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UC students assist students at St. Bartholomew's with STEM activities

Several Union Catholic students recently had the opportunity to assist students at St. Bartholomew Academy in Scotch Plains in STEM activities. This opportunity was run by Imagine That!!, a Florham Park-based facility, and the students used RoboThink robotics kits.  
RoboThink is a global STEM education program educating over 50,000 students around the world in robotics, coding, technology and engineering. STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through STEM, students develop key skills, including problem solving.
Over the last four weeks, Union Catholic students Tristan Binenstock, Mallory Fella, Luke Talty, Kevin Caffrey, Nicklaus Nuzzo, Isabella Ruiz, Alexa Swift, Ava Zdanowicz, Emma Ruela, Matthew Teevan, Laura Molina, Summer Foster-Bey, Felix Lettini, Adela Rakoski, Chengyu (Justin) Bai, Peter Ziegler, Sebastian Grajeda, and Maria Maddi participated in this new and exciting initiative as they helped the students at St. Bartholomew complete STEM and Robotics activities. All the UC students who participated are taking either a Robotics or Engineering class or are members of the “Women In STEM Club.” UC Robotics teacher Samantha Scutieri is the moderator.
“I think it’s interesting for our students to get this kind of experience from a different perspective,’’ said Scutieri. “They’ve been on the other end of the learning for all this time, and now they are on my end. I think you hold on to a lot more of what you’ve learned when you have to explain it to others, so this was a great opportunity for our students to get involved with sharing their knowledge with younger kids. The younger kids really look up to them, too.’’
Lettini, who went to St. Bartholomew’s twice to assist the young students, said the program was a great experience and very rewarding.
“We were able to teach the kids what robotics is all about in a fun way,’’ said Lettini, a senior. “It’s like playing with LEGOS through science. The kids had the freedom to build whatever they wanted or follow an instruction manual. To see the kids put that last block in and start celebrating was just amazing.It was great to see them finish building a robot and be so happy and excited. It felt very gratifying to help them out along the way, and it was a great opportunity for myself and everyone else who participated. I give Ms. Scutieri a lot of credit for giving us this opportunity with Imagine That!! and St. Bart’s. I really hope this is something that Union Catholic continues to do in the future.’’