Check out the Virtual STEAM Tank Challenge 2021
Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Virtual STEAM Tank Challenge! The deadline is January 29, 2021.
STEAM Tank Challenge
The STEAM Tank Challenge, created and sponsored by NJSBA and the U.S. Army, encourages education in the areas of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math–for New Jersey’s public school students. The Challenge is an opportunity for students to ensure that our state is a sustainable, healthy, equitable, and safe place for everyone to live, work, and play.
The competition asks district teams to invent something new, modify an existing product, or identify a situation or real-world problem that needs resolution. Teams are provided criteria, and a panel of experts judges their designs and/or solutions.
STEAM Tank provides a way for student teams, as well as teachers, to work collaboratively and learn more about an integrative process of STEAM education. In addition, STEAM Tank helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will serve them in their future careers and everyday lives.
Our world faces many problems that can be solved and obstacles that can be overcome to enhance people’s lives. STEAM Tank is an opportunity for your student teams to share and demonstrate their great ideas and make a difference.
Why STEAM Tank
New Jersey’s economic growth will depend on its competitiveness and innovation in STEAM-related fields and its ability to support creative STEAM learning from K- 12 grade, post-secondary study, and the ever-changing technological workforce. For our students to compete in the global marketplace, public schools must deliver education in a way that equips students with the ability to identify real-world situations, problem-solve, design, and present creative solutions. STEAM Tank provides that environment.
STEAM Tank Design
STEAM Tank is intentionally designed to be extremely open-ended to maximize student creativity and to allow students to take the challenge in any direction they feel strongly about.
Once a team, consisting of two to five students, submits an application and their concept is accepted, the teacher/team leader will receive access to the STEAM Tank playbook, which contains detailed information for the teams and strategies for the challenge.
The STEAM Tank Challenge consists of three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Each level has a first, second, and third-place prize.
Sustainability and Climate Change
There is an emphasis on sustainability and climate change throughout the challenge. Students, no matter what they invent, design, create or problem-solve, must learn to consider the environmental and climate change impact, whether it be direct or indirect. Careful thought must go into new and innovative designs to avoid unsustainable design and engineering.
NJSBA, the US Army, and the STEAM Tank judges may also recognize a team that specializes in or demonstrates exemplary performance in specific categories reflected in the STEAM Tank rubric. These awards will vary each year depending on the presentations by student teams.
The categories are listed below:
- Innovative use of Technology
- Creativity and the Exemplar Integration of the Arts
- Improvement to the Human Built Environment:
- Subject Matter Expert Collaboration
- Societal Impact
- Sustainability, Climate Change, and the Environment
- COVID-19, Public Health and Safety
The students are the stars of STEAM Tank, but the judges make a significant impact as well. The judges volunteer their time and provide in-depth feedback and coaching to the students. Judges include teachers, business and industry leaders and entrepreneurs, U.S. Army engineers, university staff and leaders, and staff of education-focused non-profit organizations.
Benefits of participating in the STEAM Tank Challenge:
- Access to a comprehensive STEAM Tank Playbook, a “how-to” guide for STEAM Tank participation that features problem-based learning and engineering design challenge process
- Opportunity to work with the U.S. Army on leadership and team-building skills for your school
- Opportunity to participate in a regional competition where your teams can observe other teams to learn about different strategies, techniques, and projects.
- Being part of the STEAM Tank Community and collaborate with other teams, educators, and subject matter experts
- Opportunity to schedule mentoring sessions with NJSBA and Army STEAM Team members
- Opportunity for teachers to learn and understand the design thinking process and how to run a design challenge
- Opportunity to attend the NJSBA/NJASA/NJASBO annual conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center
- Opportunity to earn a STEAM Tank Digital Badge for your school
- Board of education members can earn Board Member Academy credits by attending a STEAM Tank event
Additional STEAM Tank Partners
In addition to NJSBA and the U.S. Army, additional partners include the NJEA, NJ Audubon, Eco-Schools, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), NJPTA, and NJPSA. The PSEG Foundation has generously provided prizes for the past several years to the top placing teams.
STEAM Tank Innovator
The STEAM Tank Innovator Badge can be proudly displayed on your school’s website indicating that your team has advanced to the STEAM Tank regional competition. It signifies that your team has an innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial idea that will improve a community or global situations and help people live safer, more sustainable, and healthier lives.