NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The 33rd Annual STEM Fair was held last Thursday evening at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School. It was a big turnout for the annual event, pushed off one day following the blizzard last week, with 268 children showcasing 139 science projects. It was an exciting showing of the innovative thinking and originality of the third through sixth graders at AWR.

This is the second year the AWR Science Fair was open to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects. It is also the second year that the New Providence High School STEM program worked in concert with the AWR STEM Fair. In February, Mr. McGeechan and Mr. Keaney, the Physics and Biology NPHS teachers, held a kick-off assembly for the third-sixth graders.  They brought along several NPHS students who showed the children a few coding projects they had been working on. On the night of the Science Fair, six students from the NPHS STEM Club also came to volunteer as project interviewers.

The co-chairs of the committee, Emma Ardolic, Ana Maria Arjona and Jane Sheen, did in-class demonstrations to the entire third and fourth grade classes.

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Some of the STEM projects included coding, building solar powered robots, creating a robot that runs on salt water, programming a motorized robot and creating an egg geode.  Some of the teams went back to basics with projects such as water bottle flipping, making slime, testing popcorn popping efficiency, and a project whose hypothesis was “Do deflated footballs give you an advantage?” There were also awards presented to the 44 sixth graders who have participated in the fair since third grade.

Gina Hansen, the Principal at AWR was “very impressed with the quality of the projects this year,” and she attributed this to the embracing of STEM at the elementary school level.

The Science Fair was sponsored in part by BARD, who donated the tee shirts for this year fair. Ana Maria Arjona designed the tee shirts and posters.