Ridgewood’s Grover Cleveland High School STEM club racks up competition victories

From left to right: Eric Rodriguez (chaperone), Jay Carpio, Natalia Rivera, Catherine Matute, Nicole Potaczala, Monique Guzman, Lauren Daly, Sarah Tulsiedass, Rania Taib, Joshua Lastra, Wanda Tavarez (assistant coach), Dilsanelys Minaya, Stephanie Alvarado, Amy Alvarado
Photo credit: Envirothon coach Krishna Mahabir

Students from the Grover Cleveland High School STEM Research Club took home first place out of the Queens schools and seventh in the city in the Envirothon on April 12. The team also won first place in the Regional Bridge Building Contest on March 16.

Each year the New York City Soil and water Conservation District organizes the Envirothon, an outdoor environmental science contest involves five categories: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and current events.

To compete, students walk to different stations to answer topic-specific questions, at least half of the which involve the use of equipment or maps, or audio/visual identification.

Grover Cleveland High School will now advance to the state Envirothon at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva May 22-23.

Jeevan Bastola, who won first place at the Regional Bridge Building Contest on March 16, traveled to the 2019 International Bridge Building Contest at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to represent the team.

The competition tested bridges using a hydraulic press, which Grover Cleveland students were familiar with.

Bastola’s bridge weighed in at 13.4 grams and held 35.14 kilograms before cracking, for an efficiency of 2,674 times the bridge’s own mass. Bastola won 18th place out of 52 competitors from around the U.S. Only 41 bridges actually actually made it through qualification, as the bridge specifications this year were especially challenging.

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