How the NYU School of Engineering Will Spend its Summer Vacation: STEM, STEM, and More STEM

NYU Students and Incubator Entrepreneurs Join NYU Faculty as Instructors and Mentors to Middle and High School Students and Teachers; Professors Open Labs for Real Research

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—In Brooklyn, summer vacation may evoke thoughts of Coney Island, but Downtown Brooklyn will be the gathering place for the intellectually curious this summer. In the heart of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the New York University School of Engineering will launch an expanded summer program engaging hundreds of K-12 teachers, students from middle school through graduate school, NYU faculty, and even mentors from the school’s network of business incubators. Throughout classrooms, field trips, and laboratories, the conversation and hands-on action will center on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

On July 10, 2014, New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña will keynote an invitation-only event to launch this year’s #STEMNOW, involving 19 different programs, 15 laboratories, fully a quarter of the School of Engineering’s full-time faculty, 50 K-12 teachers, 90 NYU student fellows, and nearly 500 middle and high school students including many at summer camps throughout the city. At the heart of #STEMNOW are the many tuition-free programs that engage and educate students and teachers in underserved communities, supported by local donors and federal agencies in order to close the STEM divide. Meanwhile—illustrating that STEM is for adults, too—the Code Liberation Foundation will offer free classes in digital game development for women in the notoriously male-dominated field. And across the school, more than 60 NYU School of Engineering undergraduates will spend the summer in laboratories performing meaningful research—an experience typically reserved for graduate students.

Simultaneously, the NYU School of Engineering will amp up its nationwide conversation through social media, using the hashtag #STEMNOW. Participants will engage fellow students, parents, educators, policy makers, and STEM professionals in discussions about what they are doing in STEM now, propelling the national drive for high-quality STEM education and demonstrating how to improve instruction and learning in STEM fields. Last summer’s most popular postings will return, offering parents and teachers quick tips on how to engage youngsters in STEM projects while guiding teachers and home-schooling parents to sites that carry full-fledged curricula developed by the NYU-hosted programs.

“This institution has historically admitted many young people from New York’s neighborhoods and helped them to obtain the knowledge and skills to become successful scholars, researchers, entrepreneurs, and highly valued employees,” said Dr. Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, NYU School of Engineering president and dean. “Our Center for K12 STEM Education and others throughout the NYU School of Engineering exemplify that mission by developing programs, curricula, and teacher training that reach into K-12 schools to prepare young students for STEM studies at the university level.”

Sreenivasan continued: “Our experience in K-12 engineering programs proves how powerfully we can change students’ lives, particularly by working with their teachers, who disperse their knowledge throughout their schools. We are gratified at the growth of these successful programs, and for the generous financial support of our partners who are helping propel the best initiatives to the forefront.”

Said Chancellor Fariña: "A high-quality education includes exposure to and critical thinking of science, technology, engineering, and math. NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’s summer programs will enrich learning opportunities by immersing students in authentic, hands-on learning activities in robotics, molecular design, wireless communications, and mechanical and civil engineering. While our students gain this critical knowledge, these programs provide opportunity for teachers to enhance their instructional skills and become stronger STEM educators, furthering the education of students across the City.”

Other highlights include:

Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering

(ARISE) is designed for high school students with little or no access to high-quality STEM education experiences, students of color, and those from low-income backgrounds. The seven-week program features challenging college-level coursework and lab work in such fields as civil and urban engineering, composite materials, mechanics, molecular design, robotics, sensors, and protein engineering. For the first time, the biology laboratories of faculty of the NYU School of Arts and Sciences will join the School of Engineering laboratories to offer research opportunities to high school students. Thirty-five 10th and 11th graders will be mentored nearly one-on-one by 32 graduate students and 14 NYU faculty members.

Applying Mechatronics to Promote Science

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Central Brooklyn STEM Initiative, which is funded by corporate and private philanthropy, together provide one of the most compelling examples of the power of the school’s STEM programs. Together, they send NYU-Poly graduate students into Brooklyn elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the year to challenge students to design, build, and operate robotic devices, teach science and engineering, and provide training to advance teachers’ understanding of STEM subjects.  The results are significant: from 2009 to 2012, 70 percent of the 3,200 participating students increased their STEM grades by a half or full-letter grade. This summer, 18 elementary, middle, and high school teachers will train alongside NYU School of Engineering graduate fellows and prepare to take STEM knowledge back to their schools.

