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STEMbassador Senior Spotlight: Abby Olear

What made you want to become a STEM Ambassador in the first place?

Previously, I had volunteered at STEAM camp in the summer. I really enjoyed helping all of the kids during camp. When Mrs. Hutchinson and Mrs. DeMichele introduced the lab to the school, I had a lot of interest in learning to work on all of the machines. I was really excited to be in the first ever group of Fab Lab Ambassadors as we were all learning about the lab at the same time.

What has been your biggest learning curve in the lab?

Probably learning the ins and outs of all of the machinery, especially when designing. You have to be extremely precise to get your desired outcome. One wrong move can create disaster

What tool do you like best and why?

I really like the laser cutter. One of the first times I used it, I was able to design ornaments to give to all of my family members for Christmas. It's also always fun to make a t-shirt with the vinyl cutter.

How is the lab helping you see potential in your future plans for college or career?

Unlike most STEMbassadors, I am not pursuing a career in the STEM field. However, this does not mean my time in the lab has not been valuable! During lockdown, I was tasked with creating videos to explain the STEM@Home activities to students. Here, I had to make a script, film, and edit the video. If I choose to go the broadcasting route while studying journalism, my experience will aid me! Additionally, learning how to converse will many different types of people is important in any job, especially in journalism! In terms of my second major, dance, the lab has allowed me to stay creative when creating new designs.

What has been your biggest success in the lab so far?

I really enjoyed when the Chinese Delegation visited the lab. It was really cool how we were able to connect with the teachers, even though we didn't speak the same language. They were so excited to experience everything the lab had to offer. That day was really fun! Meeting Andy Kim during the opening ceremony was also really awesome.

What are you most proud of from your experiences as a STEM Ambassador?

I am proud of the way I have been able to interact with so many different groups of people. From the Chinese Delegation, to ESL students, students with special needs, teachers, parents, and more, I've learned ways to adapt based on who I am helping. This will be a valuable skill moving forward

What are your plans for next year?

This fall, I am attending The University of Maryland to double major in Journalism and Dance. Go Terps!

Delran STEM Ambassadors are Delran High School students selected from applicants because they demonstrated a passion for STEM, and possessed outstanding communication skills. Much like an internship, STEM Ambassadors have participated in rigorous training within the Delran Innovation & Fabrication Lab space. These learning opportunities are not available to most high school students in our country, since the idea of digital fabrication has only begun to grow in the K-12 sector, to meet the needs of Workforce Development. Delran's STEM Ambassadors have experienced and now taught others in computer-aided design software in 2D and 3D, including Corel Draw, FabMakerStudio, Tinkercad, etc. STEM Ambassadors have utilized these digital design skills to fabricate on vinyl cutters, 3D printers, laser cutters and die cut machines. While teaching others, including younger students in community outreach programs, and adults in staff professional development programs, STEM Ambassadors share their expertise with others. We are certain that this platform for intelligent, relevant communication and positive interaction, will encourage our STEM Ambassadors to be at the forefront of the next generation of STEM innovators.

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