Chancellor, Microsoft, and NYU Polytechnic Announce NYC Summer STEM 2015

Pilot Program Will Provide Hands-On STEM Opportunities for 1,200 Students

NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced NYC SUMMER STEM 2015, a new citywide pilot program to provide students who just completed grades 2, 7, and 10 with free, high-quality, engaging STEM instruction. SUMMER STEM 2015 will serve 1,200 total students – 400 from each of the three grades – at 10 sites across the City, one in each of the five boroughs for 2nd-graders and one in each of the five boroughs for 7th and 10th-graders. The program focuses on bringing high-quality STEM education to high-needs students and communities and will run for four weeks for 2nd-graders and five weeks for 7th and 10th-graders. The program cost of $2 million includes funding from public funds and from Microsoft secured through the Fund for Public Schools.

DOE has adopted university partner NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’s curriculum for the 7th and 10th-grade programs, which both include robotics and “Science of Smart Cities,” a program that focuses on the engineering, technology, and science of urban development and sustainability. For the 2nd-grade program, the DOE will use the research-based, classroom-tested “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum – developed and implemented with support from the Boston Museum of Science and New York Hall of Science – that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. SUMMER STEM curricula will revolve around hands-on learning and real-world concepts like infrastructure, energy and transportation, and computing. In addition to their STEM learning, 2nd-graders in the program will have arts and physical education enrichment opportunities. Across their 10 sites, 7th and 10th-graders will be offered arts, physical education, music, and dance enrichment opportunities.

Sixty-five DOE teachers – 25 for 2nd grade, and 20 each for 7th and 10th grades – will lead the STEM program, and 40 NYU Polytechnic Center for K12 STEM instructors will work closely with the 7th and 10th-grade teachers.

“Summer learning opportunities are crucial for staving off learning loss and preparing students for their next school year, and there is no better time for students to immerse themselves in the important STEM disciplines,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Our collaboration with Microsoft and university and museum partners is making this hands-on program possible for students in 2nd, 7th, and 10th grades – critical years for ensuring students have the support they need and remain on track for academic success, college, and careers. In SUMMER STEM 2015, our students will have an opportunity to discover their passions and learn valuable science and math skills. I look forward to seeing the work they do.”

“At Microsoft we believe STEM education can create opportunities for students to build the 21st-century skills needed to be successful in the future,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education for Microsoft Corporation. “We are proud to collaborate with Chancellor Fariña and the DOE, NYU Polytechnic, and The Fund for Public Schools to bring this SUMMER STEM 2015 programming to the students of New York City.”

“High-quality STEM education offers New York City students hands-on learning and problem-solving opportunities that connect to the world outside the classroom, whether it’s figuring out how to build a sustainable 21st-century city or how to build a functional robot. We’ve worked closely with DOE students and educators for nearly 15 years to enhance STEM instruction across the City, and SUMMER STEM represents a new highlight. We know this program can work for New York City students – we've seen it over and over again throughout our many programs,” said NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Dean Katepalli Sreenivasan.  

“We are thrilled about this partnership with Microsoft, which will be of tremendous benefit to our students,” said Iris Chen, Executive Director of The Fund for Public Schools. “Public-private partnerships are crucial to strengthening our schools, and we are immensely grateful to Microsoft for committing  its financial resources, as well as its expertise, talent, and space.”

Working with NYU Polytechnic, DOE is selecting 10 site locations that are central within their borough and easily accessible by public transportation. Students will apply to the program by borough, and applications for the program will be available in mid-May. DOE will conduct outreach to ensure that students in high-needs communities and students from Renewal Schools, as well as English Language Learners and students with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. Within each borough, applicants will be selected for the program randomly.

To facilitate the success of the pilot, university partner NYU Polytechnic will lead a three-day professional development for DOE teachers leading the 7th- and 10th-grade programs in June and July. The New York Hall of Science will lead professional development for the DOE teachers leading the 2nd-grade Engineering is Elementary curriculum, which was originally developed by the Boston Museum of Science. DOE is also developing a programmatic assessment to be distributed at the end of the summer that will evaluate the pilot and inform future decision-making. 

SUMMER STEM 2015 is one of several DOE initiatives to enhance and expand innovative, high-quality STEM instruction that drives improvement in student outcomes across the City. Through funding from the GE Foundation and partnership with several New York City STEM businesses and organizations, over 350 teachers from 100 schools attended the first-ever intensive, three-day STEM Institute this April; teachers and school leaders from up to an additional 100 schools will participate in STEM Institutes this summer and in Spring 2016. In recent years, DOE has also invested in new software engineering programs at 20 DOE schools as well as over 500 school gardens across the City that give students a hands-on approach to environmental science and sustainability.