ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Mother Teresa Regional School is pleased to announce that several eighth grade students and teachers, Mrs. Jennifer Baeder, Mrs. Tracey Platenyk, and Mrs. Katey Patrizio earned first place at the Stars Challenge Science Competition.

Earlier this school year, eighth grade students brainstormed for an experiment for the Stars Challenge Science Competition.  The Stars Challenge requires that students think of a problem in their school and use creativity and the scientific method to see if they can solve the problem.  8th grade Maria Alzate gave the team their idea about the problem of the classrooms being too hot in the beginning of the school year.  Classrooms on one side of the building in particular are very hot due to the sun shining into the window.  Students proposed a variety of material to be used from aluminum foil to car window tinting to help block out the sun’s rays.


For several weeks, students recorded the temperature in each room three times a day to determine which material helped reduce the room temperature.  Students conclude that the 5% Gila Tint worked best based on their data collection.  There were a few variables which students discussed not taking into account such as number of students in the classroom during the day or if the windows were opened.  Students then created a power point presentation and a display to be presented to the judges of the Stars Challenge.


The hard work of Maria Alzate, Tim Corey, Toni Costa, Franny Fiore, Daniel Hennessy, Patrick Molloy, and Jacob White was rewarded by winning first place.  Students were recognized at their award ceremony for their use of graphs to explain their data and also the digital presentation.  The school’s science teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Baeder was awarded $1,000 to spend in her science classroom.  Students were eager to spend the money on materials to conduct other experiments.

For more information on Mother Teresa Regional School and to see the Award Winning power point visit  For more information on participating in the Stars Challenge visit