Delran High School held its third annual STEM Fair on May 20. The fair is organized to get children more into the science, technology, engineering and math fields. This year’s STEM Fair was the biggest Delran High School had so far with more than 500 people in attendance.
The STEM Fair not only included the actual fair that showcased all of the science, technology, engineering and math projects, but also included vendors, the police department, the fire department, a virtual reality truck sponsored by NASA, a public works vehicle and other related technology to show that STEM equipment is used in everyday life.
“The virtual reality truck is from Palmyra Nature Cove,” said STEM coordinator Erica DiMichele. “It was sponsored by NASA, and it’s great to have them come and teach the kids about STEM learning. Showing why we used global satellite imaging to help change the way we’re treating our planet is amazing.
“That’s real STEM learning and it makes a difference,” DiMichele continued. “We also brought our Green Drop Trucks to do clothing donations. A lot of kids forget their stuff, and what do you do with it then, so Green Drop comes so we can get some recycling done. Also, our fire truck, leaf truck and police department show us how we use STEM technology in their fields, whether that’s the thermal technology that they use in the fire trucks to determine where hot spots are or if they see movement with the infrared scanner. The leaf truck even has a robotic arm, which increases the truck’s production.”
One of the spotlights of the STEM Fair this year included the newly renovated Digital Fabrication Lab. What used to be an auto shop that wasn’t being used by the school has now been repurposed for two new instructional spaces. One space will be for students to design, while the other will include vinyl cutters, 3D printers and heat pressers, among many other tools for students to learn about creating STEM projects.
With this lab, Delran High School students will be able to earn up to nine college credits in engineering and drafting and production design. They will also be tasked with solving real-world problems through STEM techniques.
“The space wasn’t really being used before so now it’s a place to bring science, technology, engineering and math to Delran,” said Paul Maraldo, the technology education teacher. “It gives the students the opportunity to learn these things that they are going to need for the future.”
“I was an industrial arts teacher,” Maraldo continued. “Changing with the time and doing new inventive processes and product development led me to learn these new tools, and I just want to pass that along to the next generation. They’re going to be taught engineering and drafting which will be auto-CAD and production design. They will also learn basic production product development. Mostly engineering.”
The STEM fair also included sections for Lockhead Martin engineers to teach about how electricity works through a Wimshurst Machine demonstration, and a showing of energy can be used to play music through a Tesla coil. The fair also revealed newly revived plans to create an Eden Garden in an unused section of the school. The garden will allow water runoff to re-enter the ground and grow food that will be used in culinary classrooms.