Middle schoolers embrace STEM at inaugural SCCC event

Youth. Parachutes, robotics, and computer programming were part of the STEM fun and learning on Friday at an inaugural event for middle schoolers at Sussex Community College.

24 Feb 2020 | 11:19

By Laurie Gordon

On Friday, middle schoolers participated in STEM Exploration and Adventure Day at Sussex County Community College. Coordinated by Dr. Leonard “Ned” Sheehy, who instructs computer science, this inaugural event introduced students to aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

“We want to expand to other schools and serve as many communities in the area as possible,” Sheehy said.

Students in grades six through eight participated in a parachute drop, robotics and computer programming.

“It's great to be a part of something like this,” said Ralph Tillinghast, Chief Science and Technology Associate for Fire Control at Picatinny Arsenal. “I came here today to help impress the importance of figuring things out and enjoying STEM to these students.”

Kids from Great Meadow Middle School, in Vernon, ventured to the college for the program.

“This is something fun and I like STEM,” said student Cailin Moran. “My mom works as a STEM teacher so it kind of runs in the family.”

Her classmate, Samantha Werner, said, “It's a fun way to spend the day and learn new things.”

Their Great Meadow compatriot, Paul Mele, said, “This opens us up to new ideas that we can bring back to our school.”

“I would like students to become interested in STEM careers and see that skills obtains in school can be used to solve real world problems,” Dr. Sheehy said.