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Monmouth University has announced its second annual Stars Science Competition for middle school students, to be held on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 9 a.m. to noon at Edison Hall on the Monmouth University campus.

Eighteen teams from thirteen 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 December 3 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with the award presentations from 11 a.m. until noon.

Schools participating include: Forrestdale School (Rumson); Hope Academy Charter School (Asbury Park); Howell Memorial Middle School; H. W. Mountz School (Spring Lake); Long Branch Middle School; Maple Place School (Oceanport); Markham Place School (Little Silver); Marlboro Middle School; Mother Teresa Regional School (Atlantic Highlands); Red Bank Charter School; Red Bank Middle School; Solomon Schechter Day School (Marlboro); and the Township of Ocean Intermediate School.

Members of the Monmouth University biology honor society, Beta Beta Beta, will be assisting with competition. These future science leaders are wonderful role models for the participating middle school students.

Holy Cross School won first prize in 2010. The students investigated ways of transitioning away from the styrofoam trays they use in their cafeteria to something more environmentally friendly. They scientifically analyzed alternative trays and recommended trays made from potatoes as the most environmentally friendly and economically reasonable solution. The team won $1,000.

The Township of Ocean Intermediate School won second prize in 2010. The students investigated ways to replace their old school lockers. They brainstormed various alternatives, built prototypes, investigated the OSHA rules, and came up with an innovative new locker design. The team won $800.

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 NJ-based Telcordia, 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.”


Telcordia, a global leader in the development of mobile, broadband and enterprise communications software and services, enables Communications Service Providers (CSPs), enterprises, suppliers and governments to successfully deploy innovative and advanced services that help our clients realize operational efficiencies, drive revenue, and maintain a competitive edge. As the industry’s go-to expert for solving the most complex communications challenges, Telcordia is known for getting it right the first time and for having the depth of expertise to fully understand our customers’ situation, respond appropriately, and deliver as promised. Telcordia is headquartered in Piscataway, N.J., with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Central and Latin America.


Monmouth University hosts The Stars Challenge, a science enrichment program for 6th to 9th graders. The program was developed by Dr. Margaret Ann Chappell and Dr. Stephen G. Chappell to nurture the students’ passion and curiosity about science by offering unique classes designed and taught by exemplary teachers. Classes focus on real-world problems allowing students to work in small groups to create innovative solutions. Over the past five years, The Stars Challenge has taught 45 courses with over 700 students. For more information, visit