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Monmouth University today announced its third annual Stars Science Competition for middle school students, to be held on Saturday, January 12, 2013, from 9 a.m. to noon at Monmouth University in Wilson Hall.

Twenty-six teams from ten local schools will compete for the $1,000 first prize, $800 second prize, and $600 third prize.  The prize money will go to the teachers who lead the winning teams and will be used to buy science equipment and supplies for the teachers’ classrooms.

Members of local communities and media and are invited to attend and to meet students and teachers throughout the event. Judging takes place January 12 between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m., with the award presentations from 11 a.m. until noon.

Schools participating include Forrestdale School (Rumson), Holy Cross School (Rumson), 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.

Members of the High Technology High School Experimental Research Group, will be assisting with the competition and presenting their own award.  These future science leaders are wonderful role models for the participating middle school students.

Mother Teresa Regional School won first prize in 2011. Students investigated various options for reducing the solar heat gain in their classrooms. They settled on the best shield that reduced the heat but wasn’t too dark. The team won $1,000 for use in their science classroom.

Hope Academy Charter School in Asbury Park won second prize in 2011. They investigated ways of attracting bats in order to reduce the mosquito population. They built a prototype bat house and garden and are now gathering data on their success. The team won $800.

H. W. Mountz School in Spring Lake won third prize. The students investigated and implemented a new way for the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to have recess and lunch so the 5th and 6th graders had lunch first then recess while the 7th and 8th graders did the reverse. This reduced crowding in the lunch room and play ground, shortened the lines, and reduced the noise. The school implemented the students’ recommendations permanently. The team won $600.

Dr. Margaret Ann Chappell, co-founder of The Stars Challenge, said: “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. Students get to pick a problem and demonstrate their grasp of science and creativity as they develop a solution.”

The Stars Science Competition is sponsored by Ericsson, Inc, which provided the prize fund, Monmouth University, which provided the venue and support, and The Stars Challenge, a science enrichment program for top middle school students.

Dr. Chappell added: “The Competition is about encouraging scientific creativity, and getting kids excited about science. 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.”

For more information, please visit

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Petra Ludwig, Monmouth University, 732-263-5507,

Krista Wald, Ericsson, 732-699-5050,

Margaret Ann Chappell, The Stars Challenge, 732-530-1061,