This summer, the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’s Center for K12 STEM education was able to expand two ongoing programs into public schools across New York City under NYCitySTEM: Robotics and Science of Smart Cities (SoSC). These programs, developed and taught at the Engineering school by undergraduate and graduate students, use engineering principles and problem-solving hands-on activities to teach STEM concepts. By partnering with the NYC Department of Education and with support from Microsoft and the Fund for Public Schools, NYCitySTEM was launched in all five boroughs.
The forty-three NYU students hired as instructors trained NYC teachers in the curriculum which they then co-taught in schools. Hundreds of 7th and 10th graders spent 5 weeks designing, building, and testing robots that could complete tasks or models of smart cities while learning math, science, technology, and engineering concepts. Participants learned how to use microcontrollers, breadboards, resistors, sensors, construction materials, gravel, and soil to meet engineering challenges.
On August 6th, each school held an Expo where participants demonstrated their creations and and explained the science behind their designs. Smart City models included solar and wind-powered energy, water filtration systems, waste disposal and recycling systems, smart traffic systems, and buildings capable of surviving natural disasters. Autonomous robots equipped with color sensors were able to follow paths or locate objects.
SoSC classroom activities and curriculum, created at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, including instructions and materials needed can be found here. Robotics classroom activities and curriculum, created at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, including instructions and materials needed can be found here and here.
Participants were able to spend their summer thinking about ways to improve the lives of their families and neighbors using creativity and STEM concepts while gaining a new appreciation for the science and math they learn during the school year. Thank you Microsoft and The Fund for Public Schools for supporting this partnership to provide access and opportunity for hands-on STEM learning to NYC K-12 students.