About Universal Vare

Project Lead the Way at Universal Vare:

Students at staff at Universal Vare are excited for launch of a new STEM program in the 2018-19 school year!  Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a national recognized leader in STEM education and Universal Vare is proud to offer three of their world class instructional units to Vare Scholars.  Each PLTW unit engages students in activities that not only build knowledge and skills in areas including computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance.

Automation and Robotics

Students learn about the history and impact of automation and robotics as they explore mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Using the VEX Robotics® platform, students apply what they know to design and program traffic lights, robotic arms, and more.

Computer Science for Innovators and Makers

Throughout the unit, students will learn about programming for the physical world by blending hardware design and software development, allowing students to discover computer science concepts and skills by creating personally relevant, tangible, and shareable projects.

Medical Detectives

Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease. They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, measure and interpret vital signs, dissect a sheep brain, investigate disease outbreaks, and explore how a breakdown within the human body can lead to dysfunction. (This enhanced unit will be available Fall 2018.)

Robotics Club at Universal Vare:

All of the hard work and determination has paid off for our Robotics & Engineering Team at Universal Vare! Last year, a group of our scholars chose to step out of their comfort zones and helped create the very first Robotics Program at Universal Vare, and they achieved amazing successes last year and this year in the Sea Perch Eastern Regional Competition at Temple University. Our team worked tirelessly both years as we planned, designed, and built our Sea Perch robot, documented our work in a scientific notebook, and created a robotics and engineering company that presented our work to U.S. Naval Captains. Both years, we entered regional competitions versus 50 middle schools that consisted of numerous public, charter, private, and parochial schools from all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.

Last year in our very first year of competing as unheard-of underdogs, we took 1st Place in the Scientific Notebook, 2nd Place in the Engineering Design Process, 5th Place in the Pool Performance, and 6th Place in the Company Presentation to U.S. Naval Captains, which placed us in an overall ranking of 3rd Place Overall in the entire competition versus 50 schools! This was a feat that is literally unheard of in this highly competitive program. Our team was also awarded and recognized for our achievements at the American Society of Naval Engineering Advanced Machines & Technology Symposium held at Villanova University, and by the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers.

However, these achievements were not enough for our Vare scholars! They backed up their hard work again this year by coming in 3rd Place in the Company Presentation to U.S. Naval Captains, and 4th Place Overall out of 50 schools from 4 states…yet again… proving that their accomplishments were not simply “beginners luck”, but that they were and are a force to be reckoned with!