About ieSoSC and the Sounds of New York City

Thanks to generous support from National Grid, the Center for K12 STEM Education is pleased to announce the second year of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Science of Smart Cities (ieSoSC).  In summer 2018, the program is combined with a new, unique two-week extension where students will participate in a National Science Foundation supported initiative, Sounds of New York City (SONYC) where they can apply their smart city skills to an actual research project being conducted by faculty and a team of graduate and post-doctoral students.  


Applications are now open for students entering 7th-9th grade in September 2018. Created as a follow-up experience to our Science of Smart Cities program, ieSoSC/SONYC is an opportunity that offers 7 weeks of intensive STEM instruction and mentoring on the NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Downtown Brooklyn campus in technology and engineering skills, design and prototyping, all built around the ‘smart city’ theme.  


Primarily (but not exclusively) intended for students that previously completed Science of Smart Cities, ieSoSC will show through hands-on projects, instruction and activities how to take coding/computer science, engineering and technology skills to another level by applying those skills to advanced smart cities ideas. Participants will work with our graduate and undergraduate student-experts in increasingly sophisticated hands-on programming and engineering projects.


The program incorporates time devoted to concepts and processes related to entrepreneurship and design thinking. During weeks 4 and 5 of the program, participants will form 4-person teams and apply their new skills and knowledge in engineering, technology and entrepreneurship to ideate, research/document, prototype and present a device(s)/app that use sensors; programming; data collection, analysis and reporting; and, wireless communication technologies and protocols, in an ‘internet of things’ approach to a “smart cities design challenge” that creates a product that could be used by municipal agencies, the general public, businesses and/or other user groups.

class EZpass

During the design challenge phase, high school participants will work in their teams with our graduate and undergraduate student-instructors. These instructors will assist with all aspects of the work, helping to resolve technical challenges, providing input and feedback, and otherwise coaching and mentoring participants through the prototyping and presentation processes. Each team will have a small budget for materials and equipment, and participants will receive public presentation training using improvisation techniques through a partnership with Irondale Theater.

After the first five weeks each team will present their design challenge prototype at an ieSoSC public presentation. Engineers, urban planners, business people and other smart cities experts hear from participants about their idea, interact with their prototype, and learn how it is intended to be applied to solve a real-world problem or challenge.

In weeks 6 and 7 of this year’s program, students will participate in research through the National Science Foundation funded Sounds of New York City (SONYC) program—an incredible opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge on an actual smart cities project. SONYC research is intended to engineer cyber-physical systems to help combat NYC’s noise pollution problem by bringing together specialists in acoustics, machine learning, distributed networking, citizen science, digital media, data analysis and visualization. With the knowledge learned from weeks 1-5, students will partake in this amazing, cutting-edge research in a variety of ways, such as helping build new sensors, streamlining data visualization or by engaging with the community through citizen science initiatives. During this time students will be interacting directly with the SONYC research engineering team.

Important 2018 Dates:


  • UPDATED Application deadline: April 18, 2018 by 5pm
  • Notification on or around: May 1, 2018
  • Program Begins: July 2, 2018
  • ieSoSC Prototype Presentation Event: August 3, 2018
  • SONYC Research Experience Begins: August 6, 2018
  • Program Ends: August 17, 2018

Important Additional Information:

  • Program runs full days (approximately 10am to 5pm), five days a week (except July 4th)
  • Our campus is located at 6 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn
  • ieSoSC is free to attend, thanks to support from National Grid
  • Lunch, snacks are not provided. Students must bring their own food or have money
  • Transportation/MetroCards not provided
  • Please watch your email around the notification date (students and parents/guardians)–if you are accepted to the program a prompt reply will be required


Applicant Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest/highly motivated in STEM as shown in your essays and application
  • Available for the entirety of the program, and commitment to completing
  • Students entering 7th-9th grade in September 2018
  • Responsible students who have demonstrated: an ability to make and fulfill commitments, timeliness, and persistence
  • You must apply online, on the ieSoSC Application page. We cannot accept paper applications or emailed applications

Questions? For information not found on the website, please Email: k12.stem@nyu.edu