HSTW Ohio Network and the Rural STEM Collaborative, school districts of Black River, Mapleton, New London, Northwestern and Wellington, recognized the efforts of Black River elementary and middle school teachers and student teams who competed in the Army Education Outreach Program Junior Solar Sprint National Competition, June 30 through July 2 at National Harbor, Washington, D.C.

Supported by the U.S. Army since 2001, JSS offers resources to empower teachers, mentors, and other community members to engage fifth through eighth grade students in the designing, building and racing of model solar cars.

Students develop teamwork and problem-solving abilities, investigate environmental issues and gain hands-on STEM skills to build the fastest, most interesting and best-crafted vehicle possible. During the 2018-19 school year, Black River elementary and middle school competed in the Rural STEM Collaborative Five District Competition, with two winning teams selected by each district for competition at the AEOP JSS national competition.

The Black River Middle School’s eighth grade eCybermission team also competed in the virtual competition, and received a second place Ohio award and recognition. 

Its project, Hold the Mayo, project focused on a filter that was placed on the tailpipe of vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and decrease air pollution.

The team consisted of Jessica Kozik, Gabriel Sterzer and Keith Krnac. Each student received a $500 U.S. savings bond as a reward for the team’s design.

All of the students in Randy Endsley’s STEM class discussed, developed and applied ideas to help with local and global issues.