STEAM Tank™️ 2024

The New Jersey School Boards Association invites all New Jersey public schools to SPARK Innovation – and join the 2024 STEAM Tank™️ Challenge. This popular program gives students the chance to invent, modify, or use problem-solving skills to solve real-world problems.

Facilitated by teachers and advisers, the STEAM Tank™️ Challenge encourages students to work collaboratively to identify and develop innovative solutions to issues such as climate change and the environment, societal problems and situations that need resolution in our schools, communities, state and globally.

“The STEAM Tank™️ Challenge inspires students to become the next generation of entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, artists and engineers to help make the world a better place, said Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director of NJSBA. “We’ve been overwhelmed by positive comments from students, educators and partners who have participated in past years, and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new class to the STEAM Tank™️ Challenge family.”

Why STEAM Tank™️

Supporting STEAM learning will enable our students to compete in the global marketplace and drive New Jersey’s growth. It supports education that equips students to identify real-world situations, solve problems, innovate, and present creative solutions.

STEAM Tank™️ Design

The STEAM Tank™️ Challenge consists of three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Each level has a first, second, and third-place prize.

STEAM Tank™️ is intended to be open-ended to maximize student creativity and to allow them to take the challenge in any direction they wish. Students, no matter what they create or problem-solve, must learn to consider the impact of environmental and climate change, whether direct or indirect.

To participate, teams of at least two students must submit an application. We do not accept solo applications as this is not a reflection of teamwork. Once the concept is accepted, the teacher/team leader will receive access to the STEAM Tank™️ playbook, which contains detailed information about the challenge.

STEAM Tank™️ Categories

STEAM Tank™️ judges may also recognize a team that specializes in or demonstrates exemplary performance in specific categories reflected in the STEAM Tank™️ rubric. These awards will vary each year depending on the presentations by student teams.

The categories include:

  • Innovative use of technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creativity and the exemplary integration of the arts
  • Improvement to the human-built environment
  • Subject matter expert collaboration
  • Societal impact
  • Sustainability, climate change, and the environment
  • Public health and safety

Competition Judging

The students are the stars of STEAM Tank™️, but the judges also make a significant impact. The judges include teachers, business and industry leaders and entrepreneurs, U.S. Army engineers, university staff and leaders, and staff from education-focused non-profit organizations. They volunteer their time and provide in-depth feedback and coaching to the students.

STEAM Tank™️ Challenge Benefits

When students participate in the STEAM Tank™️ Challenge, they get to:

  • Access to a comprehensive STEAM Tank™️ Playbook, a “how-to” guide for STEAM Tank™️ participation that features problem-based learning and engineering design challenge process
  • Hone critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Participate in a regional competition
  • Observe other teams to learn about different strategies, techniques and projects
  • Interact with mentors and collaborate with teachers
  • Have an opportunity to attend the NJSBA annual conference
  • Earn a STEAM Tank™️ Digital Badge for their school

Learn More

Email or visit our STEAM Tank™️ Facebook page for more information on the STEAM Tank™️ Challenge.