NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - On Friday, May 20, students in grades 3-6 at Salt Brook School in New Providence embraced scientific exploration by participating in the STEM Fair, where they presented their own science, technology, engineering and math projects to students, parents, teachers and evaluators.

This year’s inaugural STEM Fair, an extension of the annual Science Fair, gave students a chance to not only explore scientific inquiry but also to use the engineering design process to plan and construct a prototype of their own invention. Themed “Build the Future,” students delved into topics of interest to them through research and hands-on work, making connections to the world around them. They employed a multitude of skills from collaborating with their peers, collecting and interpreting data, using evidence to justify their thinking or designing a solution/innovation to communicating effectively and using presentation skills to articulate their findings to the audience.

Working closely with the New Providence High School STEM program and Mr. Keaney, STEM Department Head, the event was announced earlier in the academic year with an assembly to introduce the STEM component, highlight the differences between the scientific and engineering methods and provide students with resources and tools for their projects.

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During the Fair, each team of participants was interviewed by Salt Brook science teachers and AP science students from New Providence High School, who were on hand to support their younger counterparts. Mr. McGeechan, New Providence Science Department Head, evaluated and identified 19 Process Award Winners who reflected on one or more of the following: original question; original project; great effort, adherence to scientific/engineering process; completeness/use of workbook; solving real-world problems; and a good STEM project. The evening culminated with award presentations.

The STEM Fair was sponsored by the Salt Brook PTA and the Linde Corporation, and the co-chairs of the event, Gunjan Bansal, Diana Farrell and EunJoo Thompson, along with all of the volunteers, fostered excitement for learning about the world through scientific inquiry and engineering design. Students showed creativity, imagination and unique problem-solving skills as they walked in the footsteps of scientists and engineers to answer real-world questions.

"Congratulations to all students who participated in the 2015-2016 Science/STEM Fair. We are very proud of all the hard work that each and every student did to complete their project. We were also pleased to see that so many of the projects showcased the connection between science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Salt Brook Principal Jean Drexinger.