Cranston West, Warwick Veterans students engineer top honors in competition at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. — March 20, 1999 — The engineers of the future might just come from Warwick Veterans and Cranston West high schools. Teams from both schools captured top local honors in their respective divisions in the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) national exam, administered Monday, March 8 at the University of Rhode Island. Warwick Veterans captured the Division 1 title, while Cranston West won the Division 2 title. Other high schools participating were Toll Gate and Pilgrim in Warwick, Cranston East, Central in Providence and Westerly High School. William Croasdale, URI professor of education and associate director of technology for the University’s new Transportation Center for Research and Education, which is housed at the College of Engineering, said one section of the exam was graded at URI to come up with the local winners. However, entries from all the schools that participated locally will be sent to the national JETS office in Alexandria, Va. for final grading and a national ranking. The members of the winning Warwick Veterans team, led by their coach, physics teacher David M. Boyer are: Adrienne Marold, Jay Tucci, Joel Campbell, Renee Crevier, Jennifer Hurtebise, Josh Wheeler, Matt Lemek, Sue McLaughlin, Richard Agajanian and Robert Klees. The members of the winning Cranston West team, led by the coach, physics teacher, Dale King, are Stacy Rousseau, Jennifer Sczerbinski, Jessica Hudson, Reuben Olinsky, Sean Walstead, Tom Iafrate, Mitchell Malachowski and James Dillon III. The test ran for three hours and the teams, made up of juniors and seniors, worked together to solve problems. The goal of the program is to introduce high school students to engineering as a college discipline and career possibility. All of the students were provided lunch at the University Club and then given a short tour of the URI engineering complex. Top students in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science and English are chosen for the competition. “Yes English,” Croasdale said with a laugh. “The teams have to explain their answers in plain English. The students may have expertise in one area, but there is crossover talent,” Croasdale said. “This is open to all high schools in the state, and we’ve been encouraging greater participation each year. It’s a great way to introduce these students to our outstanding College of Engineering and our outstanding University. “The kids enjoy themselves, and they meet people from other schools,” he added. During lunch, the students heard short talks by Daniel Urish, URI professor of civil engineering and director of the transportation center; Richard Vandeputte, assistant dean of the college of Engineering and Spencer Martin, professor of accounting in the College of Business Administration. Maurice Blais, retired chairman of the Science Department at Toll Gate High School, assisted Croasdale with the event. For Further Information: William Croasdale 401-874-4161 Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116