J.E.T.S soars beyond the limits


Photo Courtesy of: Laurie Cotton

Pictured (left to right) are: Matthew Menendez-Apponte ‘20, Sushruth Manchineella ‘19, Jack Garry ‘19, Brendan Li ‘19, Alma Russell ‘20, Isabelle Brandicourt ‘19, Shea Britt ‘20, Rowan Chatterjee ‘20. This J.E.T.S team, "Team Swizzle," soared at the National Engineering Competition.

Azariah Cuff, Staff Writer

Topics such as engineering or technology often get a bad name. Why? Well, perhaps it’s seen as nerdy, or generally deemed as “just a boring topic.” Although that might be true for some, if you gave it a chance, you may be surprised at what you discover, and that’s exactly what the Junior Engineering Technical Society, or J.E.T.S, is all about.

J.E.T.S is more than a group of students huddled around discussing blueprints and tech tips; it’s a place for students with a passion for all things technology, but also for their creative abilities, to come together. J.E.T.S puts their technical and intellectual minds to the test frequently, and it can get pretty competitive. 

“The club is set up so that it begins where everyone collaborates, and then farther down the year, we split up into regional competition teams,” Co-president SENIOR Neil Ott said. 

Over the summer, J.E.T.S attended the National Engineering Competition (NEC) in Washington, D.C.  

“It was just as fun and challenging as any other day in the club,” Co-president SENIOR Alma Russell said, “this year, we want to push ourselves… to do better, but at the same time, going to nationals itself was such a great accomplishment.”

You gain a lot of life skills, especially if your going into engineering, you get to learn a lot lot of different types of engineering… the competition itself was a really fun time because it was all of us.”

— Alma Russell, '20

To get to nationals, the J.E.T.S had to compete and place in highly competitive regional competitions. During regionals, they were assigned tasks that were out of the ordinary. For example, during the 2019 regionals, students were given random gadgets and materials such as paper plates, popsicle sticks and twine, in order to get a teddy bear out of a box. “It’s just completely random,” Russell said. 

Similar to the club, the NEC was made up of challenges, each given a certain time limit, such as completing an essay and filming a video in just a span of two weeks. As a matter of fact,  the competition was not all rigorous work and non-stop thinking, it was also an unforgettable experience full of sights and exploration.

 “We met every single day after school and it really helped because by the time competition time came, we would be more relaxed and calm…You gain a lot of life skills, especially if you’re going into engineering. You get to learn a lot of different types of engineering… the competition itself was a really fun time because it was all of us,” Russell said.

Currently, there are 70 J.E.T.S 2019-2020 members, and more students are welcome to join. They meet on Thursdays during third lunch, in room 3703. “Anybody can join the club, we take as many as we can,” SENIOR Rowan Chatterjee, a club member, said.