STEM Month Stories 2022

NJ STEM Month 2022
Mini-Grant Stories

Thanks to the generosity of the Overdeck Family Foundation, NJ STEM Month mini grants of up to $500 were awarded to several organizations with the purpose of enhancing their STEM Month events. 

A short summary of each event is featured below.

STEM through Circuits

Hosting Organization(s): Hazlet Township Public School

Learners Impacted: 250

Lillian Drive School students were given the opportunity in all grade levels to maximize their potentials. Even in grade 1 students learned about circuits and electricity.


Hosting Organization(s): Warren Hills Computer Science Club (CS@WH)

Learners Impacted: 57

GirlsCodingWithGirls is an organization in which high school girls teach elementary school girls about computer science.   Over the last 9 years, Warren Hills Computer Science club (CS@WH) has hosted 16 six week sessions of GCWG, with over 500 participants.  There are classes using Scratch, Microbits and Arduinos for the different levels of experience.   The true value of the program is the mentoring the older girls provide for the younger girls.  They are true role models.  Thank you to NJSPN for their support of this program.

New Jersey Makers Day

Hosting Organization(s): Hunterdon County Library

Learners Impacted: 616

The Hunterdon County Library hosted New Jersey Makers (NJMD) as both an in-person and take and make event. A total of 616 participants chose from 22 project areas! NJMD returned as an in-person event at the North County Branch library March 26 th . Registered participants received a bag of materials at the entrance containing materials for five projects. Project materials were free to participants, made possible by the NJ STEM Pathways grant and Friends of the Hunterdon County Library funding. Most of the eggs survived the Crash Test Egg Car project! Their makers designed a popsicle stick car then tried it out on two different runways to see if their plastic egg could stay in its seat. Roll Bars and bumpers were helpful! Next, they built a Ball Launcher where they learned how to wire a battery to a motor that propelled a ball. Participants made an LED bracelet and were in awe when their LED lit up! Then it was time to make a Kalimba finger piano and learn how they could change the sound by changing the length of the tines. Shaping paper into amazing shapes with Origami was also very popular. Additional projects by exhibitors included, sewing a pillow, weaving a basket, making a thaumatrope animation, and building with LEGOs. In addition, over 700 kits of STEAM Take & Make projects went to 400+ participants including children, teens and adults. Projects available included zipline racers, bristle bots, string art, Mobius crochet cuffs and beautiful paper peacocks! Instructional videos by their librarians were provided on the HCL YouTube channel as well as in writing with the project kits.

METC Launch Lab

Hosting Organization(s): Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

Learners Impacted: 54

For the 2022 Maker’s Day and STEM Month, the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (METC) hosted a Catapult Launch Lab. Using simple physics, participants designed, built, and experimented with their catapult and launched fun projectiles across our Education Annex. Altogether we served 54 children through our live launch lab ages 3 through 13. Kids picked one of two different catapults varying in degrees of difficulty. Once the initial design was created, they experimented with alterations to improve the distance and force of their projectiles. The excitement was evident throughout the program. Parents were exceptionally impressed with their children’s critical thinking and the way METC challenged the initial catapult design to help students increase the distance or force through their experiments. Additionally, participation in this Launch Lab granted access to the Museum for the day of the event of which resulted in over 70 visitors. METC is grateful to the support of the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network and Overdeck Family Foundation for making this Launch Lab possible.

NJ Makers Day 2022: Longwood Gardens Community Read Kickoff

Hosting Organization(s): Gloucester County Library System

Learners Impacted: 105

On Saturday March 26th in celebration of the 7th annual NJ Makers Day, the Gloucester County Library held an in-person make-and-take style event focused on getting young learners engaged again. It was a great experience for both patrons and staff alike to see kids building and painting the birdhouses we distributed, along with a number of other smaller crafts. Thanks to the mini-grant, they were able to offer this experience to 36 additional young learners by purchasing additional birdhouse materials. Families that attended the event also created their own sunflower key-chains, custom buttons, and took home sunflower seeds from our seed library.

