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Sarthak Chandesh Wins 1st Place at National Hockey League Virtual Science Fair
Ironia Elementary 5th grade student Sarthak Chandesh entered the NHL Future Goals Virtual Science Fair for students in grades 4-8 across the United States and Canada. The Future Goals Virtual Science Fair gave students the chance to imagine how STEM can enhance the game experience in three creative categories: Virtual Fan Engagement, Sustainability and Technology/Innovation. On Monday April 19, Ironia Elementary teachers and leadership were invited to a virtual celebration where Sarthak was informed that he had won 1st place in his division. Sarthak was personally recognized by Garry Bettman, NHL Commissioner, and Mathieu Schneider, Special Assistant to the NHLPA Executive Director.
Sarthak’s STEM project focused on the utilization of sensors in hockey helmets to determine the amount of force correlated with a concussion to assist in keeping players safe. He was inspired to do this project after his older brother had a concussion while playing hockey in November 2020. Sarthak’s improved computer skills as a result of the pandemic gave him the ability to conduct research data and statistics about concussions independently. He also had the opportunity to spend time with his family to brainstorm his ideas, present his concept, and obtain feedback. Sarthak’s 5th grade teachers, Dana Levenback and Michaela Kessinger, also had a huge impact on his academic development, building his curiosity with math and science, and encouraging him with communication and presentation skills. His family is very proud that he combined his passion for hockey with his fascination for science.
Contestants were judged for their use of the scientific method, creativity, technology, language/grammar & punctuations, and quality of work. Sarthak decided to submit his entry in a 3-minute video. As an avid New Jersey Devils fan and aspiring professional hockey player, Sarthak was really proud to win 1st place for working on a project that supports his favorite sport. “I found a lot of things throughout my house as well as different apps to make simulations for the project. As an example, I attached a football to a rope on a basketball hoop to calculate g-force. If the g-force was above 90 mph, it would have told me that a player could have gotten a concussion if he was hit. If it was below 90 mph, a sensor would be green on the helmet so he could keep playing,” Sarthak said. “This project was inspiring because it impacted my brother, but it also made me think of futuristic ways to solve this problem. When my brother was hurt, I wanted to find a solution so my brother and any player on ice could be able to play safely and securely. I kept thinking about how many concussions go unreported, and these sensors could really help ensure the athletes stay healthy. Any physical sport like football, rugby, and others could also use sensors too which would also prevent unnecessary injuries. I am really happy I got 1st place because it was really unexpected. I honestly thought it would just be a regular project, so it’s cool I was able to win for something I care about a lot.”
Congratulations Sarthak! For more information about the fair and to see other winners, please visit the NHL’s Future Goals website in the link below: