A team of three Delbarton students, Tom Hartke '13, Dan Blanc '12 and Steve Rybicki '12, took home top honors from among 27 New Jersey high school teams in the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge (CDC) on April 24 at New Jersey Institute of Technology. All 27 teams previously had completed a preliminary competition pitting 49 New Jersey schools against each other for a slot in the finals. Last year Delbarton, the three-time defending champion, took second place in the Design Challenge.
How does it feel to be back on top? "Just great!" says Advisor Greg Devine, who also recently learned that he is one of five high school educators nationally to receive a teaching award from Northwestern University.
Since 1991 the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge has been the premier science and technology competition for New Jersey high school students. This year's challenge was "Mars 3000" and reflected the aeronautics industry's goal to detect water on Mars, which potentially could make the planet habitable (condo, anyone?). Each team designed and built a remote controlled robot to navigate an obstacle course and complete space exploration-esque jobs like landing, maneuvering out of a depression (read: crater), and deliver materials to a space craft. In the finals, the boys demonstrated their device and also were judged on their written report, oral presentation and logbook entries. Each member of the championship team was awarded a $5,000 academic scholarship.
Joseph M. Taylor, Chairman & CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North America, commented, "We were extremely impressed with the high level of engineering and science skills which all of the student teams exhibited. Beyond the technical expertise of these students, is their commitment to teamwork and an overall sense of camaraderie among competitors around a common interest."
We salute our Delbarton design engineering team of Blanc, Hartke and Rybicki, and their faculty advisor Greg Devine, on an impressive Panasonic win. Go Wave 'bots!