Design & Technology | News and Announcements

  • 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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  • //Cougars Secure a Spot in the FTC New Jersey Garden State Rumble Championship

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

    The //Cougars robotics team, a first year team run out of the Chatham High School Advanced Robotics course, dominated the competition at the Northwest League Championship.  The New Jersey FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) event was held at Warren County Technical High School.  The //Cougars competed against 20 other teams to advance into the state championship on Feburary 26th, as well as earn a nomination as a top contender for the Motivate Award.  They will join the other CHS robotics team, Chatham Cougars, also run out of the Advanced Robotics course and coached by Ms. Ryan, in the state championship.

    Read more about the championship and see photos of the event here.

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  • Lafayette School Featured on Little Suns Website!

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 1/17/2017 7:00:00 AM

    Lafayette students in Mr. Kermick's Design & Technology class have been featured on the Little Sun's website.

    little sun

    Little Suns are small, portable solar lamps that were originally created as part of the Little Suns Project.  This project was developed with the  goal of bringing the sustainable energy and the power of the sun to the people of Ethiopia without electricity.  It has expanded into a global project that has created local jobs, generated local profits, and developed an educational outreach program.

    Thanks to the generosity of the Lafayette PTO, Mr. Kermick was able to bring the Little Suns into Design & Technology class, and incorporate them into design challenges.  Great job, Lafayette!

    Check out the feature here.

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  • Chatham Cougars "Inspire" and Advance to State Championship

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 12/13/2016 7:00:00 AM

    The Chatham Cougars won the "Inspire Award" on Sunday at Livingston High to earn a spot in the FIRST Tech Challenge Garden State Rumble Championship set for Feb. 26, 2017.

     The sixth annual FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robo-Joust State Qualifier was held at Livingston High School on Sunday, with 36 teams competing to advance to the FTC Garden State Rumble Championship.

    Two teams, the Chatham Cougars and //Cougars were competing from Julianna Ryan's Chatham High School’s Advanced Robotics class. In class, these 17 students make up two teams who are working together to brainstorm, design, and create a working robot which can complete a variety of tasks and goals through the FTC Velocity Vortex 2016-2017 game challenge.

    These students have been working tirelessly, often working through lunch and for many after school each day to go to the Robo-Joust Qualifier ready to dominate. The Chatham Cougars had a few programming setbacks as the day progressed, but after a very promising interview with the judges and a very well documented Engineering Notebook, the team felt confident about their performance. //Cougars had more success as the day progressed on the competition floor which helped them to advance to the semi-finals, only to be defeated in the best of three matches against the third-place team.

    After nine hours of competition, teams from across northern New Jersey waited to hear who would take home the awards given by the judges for a variety of different criteria. Chatham Cougars were elated when their hard work paid off; the team walked away with the Motivate Award. This award is given to the team who exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge through their team building, team spirit, and enthusiasm.

    The team is recognized for successfully demonstrating recruitment of new teams, mentors, and volunteers. As the excitement pulsed through the Chatham Cougars they were also nominated for the highest award given by FTC, the Inspire Award, which advanced the team onto the Garden State Rumble Championship!

    The Inspire Award is only given to a team who is a top contender for many of the judged awards which involve their business plan, engineering process, programming, and ability to properly document their process in their engineering notebook. Teams that win this award are often very experienced teams and programs which makes this achievement for the Chatham Cougars even greater as they are only halfway through their second year competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge!

    Direct link to the Tap into Chatham article with photos.

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  • Chatham High School Robotics Teams Take Home 1st and 2nd Place

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 12/2/2016 8:00:00 AM

    On Sept. 10, the Advanced Robotics class at Chatham High School anxiously awaited the release of this year’s game for the FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC). In its second year, Chatham’s Robotics team has grown from six members to two teams made up of 17 members. Since the game's release, the teams have been working tirelessly on many iterations of robotic designs to dominate the competition. The team works both in class with their teacher, Julianna Ryan, and after school for many hours a week. So far their hard work and dedication has paid off.

    The teams competed at the Robo-Harvest FTC meet on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Mt. Olive High School against 22 other teams from Northern New Jersey. At the meet, each team is randomly assigned five matches to determine their ranking for the day.

    The two Chatham teams, The Chatham Cougars and //Cougars faced off against teams all morning long, constantly adjusting motors, designs, and programs as the day progressed to come into each match stronger than the match before. When the qualifying matches concluded, Chatham Cougars were ranked in 3rd place, having won four out of five of their qualifying matches and became the third place alliance captain.

    Chatham Cougars had earned a spot in the semifinals and the teams anxiously awaited to see if //Cougars incredible performance throughout the day would be recognized by the other alliance captains to move them into the semifinals as well.

    Their hard work paid off, //Cougars were invited to join the 4th place alliance captain, the JDroids. Teams quickly readied their robots and took the field for the semifinals. Chatham Cougars faced the 2nd place team and with the help of their alliance partner, defeated their opponent. //Cougars were matched up against the 1st place team, and came out on top with an exciting upset.

    The tension really picked up as classmates and friends now had to go head to head fighting for the first place title. After two matches, each Chatham team walked away with a victory so it was up to the third tie breaking match. Balls were flying into the center vortex for big points, while robots battled it out for control of the beacons and when the buzzer sound the tension soared waiting to see which team wound up on top. By a narrow margin, Chatham Cougars took home 1st place leaving //Cougars in 2nd, who were also nominated for the “Outstanding Autonomous” Award.

    The work doesn’t stop there. Both teams returned to the classroom on Monday and immediately began reflecting on their successes and failures and where they want to improve for the next competition. New designs were being fired back and forth between students and the robots began to change again. The teams have not slowed down, with a state qualifying match just around the corner on Dec. 11 at Livingston High School.

