NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The 34th Annual STEM Fair was held last Wednesday evening at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School. It was a big turnout for the annual event, which was pushed from March, due to all the snowstorms. With 287 children showcasing 142 science projects, it was the biggest turnout yet for the AWR Stem Fair. It was an exciting showing of the original thinking and inventiveness of the third through sixth graders at AWR.

This is the third year the science fair was open to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects. It is also the third year that the New Providence High School STEM program worked in concert with the AWR STEM Fair. In February, High School STEM students joined Mr. Keaney, (K-12 Dept Head of STEM) and Mr. McGeechan at the AWR STEM Fair kick-off assembly. The Biomedical Engineering students demonstrated their joint models and prosthetic limbs while the Aerospace Engineers explained how they designed and built remote-controlled robots that could be used to survey the surface of Mars. 

On the night of the Science Fair, students from the NPHS STEM Club also came to volunteer as project interviewers.  "It is important for the elementary school students to see how the work they are doing in STEM now will help prepare them for the more rigorous and complex challenges at the middle and high school level," said Keaney.

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The co-chairs of the committee, Mary Carlomagno and Sarika Divate, did in-class demonstrations to the entire third grade class. Sarika Divate designed the posters for the event as well.

Some of the STEM projects included “How does soda impact your health?”, “Does temperature affect the height of a tennis ball bouncing?” (The warmer it is, the higher it bounces), “What gives you more energy, healthy food or sugary food?” (Sadly, it’s healthy food), “How Much Sugar are we eating?” (Actually, quite a lot), “How and why do bath bombs fizz?” “What surface defrosts frozen food the fastest?” There were also Stomp Rockets, a Hydraulic Hand, a Mentos powered gas rocket, a Mentos powered Rocket Car, Self inflating Balloons, several Lava Lamp projects, Static Electricity, Fruit Generated Batteries, a Robot Dog, a Truss Bridge, a Robotic Arm, Stop Motion Video, and the quintessential classic science fair entry: The Erupting Volcano.

There were also awards presented to the 64 sixth graders who have participated in the fair since third grade.

Gina Hansen, the Principal at AWR was “very impressed with the excellence of the projects this year,” and she attributed this to the embracing of STEM at the elementary school level. Carlomagno, who co-chaired the Stem Fair, was appreciative of all the help they received, “This year’s STEM Fair was the biggest yet, thank you so much to the planning committee that worked many months in advance.” She also wanted to single out some of the volunteers that helped to make it a success; her co-chair Sarika Divate, as well as Ranja Bhattacharya, Vanessa Roberts, Shivani Pradhan, Cate Feuerstein, Anushree Sharma and Tejaswini Patil.

The Science Fair was sponsored in part by BARD, who donated the tee shirts for this year fair.