Design & Technology | News and Announcements

  • NJIT to Host Engineering Career Day

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 10/22/2018 8:35:00 AM
    New Jersey Institute of Engineering (NJIT) is hosting an annual Engineering Career Day on Friday, December 7, 2018. 
    The program is designed to give high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to explore engineering and consider engineering as a career path.  Students will be escorted throughout the campus to meet current engineering students and faculty, and be presented with systems, devices, robots and vehicles.   
    Specific fields that will be explored (all in the same day) include Biomedical Engineering, Chemical, Biological & Pharmaceutical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, and Engineering Technology.  
    For more information, please see the following link -
    DATE:  Friday, December 7, 2018
    TIME:  7:40am - 2:30pm  (departure and arrival at CHS)
    WHERE: NJIT Campus - University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102 USA 
    COST: $20 per student (includes transportation, lunch will be free and served by NJIT)
    CHS has been invited to take a maximum of 20 students (juniors and seniors).  If interested, please complete this form by Thursday, October 25.  Students chosen to attend will be taken in order of sign-up - first-come, first-serve.
    If you have any questions, please reach out to Mrs. Elizabeth Tully-Cano or Mrs. Kaitlin Sleight.
    Sign up here:
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  • CHS Robotics Team Placed in World Championship Competition

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 5/18/2018

    After countless work sessions, hours documenting their journey in their engineering notebooks, and even late night adjustments to the CADD, the Chatham Cougars Robotics team competed at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship this past week held in Detroit, Michigan. The team battled it out in a four day competition against 128 teams from around the world including Romania, China, South Korea, The Netherlands, and Germany for a chance to call themselves World Champions.

    A rookie team at the World Championship, the Chatham Cougars had a total of nine qualification matches to rank high enough to move into the semi-finals elimination bracket of the tournament. After a 20 minute judged interview on their process, robot inspections, and winning their first match, the team ended the first day with confidence. At the end of the second day, the team’s record was 5-1, and their ranking at the competition was bouncing between 4th and 7th place. The team’s excitement grew as they continued to win matches and prove they deserved to be at the World Championship. With one more day of qualification matches to go, the Cougars’ confidence soared. 

    However, two of their opponents on Friday push past by a few points. The team ended the week at the FTC World Championship with a record of 6-3, finishing at 20th in the World, a feat very few teams accomplish.

    Team in front of their Pit at the Cobo Center

    Team in front of their Pit at the Cobo Center
    Left to right: Co-captain Chris Landolfi, Aliza Reshamwalla, Vedant Kudalkar,

    Tessa Mason, Amber Reshamwalla, Chris Doherty, co-captain Carson Storm


    Julianna Ryan, Robotics teacher at Chatham High School, said, “The journey of this team over the past year has been incredible. I could not be prouder of their hardwork and dedication, which truly paid off at the championship. Collectively, my two teams spent over 600 hours working on their robots outside of class time, and it shows. As this year comes to a close, we will graduate the last group of founding students who have been with us since the beginning of the robotics program three years ago, but I cannot wait to see what they all accomplish at the next stage of their lives.”

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  • CMS Cycles Teacher Awarded CEF Grant for iPad Teleprompters

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 5/7/2018

    The Chatham Education Foundation awarded Chatham Middle School Cycles teacher, Elissa Cohen-Michel, a grant to purchase two iPad teleprompters.  These teleprompters allow students to practice their public speaking skills, which are emphasized and practiced throughout projects in the Argument and Debate, Sports Journalism, and News Media Cycles.  

    The use of teleprompters enables students to read text and deliver news stories and advertisements “like the pros,” while at the same time, reduces the anxiety that often coincides with memorizing lines and public speaking. Additionally, teleprompters provide students with a more authentic and realistic experience, as well as an opportunity to integrate and utilize more advanced technology.




    Photographed: Grace Tortorella, Collin Fitzgerald, Spencer Burke and Sam Paone

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  • Chatham High Technology Teacher Jason Mariano Wins 'Image Award'

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 5/4/2018

    Chatham High School Technology teacher Jason Mariano was recognized by the New Jersey Technology and Engineering Educators Association with their 2018 Image Award.

    The award honors "individuals who make a special effort that results in positive reflection of TED Education outside of the profession. Recipients of this award have received recognition in their community for their support of advancement of technology education through innovative projects and meaningful student experiences, resulting in positive community response."

