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#STEMbassador Senior Spotlight: SERA LUKENS


Delran Senior and STEM Ambassador Sera Lukens helps a young visitor use the die-cut machine at the Winter Solstice family engagement event in the Delran Innovation & Fabrication Lab.

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

I was really motivated to apply as a STEM ambassador because I wanted to learn something new. I knew I loved arts and crafts, and I felt like it might be an extension of that hands-on learning. I was aware of the growing field of engineering and how it appealed to strong intelligent women, which intrigued me the most. I was curious about the new space in the building, and wanted to take part in what it had to offer. I didn’t really know much about the new lab in general, which pushed me to seek out what was going to become of it at our school.


What has been your biggest learning curve in the lab?

The thing I struggled with the most was the ins and outs of all the machinery. I had never done something like this before, so taking the time to understand the proper steps to print items made it all the more easier to use.


What tool do you like best and why?

I enjoy the 3d printer the most, as there are so many possibilities with what to make. It can be a 2-dimensional piece of art or a 3-dimensional ornament for your christmas tree. It is the easiest to use with many templates online, and it is delicately crafted by the machine for a perfect shape every time. There is also a website one can use to create their own crafts, thingiverse.com, which gives me the freedom to create anything I can think of. Previously I had made a special room sign for all my friends, a lantern as a christmas present for my friend, a small robot and a snowman!


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

The lab has helped me realize that engineering isn’t as complicated as it first seems. Although it requires effort and ingenuity, it is all easily achievable to a student willing to put in the effort. My amazing experiences in the lab have helped me to realize my potential in the field of engineering, especially as it relates to biology and medicine. It really opened up a new world of opportunity for me, a path in life I had barely even considered. With all the events I have run so far and all the people I have met, the possibilities of this career path have greatly strengthened.


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

My biggest success in the lab has been the ability to successfully run the event for the Kean University partnership visitors from Wenzhou, China. The other ambassadors and I showcased some of the interesting projects we can create, answering their questions as we worked. Even with the language barrier, they were still able to communicate effectively with us, sharing our interests in STEM education for every child. Each of the visitors went home with a little wooden piece to remember their experience here, and they were very thankful that we had them visit.


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

I am most proud of my experience at the Winter Solstice celebration we had hosted in the lab (pictured at the top of this post). It was invigorating, to have such young kids exploring the many different stations and making their own pop up cards. In one of the first sessions, I helped a young girl create several for her parents. She had such a great time making them as I guided her through the process, she even asked me to be her babysitter one day!


What are your plans for next year?

Next year, I will major in Biomedical Engineering at the College of New Jersey.


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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The DelranSTEM Ecosystem Alliance is a network of collaborating organizations, led by Delran Schools, with the goal of improving STEM learning & access for students and the larger Delran and Burlington County, NJ community.

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