NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The Rutgers University Science Explorer recently paid a weeklong visit to Somerset School. Throughout the week, North Plainfield sixth graders ventured into a world where science, technology, engineering and math meet up – the disciplines of STEM - expanded their knowledge into a realm of possibilities that will last a lifetime.

The Rutgers Science Explorer’s program at Somerset School was developed by fifth grade teacher Janet Darvin who herself visited the Math and Science Learning Center (MSLC) at Rutgers University’s Busch campus many times over the years. The program was chosen to be held to coincide with Earth Day and was sponsored by the Somerset School Science Department.

MSLC’s present and future exploration with middle school-aged students in the Explorer was made possible by funding from the Edison Venture Fund, providing the design and customization of a mobile laboratory. OBS, Inc., an Ohio-based company, joined forces with the Rutgers’ MSLC staff to specially design the Explorer, giving its’ unique and purposeful mission to the youth of today.  

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Innovative, hands-on, and thought-provoking activities were developed by the university’s 2015-16 graduate fellows engaged in the National Science Foundation-funded K-12 program at Rutgers; the Explorer is supported by the Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the New Brunswick Graduate School. These inspirational age-appropriate activities were scheduled and presented to Somerset sixth graders throughout the week by Rutgers scientists and the graduate fellows.

Students were challenged in an activity where they worked in a collaborative effort to simulate the pressure build up in a volcano, created a cinder cone volcano using water pressure and sand to create an atoll – which is a ring-shaped coral, living reef created by an oceanic volcano.

“Rutgers Science Explorer brought science to life for our sixth grade students at Somerset, said Reginald Sainte-Rose, principal of Somerset School. “Our sixth graders were excited about their scientific experience under the guidance of the Rutgers graduate fellows.”

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