Linden elementary school event gives science and tech a down-home feel

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LINDEN, NJ — Students at School No. 4 in Linden recently went back to nature on a virtual “farm” to learn how science and technology can affect the world around them.
“STEM on the Farm,” on Thursday, April 29, was a family-friendly night of learning through a virtual classroom hosted by technology teacher Mitch Gorbunoff. He took on the lively persona of “Farmer G” to introduce science, technology, engineering and math activities to students in a fun way.

“In the age of COVID-19, students of all ages have experienced how technology and science affect their everyday life in substantial ways,” Gorbunoff said. “This event further showed students how being involved in STEM learning gives you tools to effect change in the larger world.”

Students were given learning materials ahead of time and “Farmer G” walked them through various STEM activities related to farm life, such as creating a feeding system for pigs using paper towel tubes. Principal Suzanne Olivero and other School No. 4 staff members joined in the fun to encourage and applaud students’ efforts.

“The student response was incredible,” Gorbunoff said. “We received a ton of responses, pictures and videos of kids exploring and learning by trying.”

The event was made possible through the Union County STEM Scholars Grant, which paid for the materials for the student activities.

“I want to thank the Union County commissioners for starting this program, (and) the wonderful teachers who worked with me to bring this event to life, and do so much to plan, facilitate and carry out the wonderful things we do at School No. 4,” Gorbunoff said. “Lastly, I need to thank the families, teachers, staff and administrators, who all come together, show up and be there for each other. Dr. Olivero leads an amazing organization and has built a community that continues to do wonderful things.”

Photos Courtesy of Gary Miller