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Wildfire Rescue Robot Scores Second-Place Panasonic Challenge Award For Delbarton

Delbarton Takes Second Place in Panasonic Design Challenge

A team of three students from Engineering Club, Peter Godart '11, Declan Nowak '14 and Justin Park '11 took second place among 23 high school on April 12th at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Physics teacher and Club Moderator Greg Devine guided the team through the intensive process.

The team submitted its innovative design and engineering of a wildfire response and rescue robotic device. First place winner, High Point Regional High School, unseated Delbarton, the three-time defending champion, in the annual science and technology competition. Burlington County Institute of Technology placed third and Warren County Technical High School was fourth.

Founded in 1991, the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge is the premier science and technology competition for New Jersey high school students. Modeling a real-world engineering process, the Creative Design Challenge requires students to keep an engineering log book, submit a written report and give an oral presentation that tests their communication skills. All 23 teams competing in the finals had already completed a rigorous preliminary competition in which more than 50 schools competed for a spot in the finals.

This year's theme, “Wildfire Response & Rescue,” required each team to design and build a remote controlled device to maneuver through an obstacle course and complete tasks associated with wildfire response and rescue missions. The eco-theme of this year’s competition was based upon the widespread growth of wildfires due to global environmental changes. The theoretic rescue included a water crossing; activating a fire alarm lever; and retrieving one (Lego) person and delivering them to a safe zone.

In the finals, student demonstrated their devices and were judged on the quality of their written report, oral presentation, engineering logbook entries plus, of course, the actual performance of their device. More than $40,000 in individual scholarships and prizes are awarded to the top four schools. The Delbarton team students each received $4,000 scholarships.

Panasonic Corporation of North America’s Chairman and CEO Joe Taylor said, "...all of us at Panasonic are very impressed with the high level of engineering and science skills exhibited at this year’s Creative Design Challenge competition. Year after year, the quality of the work performed by the students at the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge continues to amaze us all..."

For complete results and more information on the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge, click here.

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