School District of the Chathams

School District of the


Essential Intent

The essential intent of the School District of the Chathams is to divine and develop the gifts within each child.

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Design & Technology | News and Announcements

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

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis at 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 at 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 at 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 at 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 at 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 at 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 at 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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  • CHS Juniors recognized by the National Center for Women in Information Technology

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis at 5/16/2016 7:00:00 AM

    Chatham High School juniors, Catarina DeMatos and Margaret Harrigan, have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Award for Aspirations in Computing by the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT).

    Click here to read the article.  Congratulations to Catarina and Margaret!

    CHS Awards

    Mr. John Hajdu (CHS Computer Science Teacher), Margaret Harrigan, Catarina DeMatos, and Ms. Julie Ryan (CHS Design & Technology Teacher)

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  • Chatham Middle School Science Fair/STEM Expo is a Huge Success

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis at 5/13/2016 7:00:00 AM

    Chatham Middle School Science Fair/STEM Expo

    May 12th, 2016

    Chatham Middle School Cafeteria


    The 2nd Annual Science Fair/STEM Expo kicked off a 6:30pm on May 12th.  Chatham Middle School students enthusiastically showed off their creations, interests, and experiments to judges, administrators, community members, and fellow classmates, answering questions and conducting demonstrations.  The students either worked individually or in a group entered one of the following categories:

    • Experiment - Conduct an investigation using scientific inquiry to solve a problem or answer a question (Ex.  Who carries more germs adults or children?)
    • Demonstration or Model - Make a model or demonstrate a scientific principle (Ex. Build a system that demonstrates how solar energy is transferred to complete a task)
    • Research - Choose something scientific and share your learning with pictures, models, photos and facts.  (Ex. How do animals use the earth’s magnetic field for survival?)
    • Invention/Engineered Design - Invent something new or change something that already exists to make it better.  (Ex. Design a structure that can absorb seismic waves or invent a better mousetrap!)


    Some of the projects include a Laser Marshmallow Toaster, Solar Oven, Hologram Designs, Quad Copter Delivery Systems, and much more!  Congratulations to all of our scientists and inventors on a job well done!  Special thanks goes out to Mrs. Gaunt for organizing the event and to the teachers and administrators that volunteered to judge and participate.



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  • CHS Students Show Off Advanced Robotics Projects at BOE Meeting

    Posted by Danielle Dagounis at 5/3/2016 7:00:00 AM

    Ms. Ryan and students from the newly developed Advanced Robotics course at Chatham High School presented their robot and animatronic, 3D printed prosthetic arm to the Board of Education on Monday, May 2nd.  The students presented and conducted a demonstration of their rescue robot that competed at a variety of FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) events throughout the school year, as well as their prosthetic arm design prototype that was programmed to play the piano.  Check out the Tap into Chatham article here and videos of the presentation below.

    Explaining the FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC)

    Demonstrating the Rescue Robot

    Demonstrating the Animatronic Arm


    Chatham High School's Advanced Robotics Class Members

    Adv. Robotics

    Source: TAP into Chatham Article

    Anthony Tesoriero, Catarina DeMatos, Julianna Ryan (teacher), Chris Landolfi, Will Walrond, and Emill Coto



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Essential Intent

The essential intent of the School District of the Chathams is to divine and develop the gifts within each child.

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