Delran Named to National STEM Learning Ecosystem

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Dr. Brian Brotschul


Claire LaBeaux

STEM Learning Ecosystems (National Initiative)


STEM Learning Ecosystems Selects Delran Township Public Schools to Join National Initiative and Receive Support to Build Regional Partnerships Focused on STEM Education Pathways


STEM Funders Network to support Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance in collaborations that impact youth from preschool through college and engage students during and after school


(San Diego, CA – May 25, 2017) – The newly-formed Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance has just been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems national initiative to make a significant impact on STEM education and workforce development. As announced at the U.S. News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference today, Delran Township is one of 17 regional Ecosystems added to the national Initiative, which now encompasses 54 communities.

In just two years, the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative has become a thriving network of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, joined in regional partnerships with the objective of collaborating in new and creative ways to increase equity, quality and STEM learning outcomes for all youth.

“It’s so important to consider the entire continuum of education,” said STEM Learning Ecosystem co-chairs Gerald Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, Director of STEM Next. “The growing Community of Practice shares ideas and best practices for innovative learning that will benefit students’ individual development and prepare them for the demands of the 21st century workforce.”

The Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance was selected to be one of 17 incoming ecosystem communities because of a demonstrated commitment to cross-sector collaborations in schools and beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, with local business and industry partners, and in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. As STEM Ecosystems evolve, students will be able to connect what is learned in and out of school with real-world opportunities.

“It makes sense to collaborate with like-minded organizations, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” said Dr. Brian Brotschul, Superintendent of Delran Township Public Schools of the Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance. “STEM Ecosystems provides technical assistance and infrastructure support so that we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to our specific needs in Delran Township while leveraging the experience of similar alliances across the country.”

Members of the new Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance, which is led by Kari McGann (Director of Curriculum), Mary Jo Hutchinson (Supervisor of Math) and Erica DeMichele (Supervisor of Science) include Delran Education Association, Lockheed Martin, Public Service Electric and Gas, Rowan College and Burlington County, Rider University, Princetel Industries, University of Kentucky, Princeton University, New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles, Simon Schuster, Township of Delran, Perkins Center for the Arts and Radwell International.

The following ecosystem communities were selected to become part of the national STEM Learning Ecosystem:

  • Arizona: Flagstaff STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • California: Region 5 STEAM in Expanded Learning Ecosystem (San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey Counties)
  • Louisiana: Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network
  • Massachusetts: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network
  • Michigan: Michigan STEM Partnership / Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance
  • Missouri: Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • New Jersey: Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance (Burlington County)
  • New Jersey: Newark STEAM Coalition
  • New York: WNY STEM (Western New York State)
  • New York: North Country STEM Network (seven counties of Northern New York State)
  • Ohio: Belmont County Ohio STEM Initiative
  • Ohio: STEM Works East Central Ohio
  • Oklahoma: Mayes County STEM Alliance
  • Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • Washington: The Washington STEM Network
  • Wisconsin: Greater Green Bay STEM Network
  • Canada: Symbiosis, British Columbia, Canada

Learn more about the national initiative at Address specific questions to Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook.

 About the STEM Funders Network: The STEM Funders Network brings together grant makers working in STEM to learn from one another, leverage their collective resources and collaborate on high-impact projects they could not undertake alone. The vision of the STEM Funders Network is that all students should have equal opportunity to engage in high-quality STEM learning experiences that will enhance their ability to succeed in a STEM career or other chosen path. See STEM Ecosystems funding and local supporting members of the STEM Funders Network include: Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, KDK-Harman Foundation, Motorola Solutions FoundationOverdeck Family Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, Samueli Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Simons Foundation, Steinman Foundation, and STEM Next (Supported by the Noyce Foundation).

For more information, please contact



Delran Hosts STEM Fair

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Guest Writers, Erica DeMichele and Mary Jo Hutchinson

The first annual Delran STEM Fair was held on Monday, May 8, 2017 at the Delran Middle School. More than 500 students, along with their families and other community members, were treated to interactive STEM activities and displays.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. A dozen student clubs and organizations were represented, including Robotics Teams and Green Teams from grades K-12. Winning Science Fair entries from grades 6-12 were showcased, and 8th graders showed off Water Bottle Rockets. 14 different businesses and community organizations hosted tables showing real-world STEM applications, and interactive STEM games and challenges.

