On January 22, 2020, NJ education and policy leaders visited the Delran Innovation & Fabrication Lab to learn about how the space is enhancing opportunities for students throughout their journeys along the cradle-to-career STEM pathway.
Dr. Brian Brotschul, Delran Township Superintendent of Schools, welcomed the group, and outlined the district's ongoing STEM initiatives. "Certainly, the development of opportunities for students to contribute to a diverse workforce after high school or college is a significant goal here in Delran and it’s an area that we continue to explore, refine and perfect," he stated.
New Jersey Senator Troy Singleton shared his perspective on the evolution of the lab, having visited when construction had just begun, and returning to tour the completed space. He noted that this type of innovative facility has the potential to change the way we prepare students for college and career, here in Delran and throughout all of Burlington County.
Delran Coordinators of STEM Initiatives, Erica DeMichele and Mary Jo Hutchinson, told the story of the Lab's evolution. Beginning with a defunct auto shop that was being used as storage for the buildings & grounds department, they showed a series of photos to lead us through the Lab's design, construction, and curricular implementation.
The three main objectives of the lab include providing early STEM experiences to students starting in kindergarten, working with higher education partners to align coursework in the lab to degree pathways, and providing students the opportunity to earn digital badges, which can serve as a permanent transcript of the skills and competencies they develop in the Lab. View the Lab brochure for more information about the Lab and its objectives.
Following the tour, Dr. Brotschul stated, "It was an honor to pay our experience of developing a world class STEM program forward to likeminded educators and leaders. The opportunity to articulate to leaders in the field, inclusive of Senator Troy Singleton, reinforces the importance of serving as lifelong learners at the District level. We certainly look forward to future opportunities that allow us to share our journey while learning from other great educators in New Jersey and beyond."