Supporters of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) celebrated the beginning of STEM Month in New Jersey with an event at the InfoAge Science & History Center at 2201 Marconi Rd. in Wall Township, Monmouth County.

The event was hosted by the STEM Pathways Network, established in 2014 to support access to high-quality STEM learning for all students. The STEM Pathways Network has almost 300 members, with representatives from colleges and universities around the state, and K-12 school districts, including Jersey City, Newark, Camden and Delran. Foundations are supporting the effort, all with one goal in mind: To make STEM education fun, interesting and relevant.

In the first photograph, Kim Case, (left) the executive director of the Research & Development Council, and the manager of the STEM Pathways Network, stands with John Henry, the NJSBA’s STEAM and sustainable schools specialist. Henry leads the NJSBA’s STEAM Tank Challenge project, which, in partnership with the U.S. Army, will give 657 student teams the opportunity to compete this year to design and create projects that solve real-world problems.

The second photograph is of former N.J. Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks, who attended the Feb. 27 event. Hendricks created the STEM Pathways Network with Laura Overdeck, head of the Overdeck Family Foundation.

The third photo shows students from the Toms River school district, who are celebrating the “ball drop” which they designed and built to start the STEM Month festivities.

students from the Toms River school district, who are shown celebrating the “ball drop”