Over the course of four hours we had 60 patrons come in and work with their young ones to build and decorate their birdhouses. 

Medical School Panel

Hosting Organization(s): Saint Peter’s University

Learners Impacted: 31

Many of Saint Peter’s STEM students desire to go to medical school. As a means of preparing students, the Medical School Panel gathered Ross University Medical School, Rutgers University Medical School, Azuri Hughes ’20, and Huyen-Tran Do ’19 for an Q&A style panel. Students asked questions about the student experience, the application process, and the profile of a successful medical student.

NJ TSA Middle School and High School State Conferences

Hosting Organization(s): New Jersey Technology Student Association

Learners Impacted: 1600

Throughout New Jersey STEM Month, New Jersey Technology Student Association (NJ TSA) hosted a total of 31 Middle School and 33 High School competitive events. The events spanned across a plethora of STEM topics and were 100% virtual, to increase accessibility for all students across the state. Upon the conclusion of New Jersey STEM Month, approximately 1,600 students from 67 high schools and 17 middle schools from across New Jersey participated in the virtual competitions.
NJ TSA middle school competitions ranged from STEM Animation to Inventions and Innovations, and Biotechnology to Website Design, with just a few examples listed here. Middle school students worked both individually and as teams to problem solve and present their solutions to crucial, real-world topics such as sustaining natural resources for future generations, social skills impacted by remote learning, and social media privacy. Competitions included hands-on design problems, as well, including coding a “Best of New Jersey” app, creating a children’s book on STEM careers, and developing a promotional marketing kit for a fictitious STEM equipment company. Additionally, NJ TSA high school competitions included subjects such as CAD, Music Production, Future Technology and Engineering Teacher, and Board Game Design, just to name a few. High school students addressed topics focused on electronic payments, restoring and improving urban infrastructure, augmented reality, remote learning, and more. Students also developed and designed many prototypes, including creating periscopes, designing fashion pieces, and developing websites for a virtual event. High school students also coded a “Best of New Jersey” app, celebrating the students’ favorite restaurants, beaches, and locations across the Garden

Explore Earth Science

Hosting Organization(s): Piscataway Public Library

Learners Impacted: 72



Hosting Organization(s): Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League

Learners Impacted: 275

The Police Activities League (PAL) of Egg Harbor Township & Atlantic County celebrated New Jersey S.T.E.M. Month by hosting a FREE indoor S.T.E.M. Expo on Saturday March 26th from 10am-3pm.  Members of Spectrum Software Technology (SST), Civil Air Patrol, NAVAIR, OCC Engineering & Industrial/Technical Studies, Stockton SRI & ETTC, New Jersey Aviation Education Council, ACIT in parntership with Embry Riddle, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, Nexus Art, Space Force, South Jersey Area Rocketry Society, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, International Climbing Machines, HobbyTown Toms River and South Jersey Astronomy Club were on hand with presentations or hands-on acitivities for families to participate in.  PAL First Tech Challenge (FTC) ENFORCERS 7149, SeaPerch and First Lego League (FLL) Teams were on hand to demonstrate their robotics builds.  It was an amazing day.  One mom was quoted as saying, “That was an AWESOME Expo!!!”


Hosting Organization(s): Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City

Learners Impacted: 1000

The Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City held a STEAM Fair on March 31st at all three locations, serving ages 6-18. Parents and community members were invited to attend and students expo-ed robot battles, graphic design and lego engineering.  In addition, they had an opening of their third STEAM lab at the Drexel Ave. location.

Make Your Own Bear Flair

Hosting Organization(s): Delran STEM Ecosystem

Learners Impacted: 50

On March 28th, 2022, teachers from throughout Delran’s School District were invited to the FabLab to come together, and create their very own “Bear Flair!” This event was a celebration for New Jersey STEM Month, and was generously supported by a grant from the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network (NJSPN).
The afternoon consisted of two different sessions where teachers looked through pre-made Delran designs or created their own designs inspired by designs found online, and customized them to their own unique liking. Led by fab-lab managers Mr. DeLoche and Mr. Maraldo, who were also assisted by STEMbassadors, teachers were able to navigate the two-dimensional design program Corel Draw, and prepare their design to be printed via the Fab Lab’s very own Vinyl Cutter. Not only were teachers taught the different programs, but newer STEMbassadors were able to learn right beside them as well! In the pictures below, you can see Mr. Maraldo and STEMbassadors Emma Frith, Josh Hoffmann, and Bryan Braga helping teachers with their designs.

