Township Students Participate In Program Sponsored By Commission On Status Of Women


Freeholder Director Pat Walsh, standing at right, and Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women Chair Janice Fields, seated center front, are pictured with girls who participated in the commission-sponsored STEM program at the Vo-Tech High School in Bridgewater. Photo: Somerset County Freeholders.

Girls from two schools in the township were among 58 throughout Somerset County who participated in a STEM program at the county Vocational & Technical High School.

The event was sponsored by the county Commission on the Status of Women.

Participating in the event were township students from Sampson G. Smith School and Central Jersey College Prep Charter School.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for these girls to learn about potential careers and to practice teambuilding skills that will serve them in the future,” Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Patricia Walsh, the commission liaison, said in a press release.

The program was specifically designed to encourage 6th- through 8th-grade girls to prepare for future success in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Additional sponsors included Bricks 4 Kidz, Team Makers, DesignPoint Solutions and ExxonMobil.

There were four interactive areas, including designing with plastic bricks, learning and watching 3-D printing in action, and learning about engineering, all while developing teambuilding skills.

There also was a panel of successful STEM women who provided insights, answered questions and discussed possible mentoring opportunities. They included Vaseem Firdaus, Ph.D., global third-party manufacturing manager at Exxon Mobil Chemical-Synthetics Division; Itzia Arroyo, Ph.D., associate principal scientist at Merck’s Center for Materials Science & Engineering; and Shelby Dobbins, an equipment-support specialist at DesignPoint Solutions.

The participating girls were from the following schools: Auten Road Intermediate and Hillsborough Middle School; Branchburg Central Middle School; Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School, Eisenhower Intermediate and Hillside Intermediate, Bridgewater; Central Jersey College Prep Charter School and Samson G. Smith School, Franklin; Green Brook Middle School; Montgomery Lower and Upper middle schools; The Pingry School and William Annin Middle School, Bernards; and Warren Middle School.

The Commission on the Status of Women serves as an advisory board to the Board of Chosen Freeholders to address present and potential needs of women and to develop a greater public awareness of women’s issues. For more information, email sccswomen@gmail.com or visit the commission’s webpage at http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/affiliated-agencies/commission-on-the-status-of-women.


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