    “While I do not know who nominated me for the award, I know I am being presented this award alongside many outstanding individuals in the field of technology education from all parts of New Jersey," Mariano said.  "Being a technology educator has brought so much success and enjoyment to myself professionally and part of it is due to the community of technology teachers that work together within the NJTEEA organization. This award recognizes teachers that support the field of technology education outside of the classroom.

    "I am currently bringing 3D printing to summer camps in NJ that wanted to enhance their STEM content without the need to purchase and maintain the high end 3D printers. I have three 3D printers I bring to a camp in Florham Park and would like to expand to more summer camps. I firmly believe that introducing this type of technology properly into early ages increases interest in engineering and closes gender gaps in all fields of design and engineering.”

    Chatham High School Supervisor of Instructional and Design Technology Danielle Dagounis said, “It is a great honor for Mr. Mariano to be recognized for his dedication to the profession over the past 20 years, 11 of which have been with the District. He was also honored eight years ago through the NJTEEA Innovative Technology Educator award program. Our department is proud to have Mr. Mariano recognized yet again.”

    Mariano will receive his award at the New Jersey Technology and Engineering Educators Association Awards Ceremony on June 8th.

    Link to TAP into Chatham Article


    Chatham High Technology Teacher Jason Mariano is the recipient of the 2018 Image Award

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  • Chatham High Computer Science Teacher Hajdu Recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 3/22/2018 7:00:00 AM

    Chatham High School Computer Science teacher John Hajdu has been recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) with the 2017 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award.

    The Educator Award is conferred upon educators who have demonstrated a commitment to encouraging young women’s aspirations in computing.

    “In this day and age, innovation is driven by technology. If you want to change the world, there is a good chance you will have do some programming, or at least work with someone who programs," Hajdu said. "Ensuring every group, be it women, minorities or otherwise, have an equal opportunity to develop those skills is incredibly important and beneficial to our society as a whole. It is an honor to play a small role in the work that NCWIT does to increase diversity in the field of computing.”

    The NCWIT told Hajdu, “Young women represent a promising source of technical talent, yet are woefully underrepresented in computing. Great teachers are one of the most important factors in inspiring young women to engage with technology in meaningful ways and pursue technical careers. We thank you for all you have done to make computing a reality and we look forward to seeing your students among our Award applicants and recipients for years to come.”

    CHS Supervisor of Instructional Design and Technology, Danielle Dagounis, said, “Mr. Hajdu is extremely active professionally outside of his regular teaching responsibilities, serving on various statewide committees for the advancement of computer science education. He also makes computer science accessible to all students and we have seen our female enrollment in our Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course increase from 14 percent to 48 percent in three years! Mr. Hajdu is very deserving of this recognition.”

    New Jersey Affiliate Aspirations Award Ceremony to be held at Kean University on April 4th.

    Link to the TAP into Chatham article.


    Chatham High Science Teacher John Hajdu is the recipient of the "Aspirations in Computing" award

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  • Design & Technology Department Awarded Two CEF Grants

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 3/22/2018 5:00:00 AM

    CEF Grant Awards
    March 19, 2018

    On Monday, March 19th, the Chatham Education Foundation (CEF) awarded its newest round of grants to teachers and administrators of the School District of the Chathams. This month’s grants, totalling over $19,000, will enhance STEM and Literacy programs at both Chatham Middle School (CMS) and Chatham High School (CHS).

    Congratulations to our recipients for their tremendous efforts and the innovation their endeavors bring to so many students. Highlights from the four grants awarded on March 19th include:

    A grant awarded to CHS for a large format printer will enable approximately 400 students enrolled in Design and Technology courses and Robotics and Technology clubs to print technical drawings and documents on proper-sized paper. CEF awarded Design and Tech teachers Julianna Ryan, Jason Mariano and Connor Henderson this grant to enable students to complete a variety of hands-on, engineering, STEM-based design challenges using professional tools and materials. This grant will allow students in Robotics and Technology to better compete against schools from across the nation.

    CEF awarded STEM Supervisor Danielle Dagounis a grant for collaborative idea boards. These tools will allow Design and Technology students at CMS to engage in group collaboration to: brainstorm, conduct research, develop plans, communicate ideas and engage in hands-on design building. This award will allow the 1200 students in the 6-8 grade STEM classes to have the flexible learning space needed to align with model curriculum learning.

