Holy Cross School, Rumson, fared very well in the annual Stars Science Competition held at Monmouth University last week.
Placing second out of 27 teams, Holy Cross' group won $800 for its exploration of the school's water usage and ways to decrease costs.
Students on the Holy Cross team, which competed on Jan. 12, included: Brendan Durney, Holly Koerwer, Erin Mattone, Jillian McHugh, Olivia Farrington, Michelle O’Malley, Pierre Thormann and Sebastian Buckley.
The Stars Challenge is a science enrichment program for top middle school students. The event challenged students to identify a problem at their school and to then come up with solutions to it using science, creativity and team work.
"Students love competitions and the opportunity to compete intellectually — to come up with a creative solution to a problem that exists in their school or community," said Margaret Ann Chappell, co-founder of The Stars Challenge, in a release. "Students get to pick a problem and demonstrate their grasp of science and creativity as they develop a solution."
In addition to Holy Cross, Rumson's Forrestdale School participated, as did the following other area schools: Howell Middle School South, Markham Place School Little Silver, Marlboro Middle School, Mother Teresa Regional School, Atlantic Highlands, Red Bank Charter School, W. R. Satz Middle School, Holmdel, Solomon Schechter Day School, Marlboro, and the Township of Ocean Intermediate School.
Mother Theresa School students took third place and $600 for their experiments to quiet noisy classrooms. Students participating from Mother Teresa included Shane Dolan, Jason Korloff, Jakob Trinidad, Michael Rosa, Kevin Finucan, and Steven Allegretta.
Honorable mention went to a Howell Middle School South team that spearheaded and implemented an effort to cut down on waste in the school's cafeteria by donating fruit headed for the trash to the SPCA instead.
The Stars Science Competition is sponsored by Ericsson, Inc., which provided the prize fund. Monmouth University provided the venue and support.
"The Competition is about encouraging scientific creativity, and getting kids excited about science," Chappell added. "It's also about developing links between local science and technology companies and the classroom, and showing students how local firms are taking their innovations around the world."