The importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is indisputable. During this century, more than 60 percent of new jobs will require a background in the STEM fields, according to the National Commission on Mathematics and Science for the Twenty-first Century. Unfortunately, the U.S. is lagging in efforts to provide students with the background they need for these jobs.

NJSBA offers training and services to help you evaluate where your school is as it relates to STEAM education and guide your school in making informed and strategic decisions to effectively transition from STEM, taught in silos, to an integrative delivery of STEAM education (I-STEAM). Including the “A” for the arts in STEM opens the possibility for higher student interest and engagement through design, creativity and allows for students to innovate when problem solving in the technical fields.

To learn more about ways NJSBA can help your school take its I-STEAM program to the next level, contact John Henry, NJSBA I-STEAM and Sustainability Specialist, at

STEAM Tank Challenge 2018

Necessity is the mother of invention and ingenuity is often stimulated by difficulty or need.

That’s the concept behind the popular television show “Shark Tank” – and the third annual STEAM Tank Challenge, sponsored by the New Jersey School Boards Association and the U.S. Army. Just as inventors in the television show compete to move their ideas forward, student teams in STEAM TANK appear before judges at NJSBA’s annual conference to gain recognition for their innovative ideas. The challenge will also provide an avenue for students and their teachers to enhance and promote the integrative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiatives taking place in New Jersey.

STEAM Tank consist of three regional challenges for three grade levels, elementary, middle and high school. These selected teams will pitch their ideas to the judges in the designated locations. The winners of the regionals will advance and compete at the STEAM Tank finals to be held at the NJSBA Workshop at the Atlantic City Convention Center on October 23 and October 24, 2018. Winners will be announced at the NJEA Convention in November 2018.

The competition asks the district teams to invent something new, modify an existing product, or identify a situation or problem that needs resolution. Teams must follow a set of rules, and the design or solution will be judged by a panel of experts, in a similar format to Shark Tank. If the entry is a concept, or an idea to solve a situation or problem, rather than a physical invention, the pitch to the judges must clearly outline a plan to accomplish the end result.

The deadline for receiving completed applications is January 31 2018.

The U.S. Army and NJSBA will evaluate all entries and invite teams to participate in the regional competition on a date to be announced. Entrants will be notified of the decision by February 16 2018.

Download the registration form.