    CHS English teacher, Christina McCabe, is the recipient of a $2400 grant for her “We Need Diverse Books” grant application. A diverse selection of 203 book titles and a library management system are to be included in an in-classroom library to better meet the needs and interests of over 100 students
    annually. Books that engage students and help struggling or reluctant readers will help students embrace reading and CHS’s independent reading initiative.

    The CMS Science Department is the recipient of a grant for Pasco Probes. Each year over 1000 students will benefit from these probes by being able to use these efficient and accurate data collection tools, leaving more time for analyzing and discussing data. According to grant applicant and Science
    Supervisor, Kristen Crawford, “Research evidence demonstrates that sustained, guided student use of technology tools for data collection, analysis and visualization helps deepen students’ understanding of science concepts.” CEF extended a similar grant to CHS in 2016 and we are pleased to extend this type of science learning to CMS.

    For the 2017-18 school year, CEF has extended over $82,000 in grant funding. These grants impact all students and the community by providing technology, classroom of the future innovative furniture and tools and programs to support literacy, STEM, well-being and the arts.

    Please consider supporting our students and teachers by joining us for Casino Royale on April 27, 2018 or making a donation to CEF at . The generosity of private donors funds CEF and encourages teachers and administrators to research new methods and tools, try new techniques, and spread their enthusiasm to colleagues and students.

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  • Chatham Middle School Rookie Robotics Team Wins Award

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 11/29/2017 7:00:00 AM

    FLL Team Pictured left to right: Luca Gianusso, Martin Pacelat, Laurel Hamilton, Pranav Venugopal. Santiago Figueroa, Sheehan Maitra, Jessica Liatys, Mihir Rao, and Winston Roos. (Not pictured: Hayden Albert and Adi Sinha)


    The Chatham Middle School FIRST Lego League Robotics (FLL) team “Cougar Nation #34043,” coached by CMS Design & Technology teacher, Jessica Liatys, took home their first trophy from the State Qualifiers competition on Sunday, November 19th. The competition was held at Mt. Olive High School and was comprised of over 20 teams from the Northern NJ region.

    FIRST Lego League teams must compete in four categories which include a research project on the human water cycle, robot design, core values, and robot performance/competition. For the research portion of the competition, the team choose to research droughts and their potential causes. The team found that some causes can be tied to global warming and created a project to help alleviate global warming by creating more efficient solar panels.  Their working prototype was developed based on their research of solar panels.  Their prototype contains a photoresistors which detects an amount of light and senses when the light source has moved, allowing the sensors to follow that light as it moves across the sky and outputs the given value from the sensors. The program was written in C and the prototype was created using Arduino. This research project was led by Mihir Rao, an 8th grade student at Chatham Middle School.

    Video of the Solar Panel Prototype In Action

    During the Core Values portion of the competition, the Cougar Nation team was given an ad-hoc challenge to complete in 10 minutes while judges assessed their teamwork and core values within the team. Overall, the Cougar Nation team received a perfect score in the area of Core Values and took home a 2nd place trophy.

     FLL Trophy


    While the team did take home a trophy, their overall score did not advance them to the next round. Jessica Liatys said, “The Cougar Nation team has been working extremely hard in preparing for qualifiers. Although we did not advance, the team has so much to be proud of. We began as a rookie team, unsure of what we should be doing, and now we feel well prepared for the next competition season. We are not here to win, we are here to learn and have fun while doing it. This season has been a learning process for all of us, including myself.” As they enter the off season, the Cougar Nation Robotics team will continue working hard to prepare for their next practice event in February.

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  • CHS Senior Wins Two Film Awards

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 4/6/2017 7:00:00 AM

    She won Best Short Narrative at the Cinema Ed Young Filmmakers Track on March 11 and the Audience Choice Award at the Kent Place Film Festival on March 31.

    Jessica wrote and directed her short film, “Unforgotten,” in her high school short-films class this year, and she entered this film in both competitions.

    “Unforgotten” tells the story of a girl, haunted by the death of her best friend, who must learn to forgive and to forget.

    “My biggest drive as a filmmaker is to move people and to expose my audiences to new scenarios or perspectives that they may not have considered before,” she said. “I want audiences to become emotionally invested in the characters and to reflect upon their own experiences after watching my films.

