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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 22, 2021

MAHWAH, N.J. – Orange & Rockland has awarded Ramapo College a $25,000 grant earmarked for the College’s Mobile Food Lab and its related STEM activities.

“Bringing STEM hands-on activities about nutrition and food science to schools will prepare the next generation of students to be critical thinkers and innovators,” said Dr. Angela Cristini, Ramapo College Professor of Biology and Vice President of Institutional Advancement. She also serves as Executive Director of the Ramapo College Foundation.

Ramapo’s Mobile Food Lab (MFL) is a multi-sensory educational experience on wheels that is the centerpiece of a project dedicated to improving student understanding of experimental science, human physiology, plant science and the chemistry and biology that are the basis of nutrition.

The MFL is a retrofitted bus that brings the “field trip” to schools, allowing students to take part in STEM activities without travelling. The MFL staff develops STEM curriculum activities for students in the K-8 educational environment focused on discovery through hands-on learning.

The MFL project, which began during the 2016-2017 school year, has been overwhelmingly well-received by students and teachers throughout New Jersey.

“All of the Food Lab’s activities are mapped to the Next Generation Science Standards, which are used throughout the U.S. to set STEM curriculum and assess student progress,” Cristini explained. From 2018 to 2020, the MFL team provided programming to 3,780 students and members of the community.

The Mobile Food Lab was purchased and retrofitted through a grant from the REED Foundation for Autism.  Adults with autism work on the MFL preparing it for field trips.

The first grant from Orange & Rockland, received in 2019, allowed the Mobile Food Lab to provide programming to 434 students in Mahwah, Oakland, and Ramsey. Allendale was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current project will continue MFL programming in Allendale, Mahwah, Oakland, and Ramsey, and will add the districts of Ringwood, Demarest, Cresskill and Closter in the 2021-2022 school year. All are communities served by Orange & Rockland.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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