Past, Present, and Future: The History of Innovations in Cumberland County (A NJ Maker’s Day Event)

Hosting Organization(s): Appel Farm Arts & Music Center

Learners Impacted: 100

The Families to College Initiative, which is a collaborative program of Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, the United Advocacy Group, Rowan College of South Jersey, and the City of Bridgeton partnered with STEAMWorks, Unidos Para la Familia, and the Center for Historic American Building Arts (CHABA) to host its 4th annual celebration of New Jersey Maker’s Day on Saturday, March 26th, 2022. This program offered the local community an opportunity to explore hands-on activities and learn about services offered by FTC, STEAMWorks, AmeriCorps, Appel Farm, and Adelante Juntos.  Families had a great time participating in such activities as making slime, string art, wood crafts, music recording, and bookbinding. The theme for this year’s Maker’s Day was Past, Present, and Future: The History of Innovations in Cumberland County. The activities for this day primarily focused on participating in activities related to the history of industry in Cumberland County. One special feature of this year’s event was the opportunity to learn about the Nail House, which is an historic site in the city of Bridgeton. Located at the entrance to the Bridgeton City Park, the Nail House served an important role in the development of the nail and iron industry in Bridgeton, housing the offices of the Cumberland Nail & Iron Works for over 100 years. Families participating in Maker’s Day had the opportunity to explore the inside of the Nail House, see different exhibits, and participate in a block printing activity. Participants also had the opportunity to watch a demonstration offered by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve to learn about the history of the oyster industry in the region and to dissect an oyster! Overall, more than 100 participants and volunteers were impacted by this event. 

2nd Grade Girls Rock Science STEAM event

Hosting Organization(s): Hurden-Looker School (Girls Rock Science)

Learners Impacted: 29


Thanks to the mini-grant, Girls Rock Science were able to provide a STEAM session for their 2nd grade scientists. Students worked together to design and build roller coasters out of boxes, playdough, paper cups and masking tape.  The students went home with a STEM activity book so that they could complete additional STEM activities with their family as well.


Hosting Organization(s): WeMake 4-H

Learners Impacted: 150
To celebrate NJ STEM Month this year, WeMake 4-H held several in-person and virtual workshops with fun STEM activities in Making, coding, and robotics! It was a big success — many people were eagerly waiting to participate in such programs after being stuck at home for two years!
The NJ STEM Month mini-grant was valuable for their STEM 4-Her E-Textile workshops, which were all-girl programs aimed to encourage more female participants in the STEM field. The attendees embedded Lilypad LEDs into clothes with conductive thread, Lilypad battery holders, and Adafruit LED strips to make Light-up Wearables! 

Family Builder Bash


Hosting Organization(s): Thomas Jefferson Middle School- Rockaway Borough School District

Learners Impacted: 300

Visit almost every home in the country, and you can find Legos and board game so what better way to bring the community together than a night inspired by both?! This year, Thomas Jefferson Middle School launched their first annual Family Brick Builder Bash! Families were invited to come in and participate in various activities including building with Legos. The night started off with each family creating a team name then continued on with different challenges as seen in the Lego Game Book. Every family that participated was able to take home a Lego Game Book to continue the fun and learning within their home thanks to an NJEA PRIDE Grant. The event also featured a display table with all different stories involving the Engineering Design Process, STEM concepts and the 4C’s thanks to the STEM Pathways Grant. The display now sits in the media lab where students can peruse the books on a daily basis.

