Prep Talk

STEM students place at Princeton Design Challenge

Posted January 19th, 2021

Pioneers.  This was the word used by the IgniteSTEM team describing the students of St. Augustine Prep who joined 55 other teams from across the country for the Princeton Design Challenge.

Honors and AP Students from the classes of Mrs. McHugh and Mr. Grealis came together (virtually) on a Saturday morning to compete in the one-day event encouraging students to collaborate with one another to solve real-life problems.  Hosted by IgniteSTEM, which is sponsored by Princeton University‘s Entrepreneurship Club, the group sought to offer a platform to introduce high school students to design thinking and hands-on learning. Thus, the Princeton Design Challenge was born.

STEM students place 3rd in Princeton IgniteSTEM Design Challenge

Over a dozen of St. Augustine Prep’s best and brightest represented the brotherhood in the day-long event.  Relying on their intellect and leaning heavily on their synergy as Hermit Brothers, the team of Kyle Kinkade ’21, David Kuhar ’21, Nick Volpe ’21, Aidan Farrell ’23, and Darren Mattern ’23 found themselves on the podium finishing 3rd overall!  Their design presentation of Hurricane Housing provided a solution to a difficult reality many New Jersey residents face on a yearly basis.  The well-designed idea laid out a plan that would keep the structure and the homeowner safe and was impressive enough for the judges to place “Team Hermits” in the winner’s circle at the end of the day.  (Click below to view a recording of their winning presentation. Watch to the end for a prophetic prediction from sophomore Aidan Farrell.)

The students listed below were truly pioneers in every sense of the word.  They are representative of the school’s impressive STEM program led by Division Chair, Mrs. Nancy McHugh P’08 ’11 ’15 and fellow STEM educator, Mr. Sean Grealis ’95 P’22:

  • Kyle Kinkade
  • David Kuhar
  • Nick Volpe
  • Aidan Farrell
  • Darren Mattern
  • Wheaton Link
  • Ayden Pullman
  • Patrick Earnest
  • Campbell Davis
  • Gavin Kim
  • Ben Cimorelli
  • Greyson Sapio
  • Adam Williams
  • Cameron Compare
  • Noah Davis-Logan
  • Cooper Kane