BIG congratulations are in order for our two Brown School teams who competed in the Regional Science Bowl held at GE’s Global Research Center on March 2nd.
Team 1 featured Science Bowl veterans Malcolm, Sam, Tiffany, and William, along with rookie Samantha. Team 2 featured 6th grade, first-time participants Ben, Cole, Ian, Julia and Logan. The students spent countless hours during and after school building and perfecting their cars and practicing questions for the Science Bowl.
Provided with just a motor and a lithium polymer battery, this year’s engineering challenge for students was to design and build an electric-powered car that could successfully carry a 737g box of table salt along a 15m track and across the finish line. The students selected materials and spent weeks cutting, sanding, gluing, testing and optimizing various components of their cars. Team 1’s car featured a transverse mount of the salt box with an air foil to minimize wind resistance. The car also featured a front wheel drive system. Team 2’s car featured a fast rev, light-weight design, that proved very exciting in the testing phase.
Excitement was certainly the word of the day at the competition. Students were faced with unpredictable track conditions which caused some cars to succumb to some serious “off-road” ventures. Brown School students doubled down, took in some moments of mindful breathing, and worked together to do the best they could to adapt to these challenges.
Team 2’s car was strong until the last race when it ran slower than usual. Nevertheless, the Team 2 car finished the competition in a very respectable 4th place.
Team 1’s car emerged victorious and unbeaten even after losing its motor in the second to last race! The Team 1 car placed 1st overall, thus earning another First Place trophy for Brown School!
The question phase of the competition was, as always, a challenge with even judges admitting they could only answer about 50% correctly! Our teams did very well. Rookie Team 2 shone their enthusiasm and surpassed expectations, while Team 1’s experience translated into confidence and steadiness as they navigated both the questions and scoring strategy. Both teams advanced to the quarter finals.
The students learned a lot from the whole process and best of all, had FUN doing science! Each of them experienced a measure of growth and personal best in one way or another.
The students send their thanks to all those who helped them along on this journey. Many thanks to Mr. Swan, our upper school science teacher, Ms. Burke, our upper school math teacher, Mr. Osterlitz and Mrs. Burke, Brown School parents, and Ben Burke, a Brown School alum. The teams and coaches were especially touched by the Brown School banner delivered to them at the competition by Mrs. Vitale. It bore signatures and good luck wishes from everyone in the school. It watched over the teams at our “base camp” table and is featured in some of our very happy victory photos.