Outside, fairgoers could view STEM technology in police cars, fire engines with self-contained breathing apparatus and thermal imaging technology, all-electric vehicles such as a Tesla, Chevrolet Bolt and Chevrolet Volt, and simulations inside the ARMY STEM Vehicle.

Program tables inside the DMS gymnasium included many interactive demonstrations and challenges. The Delran Intermediate School’s Robotics Team offered visitors the chance to program Lego Robots and watch pre-programmed robots complete challenges. Visitors to the Delran Middle School’s Rocketry table made and launched their own paper rockets. Lockheed Martin’s engineers challenged visitors to float as many pennies as possible in tin foil boats, among other STEM activities.

Barnes & Noble-Moorestown offered guests the chance to try a 3D virtual reality headset and hands-on engineering kits. Volunteers from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection/Rancocas Creek Watershed taught visitors to identify live and preserved macroinvertebrates and make deductions about water quality. Camden County Chickens brought hens, including a therapy hen that fairgoers could interact with.

The goal of the Delran STEM Fair, coordinated by Eric DeMichele (Supervisor of Science) and Mary Jo Hutchinson (Supervisor of Math) was to showcase STEM activities that have taken place throughout the school district in grades K-12 during the 2016-2017 school year, and to highlight the Science Technology, Engineering, and Math activities that occur everyday in many different careers and businesses right here in our community.

Here is a scan of the Burlington County Times newspaper coverage of the STEM Fair:

Here is a link to the Burlington County Times video coverage:

Here are some photos, with captions of the STEM Fair:

(All photos credit to Ali Brant Photography)

Dr. Lisa Della Vecchia Appointed Director of Student Services

On Monday evening, at its public Work Session, the Delran Township Board of Education approved Dr. Lisa Della Vecchia to serve as the Director of Student Services effective July 1, 2017.

During the winter and spring months the district engaged in a multi-stage search which revealed a pool of candidates to serve as the Director of Student Services.

A profile for the successful candidate guided our search and allowed us to ensure that we are moving forward with a candidate that addresses the needs in the area of student services for the district in addition to someone who has experience in the areas in which the district seeks to grow. Additionally, we sought to identify a candidate that had the ability to establish positive relationships with all stakeholders in the District. On behalf of the Delran Township Board of Education, I congratulate Dr. Della Vecchia on joining the Delran Township Public Schools family.

Dr. Della Vecchia began a teaching career in Harlem, New York, which ignited her passion to work with children with social and academic struggles, special needs, and mental health concerns. Once moving to New Jersey, Dr. Della Vecchia worked for the New Jersey Department of Education in whole school reform, special education and early childhood education. She conducted special education monitoring and worked in consultation with an Administrative Law Judge. She also started a new full-day research based, inclusive, early childhood program.

Dr. Della Vecchia also served as the Director of the Child Development Center in Vineland, NJ, a partnership with South Jersey Healthcare and Vineland Public Schools. In the child development center, Dr. Della Vecchia worked with a multi-disciplinary team of neurologists, neuro developmental doctors, speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, physical therapists and social workers to evaluate children and adults from the ages of 0 to 21, that have suspected medical and learning difficulties. Also in this center, Dr. Della Vecchia oversaw the Cumberland County early intervention evaluation team and serviced two counties for early intervention services in families’ homes.

Dr. Della Vecchia has also served as the Regional Director of Child Study Teams for Catapult Learning in Lakewood, NJ. In this position, she has direct contact and supervision with child study team members, case managers, teachers, speech therapists and nurses.

For the last five years, Dr. Della Vecchia has served in Hamilton Township School District, first overseeing all federal grants and secondly, serving as the Principal of Yardville Heights Elementary School. In this position, Dr. Della Vecchia has created a whole brain teaching school.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Della Vecchia to the district. She can be reached at

Dr. Della Vecchia will host a Meet and Greet event on June 13, 2017 at 6:00pm in the Delran High School Media Center for all students, parents and stakeholders. Please consider joining us!