Young Hazlet Inventors Pitch Ideas in Atlantic City

HAZLET – Some of Hazlet’s best young tinkerers, creative thinkers and entrepreneurs will be in Atlantic City Convention Center for the state finals in the STEAM Tank Challenge Tuesday and Wednesday.

Teams representing four district schools will “sell” their problem-solving inventions to a panel of judges – just like in the TV show “Shark Tank.” The winner will take home $2,500 for their school.

The annual contest, sponsored by the U.S. Army and the New Jersey School Boards Association, aims to spark interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

Check out some of their interesting ideas:

The Writer Lighter by RVS
A team of Raritan Valley School inventors are creating an illuminated pen that relies on magnetic energy.

The Writer Lighter

The Idea: The Writer Lighter is a pen equipped with a Faraday light (a light powered by magnetic energy) designed to help people communicate in areas without easy access to electricity. For example, soldiers could use it to write to their families. Or it can be used in emergencies if a home lost power.

The Challenge and the Possibilities: “I think the hardest part was redesigning our idea, because our first idea was to have solar panels charging the light. But that could not work because of the backup battery, so we had to find a new power source that wouldn’t need as much energy,” said Caden Cregg-Wedmore, a fifth-grader at Beers Street who started this project last year with the rest of the Raritan Valley team. Payton Fleming, another fifth grader on the team said, “It is going to help soldiers send messages to other people in the military and their family, and (help) more disadvantaged people as well, if the power goes out.”

Raritan Valley Elementary School team members: Madison Burgos, Caden Cregg-Wedmore, Payton Fleming, Ella Herman, Jeannette Therien. Team Advisor: Dominique Russo


Class Chat by Beers Street School
Beers Street students think they have improved upon Google Classroom with their product, Class Chat.

Class Chat

The Idea: This team’s slogan is “perfected to help you stay connected.” It refers to their features-packed website featuring educational videos, study guides, and chats designed to help students connect with one another and with their teachers.

The Challenge and the Possibilities: “While we were creating the website, it was hard to get all the features we wanted because Wix (a website building platform) didn’t have all the tools we needed it to have,” said John Jeleniewski, a sixth-grade student at Beers Street. His classmate James Dillon, added, “This is a really great website, I think. It will really help kids in a different way than something like Google Classroom can.”

Beers Street Elementary School team members: Angelina Costanzo, James Dillon, John Jeleniewski, Brandon Kalley, Madison O’Brien. Team Advisor: Rebecca Thal


The Safety Sensors, Cove Road
Wearable safety sensors can alert people to the threat of fire, say Cove Road entrepreneurs

The Safety Sensor

The Idea: The Safety Sensor is a sensor that vibrates when it detects a fire. It is geared toward helping people who may be deaf, hard of hearing, or a person with a disability— someone who might not respond to the sound of a normal smoke detector. It comes presewn into a shirt that someone can wear so that when it vibrates they will know to leave the house immediately.

The Challenge and the Possibilities: “The hardest part of working on this project was figuring out what pieces we needed to build this and how we would make this work. We had to do lots of research on how we were going to make the Safety Sensor,” said Sadie Cizin, a sixth-grader at Cove Road. Classmate Gabby Altmajer commented on the essentiality of this product. “The world needs our invention because it can save someone who is deaf or hard of hearing by waking them up during a fire,” she said.

Cove Road Team Members: Gabriela Altmajer, Sadie Cizin, Connor Lee. Team Advisor: Heather Wolkom


The iPlant Power Station, HMS
Could compost replace fuel in household generators? Students at Hazlet Middle School ask, why not?

The iPlant Power Station

The Idea: A compost-powered generator that provides green electricity to power to a home. It utilizes the methane produced by the compost to create renewable energy while also decreasing the use of fossil fuels.

The Challenge and the Possibilities: “I think the biggest challenge was synthesizing all of our research, which is very technical and science-heavy, and then being able to explain it in a way that will make sense to any average person listening to our presentation,” said team member Moira McCarron, an eighth-grader. Moira expressed her excitement about the possible future for this product on the market. “Would I buy this? Definitely!”

Hazlet Middle School Team Members: Blake Cregg-Wedmore, Moira McCarron. Faculty Advisor: Lisa Rankl

This article was written by Blake Cregg-Wedmore, an eighth grade student at Hazlet Middle School participating in the STEAM Tank Challenge.

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