    “ ‘Unforgotten’ doesn’t have a very strong personal connection to my own life, but I wanted to explore the nuanced circumstances behind death and the resulting loss, as these are delicate issues that people can often misinterpret or undermine. I do not, by any means, think that my film does the real-life situation full justice, but I do hope that it sheds some light onto the subject.”

    Chatham High School film teacher Connor Henderson said, “I am so proud of Jess’ accomplishments. She is extremely passionate about film and took full advantage of this opportunity to write and direct a film of her own.

    “ ‘Unforgotten’ is beautifully shot – it certainly does not look like a high student’s work, but it is the story that makes this film great. We had many conversations about the content in the film and how difficult it would be to tell this story.

    “When I saw the final cut, I was so impressed with her sensitivity and I thought the story had a lot of real emotion. Kimmy [Scaglione] and Lilly [McGrath] are two very talented actresses and they played the characters perfectly.”

    Jessica will attend New York University next year to study film.

    Click here for link to full article.

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  • Summer Enrichment Programs and Camp Opportunities

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 3/30/2017 7:00:00 AM

    Summer Programs

    Girls Who Code Summer Camp

    Montclair State University

    iD Tech

    International Ivy

    Buehler Challenger & Science Center

    Liberty Science Center

    Destination Science

    New Jersey Institute of Technology


    Secondary-Focused Camps

    Girls Who Code Summer Camp (Grades 6-8 & 9-12)


    Student Learning and Achievement Aerospace and Mechanical (SLAAM) Engineering Summer Academy (Grades 9-12)



    Stevens Institute of Technology Pre-College Programs for High School Students



    New Jersey Institute of Technology Early College Preparation Programs (Grades 4-11)



    Middlesex County College Middle School and High School Programs




    Rutgers University - Pre-College Programs




    RKYHS Maker Experience



    Michigan Technological University's Summer Youth Programs (Center for Pre-College Outreach)

    Michigan Tech  


    The College of New Jersey Robotics Camp



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  • CHS Robotics Team Advances to East Super-Regional Conference

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 3/2/2017 7:00:00 AM

    Chatham High School’s rookie robotics team does it once again! On Sunday, February 26th, the 48 top FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams from across the state gathered to compete at the New Jersey Garden State Rumble Championship at West Windsor Plainsboro High School North, two of which were Chatham’s own. Both teams formed in the high school’s advanced robotics class under teacher and advisor, Julianna Ryan. As the day advanced, each team found success in their division, but //Cougars dominated their competition all throughout the qualification matches.

    The team sat comfortably in the topped ranked seat for most of the day, until a tie knocked them into second place. That did not stop the determined students from strategizing to create the best situation possible as they progressed into the semi-finals. The auditorium erupted as hundreds of spectators cheered on the robots performing impressive autonomous programming, robots shooting wiffle balls at the center vortex, or even robots lifting yoga balls four feet off the ground. //Cougars luck ran out when they were defeated in the finals of their division.

    Both Chatham teams gathered to watch the winners of both divisions battle it out for the championship title. The crowd’s enthusiasm only grew as the matches continued. Nearly 10 hours after the teams checked in and 6 months of work were coming to an end all at once for the majority of the teams in the room. Divisions between teams broke down as teams sat among one another congratulating everyone on their successes and discussing their seasons and future plans to collaborate. Soon the 10 teams to advance onto the East Super-Regional Championship would be announced.

    Trophies were given to the winning teams as they worked their way through the line of dozens of FTC judges and volunteers cheering them on. As a division finalist, the members of //Cougars were among one of those teams. With smiles spread across their faces and medals around their necks, the team accepted their plaque. They soon learned, as the highest ranked team of the day, //Cougars, a rookie team, had officially earned a place advancing on to the East Super-Regional Conference to compete against the 72 best teams from Maine to West Virginia for a chance to move on to the World’s Championship with 39 countries competing! //Cougars teammates jumped for joy, ran up and down the bleachers, and celebrated their success. If you’d like to see the rest of this story unfolds over the next three weeks, catch their instagram at “CHSCougar_Robotics”. Let’s go //Cougars!

     Nick Surguladze, Damian Gunadasa, Aliza Reshamwalla, Ozaner Hansha, Anthony Tesoriero, Rachel Thompson, Phillip Wu, & Chris Landolfi
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