MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A team of middle school students from Philip G. Vroom School in Bayonne, N.J., took the top prize in Bayer’s first-ever Alka-Seltzer Rocket Contest at Liberty Science Center with a rocket that soared to 15.3 ft., Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care announced Monday.
Former astronaut Mae Jemison, the competition’s master of ceremonies, joined with executives from Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care as they awarded the $1,000 prize and first-place certificate to eighth graders Bryant Davis, Fady Rezkalla, David Markos and Anthony Toledo. They were joined by partner organizations Liberty Science Center and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Jemison, Bayer’s national spokesperson for its Making Science Make Sense program, led more than 500 potential New Jersey rocket scientists from some 30 middle schools around the state.
“As a science-based company with a rich history supporting experiential science education and fostering science literacy for all students, Bayer’s Alka-Seltzer Rocket Contest is the latest demonstration of this long-standing commitment,” stated William Dodero, VP and assistant general counsel, Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care. “The contest shows students, teachers and parents just how fun and exciting science is, and also reinforces science as something that is all around us in everyday life — whether it’s in the kitchen or medicine cabinet, the schoolyard, science center or the launch pad.”
The contest is part of Bayer’s MSMS program, which advances science literacy across the United States through inquiry-based, hands-on science learning, employee volunteerism and a national public education campaign led by Jemison.
“These students are America’s next generation of inventors and innovators — aerospace engineers, astronauts and scientists — something they cannot fully realize without the kind of quality … education that builds a foundation to support and encourage ongoing science learning,” Jemison said. “Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense program promotes this critical learning both inside and outside the classroom with hands-on curricular enrichment programs like this Alka-Seltzer Rocket Contest.”
Bayer, Liberty Science Center and Stevens also awarded second- and third-place prizes. The team from Wallace Primary School in Hoboken was named second-place winner with a $750 prize, and the third-place winning team from Clifton Avenue Grade School in Lakewood received $500.