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#STEMbassador Senior Spotlight: KENDAL COLDREN

Delran Senior and STEMbassador Kendal Coldren, left, with fellow STEMbassadors at the Delran Innovation & Fabrication Lab Grand Opening event.

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

I have volunteered at STEAM Camp for the past four years, and truly fell in love with the STEM education program here at DHS, and wanted to pursue the opportunities available in our new FabLab.

What has been your biggest learning curve in the lab?

Definitely all of the intricate procedures and steps needed in order to properly execute something. I remember designing a logo for the senior Powder Puff team, and I failed to format the design file properly, so when it was cut with the vinyl cutter there were extra lines and cuts that weren't intended to be there (they looked great anyway though).

STEMbassador Kendal Coldren, left, with another DHS Senior, wearing the Powder Puff t-shirts she designed and made in the Lab.

What tool do you like best and why?

Definitely the vinyl cutter. I just feel it is so versatile in how complex or simplistic you can make designs, while also being able to create something totally personal and unique. Plus, you can make such a variety of things, like shirts or bags using the heat transfer vinyl or just regular stickers for assorted uses.

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

I have always wanted to work in Prosthetics and Orthotics, and being able to see and get a feel for new and innovative technology has really opened my eyes to the career I plan on entering. It has certainly influenced me to fall more in love with the field and the limitless ideas and applications you can apply in the Lab.

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

When myself, Brooke, Adriana, and Abbe spent three days making 15 jerseys for the Powder Puff game with logos on the front and names and numbers on the backs. The weeding was tedious and I may have burned myself just a little on the freshly pressed shirts, but it was a truly rewarding experience to create those for the team.

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

I am proud of each thing I do in the lab and each experience I have, but I am certainly most proud when I am able to help teach someone else how to use the equipment. I mean, isn't learning and teaching the whole reason ambassadors are needed? I feel truly fulfilled when I see someone else proud of themselves for what they learned or accomplished.

What are your plans for next year?

I plan on attending the University of Vermont, majoring in Health Sciences with a focus on Prosthetics and Orthotics, and minoring in ASL.

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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