Haddonfield student excels at Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology

Thea Spellmeyer was one of 72 New Jersey students who completed research at the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology. Her group will present her findings at the MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference in October. (Special for The Sun)

Thea Spellmeyer, a senior from Haddonfield Memorial High School, will present “Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement” with five partners at MIT in October Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Undergraduate Research Technology Conference.

Your group has just received a notification that your submission has been accepted. They will present the research they completed at the NJ Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology (GSET) this July. The group analyzed strength plate data from NFL youth fitness camps using machine learning. Specifically, they examined sports performance and injury risk profile in relation to socioeconomic status.

The GSET is an intensive four-week summer residential program that brings together some of New Jersey’s most talented and motivated high school students. With no official grades or credits, students spend part of the summer after their junior year studying at Rutgers University School of Engineering at no cost to their families.

During the program, students have the opportunity to collaborate with two to four students on a novel research project that is showcased in a lecture-style final paper and presentation in front of hundreds of guests at our research symposium. In addition, students can participate in a variety of life skills workshops, visit local corporations, and participate in activities that will help them connect with teachers, professionals, and peers from across the state.

In addition to research, Spellmeyer took courses in robotics and physics, a micro- and nanofabrication fundamentals course, and a materials science and engineering elective. Scholars took field trips to corporate and industrial sites such as the PSE&G nuclear power plant and the Bristol Myers Squibb biopharmaceutical company.

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Spellmeyer was among 72 New Jersey students invited to participate in this year’s GSET program. Each student was selected based on multiple essays, letters of recommendation, transcript, class rank, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated interest in STEM.

This highly selective program typically admits fewer than 25 percent of the 300 to 400 applications they receive, and more than 90 percent of students from previous years’ programs have pursued careers and higher technical education.

The program is funded by some of New Jersey’s top corporations, the State of New Jersey, Rutgers University, and some Governor’s School alumni. It is one of two New Jersey Governor’s School programs, overseen by the state’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.

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