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#STEMbassador Senior Spotlight: Natalie Cauley

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

I wanted to become a STEM Ambassador because I wanted to be able to engage with younger students and families at the events in order to help them understand the type of technology that is offered at Delran High School! I also wanted to have experience personally with new 21st century technology, as it will continue to evolve in the future; therefore, I wanted to have a broader understanding of how everything worked.

What has been your biggest learning curve in the lab?

My biggest learning curve in the lab was working with Corel Draw and the 3D Printer to construct a bridge for my Honors Geometry Class. Our task was to design a bridge that could hold as much weight as possible without it collapsing from any part. As this was my first experience with any type of equipment and online resources in the lab, it was difficult to have to figure out how everything worked without a lot of initial guidance.

What tool do you like best and why?

Personally, I am a fan of the 3D Printer offered in our STEM Lab. I find it to be very interesting to see this type of technology evolve, and you are also able to make so many different objects with it!

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

Although the nursing labs I will be working with in college are not identical to the technologies offered in our STEM Lab, being able to learn how to manipulate the different machines and problem solve when it was difficult to first learn how to use them will help me with my future plans in college. There will be times when I will have to adapt to using new technology and resources that I am not familiar with, and already having this type of experience with our STEM Lab resources will help shape a strong foundation for my performance in the future.

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

So far, my biggest success in the lab has been working among the other STEMbassadors to create new projects. There have been times where we have all struggled to be able to correctly use the resources; however, I was able to step up and assist with those around me so we could all have a successful outcome!

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

From my experiences as a STEMbassador, I am most proud of being able to assist families when they were struggling to successfully complete the tasks during our STEM events. There were multiple times that the children would be upset because the outcome of their experience was not triumphant. However, I was able to encourage the families and aid with their construction so that the experiment was successful. This made the children very proud of themselves, which in return made me proud that I was able to make them excited about STEM.

What are your plans for next year?

Next year, I will be attending The College of New Jersey to study nursing!

Delran STEMbassadors are Delran High School students selected from applicants because they demonstrated a passion for STEM, and possessed outstanding communication skills. Much like an internship, STEMbassadors 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 STEMbassadors 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, STEMbassadors share their expertise with others. We are certain that this platform for intelligent, relevant communication and positive interaction, will encourage our STEMbassadors to be at the forefront of the next generation of STEM innovators.

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