Students’ STEM Projects Show Jersey City Needs More Trees, Bats

Students at School 28 here are searching for ways to improve the environment in their hometown, and their work is getting state and national recognition. More than 40 middle school students in the Heights pitched their latest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) projects to their classmates, teachers and sponsors on Thursday afternoon. 

But their projects aren’t your average grade-school science projects: a group of eighth-graders are using drones to map out every tree in Jersey City while sixth-grade students are developing a a fishing pole for blind students to use. 

“This is science, but I think this a cool kind of science,” 13-year-old Ryan Nitschke said while holding his group’s drone. 
Team D.R.O.N.E. — Drones Recording Our Natural Environment — was just named a first round winner for the national Lexus Eco Challenge competition. The students, Nitschke, Samantha Cuevas, Dianna Carreon, Fritz Perera, and Daniel Rivera, have already won $10,000 and are beginning to collect data for the February round two deadline. 

As part of their project, the eighth-graders use 360-degree-angle cameras attached to their drones to collect images of Jersey City’s trees. With data and research they have collected, they estimate only 17 percent of the city’s land is marked with trees. 

Click Here to learn more about this student STEM project

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