    You can expect great things from these exceptional groups of students this year. The teams would like to thank all of the support from the Board of Education and the CHS Administration, as well as, their sponsors, Gourmet Marketing, David Feher Tennis Academy, Rosen Kelly Conway Architecture and Design, and Ranchers Best Wholesale Meats & More.

    Congratulations to Ms. Ryan and her robotics students!

    Direct link to the Tap Into Chatham article with photos.

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  • Chatham Education Foundation Aero-Robotics Grant in Action

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 9/7/2016 8:00:00 AM

    Over the past three years, Chatham High School has been able to increase our STEM-related course offerings, thus enabling our students to explore new and innovative technologies within these courses.  As our STEM program continues to evolve, it is important that we provide our students with a wide array of resources, technologies, and tools to help them develop and hone their problem solving and 21st century skills.

    At the end of last year school year, two CHS Design & Technology teachers, Ms. Julianna Ryan, and Mr. Connor Henderson, were awarded a generous grant from the Chatham Education Foundation, to add aero-robotics to our Advanced Robotics and Video Production programs.  Through this grant, our students will have the opportunity to explore the ever-advancing robotics industry through topics such as the physics of flight, aerodynamics, electronics, programming, and computer aided drafting and design (CADD).  This CEF grant, enabled CHS to purchase two Blade Nano QX RTF quadcopters, flight simulator, two Blade Nano QX FPV first person view quadcopters, DJI Phantom 3 camera-enabled quadcopter, GoPro camera, unassembled racing quadcopter, and an indoor obstacle course kit.

    As a result of these purchases, and addition of aero-robotics into the curriculum, Chatham High School will be able to participate in a new, competitive high school robotics league (The Flyte League) that is currently being formed in the state of New Jersey.  Chatham High School is now able to collaborate with other high schools across the state.  This competition will be enhancing the already rigorous Advanced Robotics course and allow the students to engage in another exciting platform for robotics design.  Furthermore, the Robotics and Video Production students have already teamed up to take aerial footage of various school and athletic events (Ropes Course Pulse Segment, Physics Pulse Segment, Marching Band State Competition Preparation).

    The Chatham High School Design & Technology Department would like to thank the Chatham Education Foundation for their generosity.

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  • Ms. Ryan, CHS Robotics Teacher, Attends Air Force’s FIRST Leadership Program

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 9/1/2016 10:00:00 AM

    Julianna Ryan, Chatham High School Design & Technology/Robotics teacher, was one of 24 teachers and mentors from around the country who were selected to attend the Air Force Recruiting Service’s fifth annual FIRST Leadership Program, July 24-28.

    Hosted at Schriever Air Force Base and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teachers and mentors were given a unique opportunity to meet with senior Air Force leaders as part of Air Force recruiting outreach efforts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

    Ms. Ryan was selected for this program after a competitive application process in which applicants had to submit a short essay describing how they get their student excited about science and technology, and highlighting any innovative techniques they use to help kids learn and stay motivated.

    “The leadership training provided by the senior Air Force leaders was not only insightful, but also incredibly motivating. I am eager to share with my students what I learned at the Air Force Academy and Schriever Air Force Base by folding in new ideas into my lesson plans to shape the future leaders of tomorrow. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity I was provided, I will surely remember this trip for a lifetime.” - Ms. Ryan

    The leadership program consisted of character and leadership development seminars, lectures and team building exercises to provide insight on how the Air Force develops leaders, how Airmen execute their missions as it relates to STEM, and STEM career opportunities available in the Air Force.

    “STEM is an inherent part of the Air Force mission. By showing our capabilities, and instilling the pillars of leadership, with this outstanding group of teachers and mentors we are able to demonstrate the connection between their FIRST efforts and our leadership development efforts,” said Major Jacob Chisolm, Air Force Recruiting Service National Events Branch Chief.

    “We want them to return back to their schools armed with a greater appreciation for the impact leaders can have; and having first-hand knowledge of future opportunities for their students,” he added.

    FIRST is an organization whose mission is to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. To learn more about FIRST go to, or if interested in joining the Air Force visit


    Ms. Ryan at the Schriever Air Force Base


    Ms. Ryan at Rocky Mountain National Park

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  • CMS Participates in First Ever Middle School Interscholastic STEM League Competition

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis on 6/2/2016 7:00:00 AM

    Middle School Interscholastic STEM League Competition

    June 1st, 2016

    Waldwick Middle School


    Chatham Middle School was invited to participate in the first-ever Middle School Interscholastic STEM League Competition on June 1st at Waldwick Middle School.  STEM League is an academic competition environment where students participate in challenge events that apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Students learn how to apply STEM when solving real-life problems and compete against other schools from across New Jersey.  

    The students were challenged to work as a team, utilizing the engineering design process, to design, prototype, and test a hydraulic robotic arm that would lift and move a surgical removal tool to a patient and “perform surgery” on an eye to remove a cataract.   The test patient was a balloon, which represented the patient’s head and face, with grape tomatoes, which represented the eyes that the robotic arms needed to successfully reach in order to perform the cataract surgery within one minute.

    The students prepared for the event by conducting research on cataracts, gusset plates, the engineering design process, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and Pascal’s Law.  During the event, they utilized this information to design their robotic arm, complete a STEM lab, organize their thoughts and plans into an Engineering Design document (along with technical/engineering drawings), develop and test a prototype, and present their findings and designs to the judges.

    The students worked well as a team and won the the award for best presentation and explanation of their work.  Congrats to the students on a job well done!

    Check out the article from the Waldwick Suburban News here.


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