical, chemical to electrical and potential to kinetic. In addition, students were required to include five recyclable items in their machine and prove it worked three consecutive times.

The machines were videotaped in action and submitted to SySTEMic Solutions. As in the winter challenge, students included a detailed report of their process.

Out of 196 submissions from middle schools in Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park, 33 students were declared winners after careful evaluation by a task-force consisting of education professionals from NOVA, local businesses and educators from several school districts.

The winning students attend Manassas Christian School, Marsteller Middle School, Porter Traditional School and Saunders Middle School. Winners in the winter challenge from Marsteller Middle School are Michael Friedman,
 Steven Gordon
and and Judy Jacangelo. Winners of the spring competition from Marsteller are Noa Abramson, Hayley Carver, Emma Dulin, Kati Flamm, Miranda Langford, Emily Murphy, Jonathan Raisigel, Cole Thibault and Kansas Vanitum.


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