Chester, NJ – Team Entourage, a 7th grade Destination Imagination team from Black River Middle School in Chester, donated their first STEM 4 THEM mobile cart to Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown.
Eight months in the making, STEM 4 THEM is an award-winning community service project created by seven Black River Middle School students as part of an educational challenge through Destination Imagination to identify and solve a community need.
At Black River Middle School, STEM is a popular course taught by Andrew Gray. His course inspired the team to develop their service project idea. They asked themselves, “Who could benefit from STEM?” “How can STEM make an impact?”
Recalling times when they themselves were stuck at home and sick in bed, the team hatched the idea that STEM would be a great activity (4 THEM) - kids going through an extended hospital stay.
“We knew how much we loved working a STEM project, and wanted to share it with other kids,” says Entourage (Scarlet Kitts, Sean Smith, Daniel Catrambone, Michael Catrambone, Caitlin Joyce, Genna Smith, and Drew Cembrinski).
Over the winter, Entourage organized crowd funding and social media campaigns and collected material donations through school. They even went door-to-door in downtown Chester seeking community partners to help their cause.
With over $1,300 raised and boxes of donated supplies, the team researched STEM projects and purchased colorful carts, STEM books, and stocked the carts with supplies for hundreds of projects and science experiments like slime, putty and lava lamps. They also added inspirational quotes and a creativity journal for patients to write about their projects and pass along tips for others to read.
The first STEM 4 THEM cart was donated to Goryeb Children’s Hospital, where it has made an impact and put a smile on many a child’s face. Team Entourage will be donating the next cart to Children’s Specialize Hospital in Mountainside.