RVCC Society of Women Engineers Participates in “STEM DAY” at Raritan Elementary School
Raritan Valley Community College’s chapter of the Society for Women Engineers (RVCC SWE) and the RVCC Planetarium introduced local children to the wonders of science during Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s annual “STEM Day” on February 4. For the first time, the event was held at JFK Elementary School in Raritan. (“STEM” stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.)
Organized by JFK Elementary School teachers Wayne Segal and Maria Caiola, STEM Day was a great success, with 250 children participating. The event featured a variety of STEM demonstrations focusing on such areas as Robotics, Circuits, Hydroponics, Fossils, Energy Generation, Renewable Energy, and Pollinators. In total, more than 600 people participated in the program, including children, parents, school district faculty and staff, and over 50 student volunteers from Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
The RVCC SWE members engaged students with hands-on demonstrations focusing on electrical energy generation using magnets and coils of copper wire. As a result, approximately 50 children went home with their own “make and take” energy generators made from a straw, copper wire, a magnet, and an LED light. Additionally, the SWE members showed children how electrical energy is created by harnessing the sun and wind, and even how to make electricity using an apple and a strip of copper and zinc.
The SWE participants included RVCC students Madelyn Andrade Cajamarca (North Plainfield), Melissa Armenta-Quiroz (Flemington), and Jimena Torres (North Plainfield). In addition, the help of Bridgewater-Raritan High School student volunteers was invaluable in making the demonstrations a success.
The RVCC Planetarium, represented by Planetarium Director Amie Gallagher and Jessica Fehl (herself a JFK graduate and longtime Planetarium contributor), delighted the children with a hands-on demonstration illustrating the distances to the planets in the Solar System. During a “make and take” demonstration, the youngsters folded long strips of paper, with the results showing the planet distances at the fold points. The children then added the planet names to the paper.
The hands-on Energy Generation and Alternative Energy demonstrations were provided and presented in conjunction with the New Jersey nonprofit corporation, Main Engine Start (mainenginestart.org), founded by former RVCC Professor Peter Stupak.
RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2023
Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383