This year’s STEAM Tank Challenge received over 520 applications from 81 school districts and 103 schools statewide. Over 360 teams virtually presented from 21 counties in the regional rounds in early spring, and 47 teams qualified for the final presentations held at the end of May.

STEAM Tank is an open-ended entrepreneurial design challenge that requires student teams to develop innovative solutions to solve problems. Students are encouraged to reimagine and redesign New Jersey communities, so they are sustainable, healthy, equitable and safe for everyone.

This year’s challenge featured high school teams working to stop wildfires from destroying forests, property, and lives; middle school teams creatively upcycling unwanted or donated clothing free of charge to their fellow students and community; and elementary school teams who created an awareness campaign for students, faculty, and staff for those who have both visible and invisible disabilities.

The prize money is sponsored by the Education Leadership Foundation of New Jersey. Programs funded by ELFNJ, in partnership with the New Jersey School Boards Association, work to advance student achievement and improve school board governance.

The top three elementary and middle school teams are invited to attend the NJSBA’s Workshop in Atlantic City, Oct. 24-25, where they will present their ideas and be awarded $10,000 in prize money between both divisions. Here are the finalists:

Middle School Division:

Eco Blox – Gould Elementary School, North Caldwell.

Tomorrow’s Closet – Creative Colab Charter School, Camden.

Improved Bullet Staunch – Haddonfield Middle School, Haddonfield.

Alternate middle school team: Squiggle Seeds – Gould Elementary School, North Caldwell.

Elementary Division:

  • Smarbage – Newbury Elementary School, Howell Township.
  • Spray, Spray, Spray – Wanamassa School, Ocean Township.
  • School Navigator – Good Intent Elementary, Deptford Township.
  • Alternate elementary school team: Safety Seekers – James Madison School, Garfield.

The top three high school teams were announced at the STEAM Tank Virtual Awards ceremony held June 8, with a total of $5,000 in prize money, also provided by ELFNJ, awarded. Since many high school seniors are moving onto college, trade schools, or the work force, NJSBA honored the winners during the 2022-2023 school year, instead of waiting until October.

The winning high school teams are:

  • Study Hungry — Monroe Township High School – $2,500.
  • Estrogenators — Ridgewood High School – $1,500.
  • Wildfire Assessor — Ridgewood High School – $1,000.

For more information about STEAM Tank, contact the NJSBA at 

Thank you to the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey.