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Opportunity Arises, and Curiosity Meets Passion

Tanzila is an alumna from the inaugural Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering DSC_5747B(ARISE) cohort in summer 2013. She joined Professor Rastislav Levicky‘s Bio-interfacial Engineering and Diagnostics lab where PhD candidate Ursula Koniges was her mentor. As a high school student, she contemplated chemical engineering studies in college. After a successful summer with ARISE, she kept in touch with Ursula and developed greater interest in engineering and research. This Fall, she will join NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering‘s Class of 2018. We asked Tanzila to tell her story.

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Research Confirms STEM Ambitions

Now in its second year, the ARISE program, funded by the Pinkerton Foundation, is in full swing and in the 5th of its 7-week schedule.  The 35 participating New York City high school students have been conducting research in 14 labs across the NYU School of Engineering in Brooklyn and the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Washington Square. Graduate student mentors have been guiding them during their research, which is designed to contribute to the lab’s overall research goals.

We visited with the students and asked them how their research experience had changed their perceptions about life in a lab, plans for college, and their interest in STEM pursuits.

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ARISE Workshops Engage Students


Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) begins with students participating in two workshops. Dimensions of Scientific Inquiry explores scientific research, history, methods and ethics. Basic Robotics to Inspire Scientific Knowledge is a series of interactive exercises that test mathematical and engineering concepts.  Here, comments from students about the experience over the first three days.

DSC_5490Maria: “In Basic Robotics to Inspire Scientific Knowledge (BRISK), we’re learning to build and program robots using LEGO Mindstorm kits. Yesterday, we completed building dual-motor bots, a step forward from the single-motor brick from the previous day’s build in that the second motor allows turning.

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ARISE 2014 Begins!


Thank you to the Pinkerton Foundation for your support of advancing STEM research opportunities to New York City students with little or no access to high quality STEM education experiences.

It’s the second summer of ARISE, the selective program for academically strong, current 10th and 11th grade New York City students with a demonstrated interest in STEM.

On July 1, the Center welcomed 35 high school students to campus. These students will work across 14 research labs with 32 PhD candidates, post-docs, and graduate student mentors. It’s incredible to be involved with such a talented and dedicated network of inquisitive, bright, and ambitious students and mentors this summer.

At the orientation, the students worked with mentors in teams to build a tower. Who knew that using spaghetti, marshmallows and paper would be so fun for an icebreaker activity?!

Also at the orientation, the Center announced a new part of the program that will include the Irondale Ensemble Project, a local Brooklyn-based theater and performing arts organization. ARISE students and mentors will spend eight hours this summer learning improv and acting techniques to focus on communication and presentation skills.

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Ready for ARISE 2014 (Part 2 of 2)


In this activity, ARISE students consider principles in friction and weight with their robotic car.

Curriculum Highlight & Instructor Profiles: BRISK with Dominick Dennisur & Akshay Fadnis

How do you build a robotic car and collect data about the angles of the turns it makes and the friction it creates when moving on different surfaces? How can we visualize the data we acquire and use visualizations (maps, graphs) for analysis?

This summer, Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) students will focus on the above and more through Basic Robotics to Inspire Scientific Knowledge (BRISK), a 30 hour workshop. Students will participate in hands-on, interdisciplinary lessons involving math, science, computer programming, and robotics.

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Ready for ARISE 2014 (Part 1 of 2)

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ARISE 2013 students deliver final presentations with confidence at the conclusion of the program.

Curriculum Highlight & Instructor Profile: Dimensions of Scientific Inquiry with Dr. Brendan Matz

How should we as a society best use the powerful knowledge produced in the laboratory? How do STEM researchers and professionals consider ethical issues relating to embryonic stem cells, online privacy, designer babies, drones and warfare, and genetically modified foods?

This summer, Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) students will focus on the above and more through Dimensions of Scientific Inquiry, a 30 hour workshop. Students will make connections between scientific laboratory research and skills in critical thinking, public debate, writing and presentation.

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Preparing for the Unexpected

(Left to right): Prof. Chris Leslie, ARISE 2013 Instructor Hussein Saab, and the Center's Graduate Assistant Siddharth Shettigar discussing the program's academic component.

(Left to right): Prof. Chris Leslie, ARISE 2013 Instructor Hussein Saab, and the Center’s Graduate Assistant Siddharth Shettigar discussing the program’s academic component.

Professor Chris Leslie is leading the development of the academic component of the 2013 ARISE program. Here’s his post about pulling together this work.

A common refrain in NYU-Poly’s first-year courses is that there are no failures in engineering. When something goes wrong, engineers are happy to know that they can strike one possibility from their list of things to try. Scientific concepts predict certain results, but trying things out almost always means a deviation from what was expected. Devices work well in the workshop, but they do not work as expected in the hands of consumers or when the technology is transferred to other cultures. Although it can be frustrating when the expected results are not obtained, it is often the case that the unexpected results are where one finds an opportunity for innovation.

In the academic portion of ARISE before the lab experiences begin, we’ll join all participants into an introductory component about the process of engineering. What work practices ensure that the unexpected is noticed? How does one describe results so that one can account for the unexpected? What analytic tools can determine the degree of unexpectedness? How have unexpected results impacted the development of science and technology in history? How do reports describe the difference between expected and actual results? This foundation helps participants become analytical and observant investigators before they begin their research projects.

More Research Opportunities

Posted on behalf of our ARISE partner:

AMNH LogoEducation Department /Science Research Mentoring Program

The Pinkerton Foundation and the American Museum of Natural History are proud to support science research mentoring opportunities through the following programs:

• City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman/College Now Program

• Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly)

• Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, DNA Learning Center

• Wave Hill

• Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University

Currently, the following programs are recruiting high school students for upcoming mentorship opportunities:

Wave Hill

Wave Hill’s Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship Program offers a unique opportunity to experience a whole new type of learning adventure! This new, 14-month program enables motivated New York City high school students to take two, free, college courses and conduct important field research with working scientists―all while getting paid!

The program runs from July 2013 through August 2014. The deadline for applying is April 7, 2013.

• Summer 2013: 3‒4 days per week for approximately 20 hours per week

• Academic Year 2013-2014: 4‒5 days per month for approximately

4 hours per week

• Summer 2014: 4‒5 days per week for approximately 30 hours per week

To learn more about the WERM program, and to apply, go to http://www.wavehill.org/education/woodland-ecology-research-mentorship/

For any questions, please contact Barry Kogan at barryk@wavehill.org or by calling 718.549.3200 x 223.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – DNA Learning Center

Urban Barcode Research Program

The Urban Barcode Research Program (UBRP) is a science education initiative to engage New York City high school students in studying biodiversity using DNA technology. Students will participate in workshops and conduct independent, student-driven research projects using DNA barcoding with mentorship from experts. We are currently recruiting students for spring and summer preparatory courses. You can check course descriptions and availability at: http://www.urbanbarcodeproject.org/ubresearch.html

If you need more information or have questions about the UBRP, please contact:

Antonia Florio, PhD

DNA Learning Center

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly)

ARISE is a seven week program for 10th and 11th grade students with a demonstrated interest in STEM that includes: college level coursework, a high level research experience in one of several NYU-Poly faculty labs, and mentoring in that placement by a graduate or postdoctoral student.

Program runs from the beginning of July through the 3rd week of August. Please check this website for more information and a possible new opportunity to apply.

GPA Conversion Guide

The application form requires you to enter your GPA on a scale of 100. If you have a 4 point GPA use the following chart to convert it to a scale of 100.

GPA Percent
4.0 100-99
3.9 98-97
3.8 96-95
3.7 94-93
3.6 92-91
3.5 90-89
3.4 88-87
3.3 86-85
3.2 84-83
3.1 82-81
3.0 80
2.9 79
2.8 78
2.7 77
2.6 76
2.5 75
2.4 74
2.3 73
2.2 72
2.1 71
2.0 70
1.9 69
1.8 68
1.7 67
1.6 66
1.5 65
1.4 64
1.3 63
1.2 62
1.1 61
1.0 60
0.9 59
0.8 58
0.7 57

ARISE Press Announcement


A Call for New York High Schoolers to ARISE and Study Science

NYU-Poly to Provide Promising Young Scholars with Classes, Labs, Mentors

NEW YORK, March 5, 2013 – Wanted: 20 current 10th and 11th grade high school students from New York City with a passion for engineering and science, to study this summer alongside leading faculty and graduate students in state-of-the-art laboratories at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly).

Funded by the Pinkerton Foundation, the competitive new summer program is dubbed Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE). ARISE is part of a Science Research Mentoring Consortium coordinated by the American Museum of Natural History.

It will expose youngsters to areas such as mechanical and civil engineering; information systems and cyber security; materials science and robotics; protein engineering and molecular design, and bio-interfacial engineering and diagnostics.

“We’ll be looking for young people who are passionate about science and engineering, and who are committed to make the most of this opportunity,” said Ben Esner, director of the NYU-Poly Center for K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education. “ARISE is intended to be a transformative experience for students in New York City public schools with little or no access to high quality, advanced STEM education. In this program and others, NYU-Poly is pleased to be able to provide that access.”

A thorough application process will require recommendations from teachers, transcripts, an essay submission and an interview. Special recruitment and selection efforts will target female students and students of color—demographic groups that often lack access to the challenging academic preparation needed to pursue higher education and careers in STEM.

“We are delighted to partner with NYU-Poly to launch its exciting new ARISE program,” said Rick Smith, president of the Pinkerton Foundation. “ARISE will be a key member of the Science Research Mentoring Consortium being coordinated by the American Museum of Natural History and fits perfectly with Pinkerton’s goal of providing rich scientific experiences to talented but disadvantaged young people in New York City.” The Pinkerton Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of New York City’s young people by helping them develop the skills, self-reliance and strong values necessary to live up to their full potential.

ARISE will accept 20 students in 2013 and 22 in the summer of 2014.  The seven-week program will introduce students to engineering concepts and principles, instruct them on the scientific method, teach research practices and lab safety, and improve math skills. With individual graduate-student mentors, ASPIRE participants will spend the latter half of the program in placements where they will make practical contributions to their lab’s research objectives.

ARISE joins a robust list of STEM initiatives for pre-college students at NYU-Poly, including the Central Brooklyn STEM Initiative (CBSI), Science of Smart Cities, Creativity in Science Engineering and Technology (CrEST), and the National Science Foundation-sponsored Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) Day Camp for Young Women. “Our STEM programs not only teach the young people who participate, they also teach us how to do this work well and how to innovate,” Esner said. “We’re developing courses and curriculums that can be replicated all over the country.”

For more information on ARISE, including eligibility, deadlines and application procedures, visit http://arise.poly.edu.

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University

The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and the Polytechnic University, now widely known as NYU-Poly) is an affiliated institute of New York University, soon to be its School of Engineering. NYU-Poly, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. It is presently a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a 159-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. It remains on the cutting edge of technology, innovatively extending the benefits of science, engineering, management and liberal studies to critical real-world opportunities and challenges, especially those linked to urban systems, health and wellness, and the global information economy. In addition to its programs on the main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it offers programs around the globe remotely through NYUe-Poly. NYU-Poly is closely connected to engineering in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai and to the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) also at MetroTech, while operating two incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information, visit www.poly.edu.

Kathleen Hamilton
718-260-3792 office
347-843-9782 mobile