The dawn of spring each year heralds a plethora of mathematical, scientific and technological opportunities for our upper school students. In late February, sixteen of our juniors and seniors competed in a pen-and-paper Engineering Challenge, put on nationally by the Junior Engineering and Technological Society (JETs) and hosted locally by Liberty University. We like this competition because the emphasis is on critical thinking and general mathematical skills.
Here is how it works. The students are presented background information, including descriptions, facts, figures and formulae, and then are asked to answer a series of questions. The students don’t know the specific information or questions ahead of time, so it is a good indicator of a student’s ability to process complicated information on-the-fly. Teams from local high schools – EC Glass, VES, and Orange County were present – strong competition from larger schools to be sure. New Covenant is pleased to announce that its two teams from took first and second places over all local competition. On a statewide level the senior team was ranked 7th. National rankings (which include submitted essays) are not yet published.
Addionally, on Saturday, March 26th, ten of our upper school students participated in a VEX Robotics competition hosted by Liberty University. This is the third year New Covenant students have been involved in this competition and our students are gaining in skill each year ““ one team made it to the quarterfinals this year. These competitions, held all over the country, require students to design and build from the ground up a remotely-controlled robot customized for the particular game established for that year. The following link will take you to a YouTube video of one our matches from this year’s competition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–AvFusYsyQ. Not only is the competition a fun time for the students, the months-long-process encourages students to develop their planning and team-work skills.