MCST Hackathon

Hosting Organization(s): Morris County School of Technology

Learners Impacted: 116

Morris County School of Technology hosted their 7th annual 12 Hour Hackathon to all area students in Grades 7 – 12. The event was free and included all meals, snacks, T-shirts to all participants. There were 5 prize categories. A Hackathon is were students form teams of 4 and try to “Hack” something together, like a website, app, robot, etc.  

MCASB : Science bowl competition

Hosting Organization(s): MCVTS-Edison Academy

Learners Impacted: 200

Middlesex county academy for Science Mathematics, Engineering and Technology organized their second annual MCASB. The competition started at 9 AM and ended at 5 PM with 28 middle school teams participated. They ran this in a national science bowl format with preliminary round, sprint round, quiz bowl round and semi and finals. The topics covered include, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and  Earth science.

Cliffside Park School No. 3 Makers Week

Hosting Organization(s): Cliffside Park School No. 3

Learners Impacted: 375

 The Cliffside Park School No. 3 Makers Week was held on March 21, 2022- March 25, 2022. Their students were able to participate in activities thanks to the generosity and grant funding from NJ STEM Pathways Network and NJ Makers Day Mini Grant funding program. This week long event allowed students to participate in a variety of activities from gardening and learning the parts of the plant to STEM building challenges using marshmallows and toothpicks. Students learned about Braille, history of it and how Blind students use Braille to read and learn. They created their own designs using kits from Xplorably. Some of the special needs students found it very engaging and relaxing to sew their own Stuffed Animals using the sewing kits that were purchased. Other students were able to learn about low voltage electrical circuits using materials such as coin batteries, electrical copper tape and a pattern to follow. The 4th grade students had a very hands on experience in following instructions and using a guide to build a scribble robot from scratch. These kits were provided by Xplorably using grant funding. 

Steel Magnolias' Catapult Challenge

Hosting Organization(s): Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey

Learners Impacted: 175

Steel Magnolias is an all-Girl Scout FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team from northern New Jersey.  FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international series of robotic programs and competitions.  Through collaboration and mentorship, teams explore the engineering design process as they build and program robots of increasing difficulty and constraints.

FTC 17009 Steel Magnolias is comprised of 10 girls, in grades 9– 12. Established in 2019, they have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Promote Award, in which they created a video that was viewed by people all over the world.  Currently, Steel Magnolias has designed a catapult challenge to engage learners. The team provided materials and instruction both virtually and in person. The materials included a 12-page pamphlet with instructions, physics lessons, challenges and games all centered on the catapult and its history.  It truly was a great experience for all. One notable story happened when a learner questioned the team and stated she did not believe you could mathematically prove velocity and deceleration.  Steel Magnolias jumped to the challenge, providing her with concrete examples.  When the learner further questioned when this math would be used, the response was when you plan a trip to the moon!

NJ Makers Day: "Made in Hunterdon Day" @ DVRHS

Hosting Organization(s): Delaware Valley Regional High School

Learners Impacted: 40

“Made in Hunterdon Day @ DVRHS” was a NJ Makers Day community event that highlighted teachers and community members utilizing a variety of different creative options in order to engage, educate, and promote making of all kinds in our rural area. Their sessions included cookie decorating with edible paint; make your own slime; bubble art; biodegradable sprout houses; make your own clay bird; beeswax sheet candles; cyanotypes; build your own catapult and launch; engineering and woodworking demonstrations; crocheting a washcloth; and stained glass ornament making. 

March Math and STEM Madness Title I Parent Academy / Aquaponics Workshop

Hosting Organization(s): North Brunswick Twp Public Schools/Linwood School

Learners Impacted: 222

March Math and STEM Madness is a parent academy and demonstration of student learning event. It is a celebration of Math, Science and STEM. As a Title I School wide school (44% economically disadvantaged), their parent involvement events include informational workshops to assist parents in supporting their children’s success, student activities around the curriculum, and a “hook” event. This year, Linwood School decided to keep the scale smaller and presented a workshop that would allow students to take home an aquaponics kit. The workshop prepared students to take their kits home to have an extended opportunity to experience life science in action, in a small model and system.