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Mercer Faculty Provides Hands-On Learning for Boys and Girls Club at Teen STEM Conference

11/27/18


Classroom ready for STEM Learning!

The Conference provided students with workspaces that introduced them to topics in STEM.

West Windsor, N.J.– Supporting the idea that it’s never too early to get involved in science, faculty and staff members from Mercer County Community College (MCCC) joined the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County to host the 2018 Teen STEM Conference at the Mercer Conference Center. Approximately 150 students visited the campus to take part in the day-long conference on Nov. 8, which included a series of workshops, a resource hour and a panel presentation.

Mercer’s participating STEM faculty included Laura Blinderman (Biology), Lisa Shave (Medical Laboratory Technology), and Terry Voldase (Business and Technology). Lisa Bogdziewicz from the College’s Outreach, Recruitment and Admissions Department handled the resource table that provided information on academic majors, admissions, and financial aid. They were joined by a representative from Novo Nordisk in Princeton as well as a physics Ph.D. student from Princeton University for the panel presentation.

First on the agenda were two workshops developed and led by MCCC faculty. Shave ran the workshop entitled “The Diagnostics Detectives: Medical Laboratory Science,” while Voldase directed “Coding for Animations & Game Design.”

Shave’s seminar introduced the teens to concepts such as phlebotomy, urinalysis, clinical hematology, immunohematology (blood banking), microbiology and chemistry. Students partook in hands-on demonstrations that explored how to use lab equipment and activities related to modeling cells of the body, observing microscopic bacteria, pipetting, and diagnosis within the discipline

Voldase then took the students through the basics of computer programming using Alice, a block-based programming environment developed at Carnegie Melon University. “Alice was created with students in mind,” Voldase said. “The program streamlines creating animation, building interactive narratives, and even programming simple games in as little as 30 minutes.”

Blinderman added that the students, who ranged in age between sixth and 11th graders, ended the day eager to ask Mercer’s faculty and staff questions. “The students asked about working in STEM fields, as well as broader topics like dealing with procrastination and deciding on a career path at a young age.”

For Blinderman, the event was a complete success and has her enthusiastically awaiting the program’s continuation in 2019. “The students showed such initiative and excitement to be involved in STEM. I am already looking forward to next year.”

B-STEM Division Information

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