Code Liberation Foundation

A dedicated to encouraging women in digital game development, is hosting two free weekly series through the summer at the NYU Media and Games Network (MAGNET) facilities. NYU School of Engineering Adjunct Professor of Integrated Digital Media Phoenix Perry co-founded Code Liberation  with four other women from various backgrounds who want to change the female-to-male ratio in video game development. This summer’s series are aimed at improving game development skills: “Web Based Story Telling” and the intermediate-level “Embodied Play Series,” which focuses on developing games involving the whole body. and

College-Credit Courses

High school students who want to get a jump on college-credit courses or simply explore hot fields of study can enroll in a variety of subjects.  Courses include Web Design, Introduction to Engineering and Design, and Pre-Calculus.

CrEST Mobile

Six high school students who completed the intensive Creativity in Engineering, Science and Technology (CrEST) program last term will fan out to community-based organizations, where they will teach what they learned in physical computing, mechanical systems, electronics, and sensors to middle school students in publicly funded summer camps. The camps will engage 235 youngsters throughout the city.

Cyber Security for Teachers and College Faculty

Home of one of the oldest and most recognized cyber security programs in the country, the NYU School of Engineering will host training and research opportunities for area college faculty and high school teachers, particularly those teaching in high schools with socially diverse, economically disadvantaged, and under-represented student bodies. The programs aim to engage students in hardware and software security and digital forensics, thereby opening high-demand career paths. Sponsored by the NSF, the summer programs send teachers and college faculty back to their own schools with the knowledge, curriculum, and hands-on demonstrations to launch programs there. The high school teachers will also prepare their students to participate in the NYU School of Engineering’s annual Cyber Security Awareness Week–the world’s biggest set of student challenges in hacking, protection, and digital forensics.<a href="http://></a> and <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="""" cyberfaculty"=""></a></p> <h4>Cyber Security for Young Women</h4> <p>Will introduce 44 high school girls to role models, programming, virtuous hacking, and digital forensics during two intensive and supportive programs designed to encourage them to pursue educational opportunities in cyber security—a field that is growing at more than 10 times the overall job market but is notoriously bereft of female professionals. Summer openings for young women doubled this year, as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Security Agency each sponsored a tuition-free session. Both prepare the students to participate in the NYU School of Engineering annual <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Cyber Security Awareness Week</a> High School Digital Forensics Contest.<a data-cke-saved-href="http://" href="http://"></a></p> <h4>Research Experience for Teachers—SMARTER</h4> <p>Pairs middle and high school teachers in the NYU School of Engineering laboratories with faculty and graduate students for two weeks of advanced STEM workshops and four weeks of research.  This summer’s program builds on the highly successful SMART (Science and Mechatronics Aided Research for Teachers) program. Based on the premise that kids cannot resist STEM subjects when robots are involved, SMARTER adds an entrepreneurship component so that teachers will be able to point their smartest students, who might otherwise turn to more familiar fields, toward exciting STEM careers. Teachers engage in high-level research projects and curriculum development, and return to their schools capable of establishing engineering programs and facilities. <a data-cke-saved-href="" href=""></a></p> <h4>Science of Smart Cities</h4> <p>Introduces middle school students to the engineering, science, and technology that make cities more livable, efficient, sustainable, and safer through hands-on activities, demonstrations, and experiments. NYU School of Engineering students will teach 54 students—most from underserved Central Brooklyn—energy, urban infrastructure, transportation, and wireless communications. Now in its third year, the School of Engineering has taken its successful Science of Smart Cities program to Malaysia at the invitation of the National University of Malaysia. Locally, it is supported this summer by Consolidated Edison, Forest City Ratner Companies, and National Grid. <a data-cke-saved-href="" href=""></a></p> <h4>Summer Research Opportunities for High School Students</h4> <p>Seven students from Brooklyn Technical High School will work alongside five professors and an equal number of graduate students to conduct advanced research in areas such as wireless medical technology, cybersecurity, bioengineering, and mechanical and civil engineering. Throughout the school, other professors are welcoming other high school students to work beside undergrads and graduate students in their laboratories.</p> <h4>Tech Kids Unlimited</h4> <p>Technology can be a great equalizer for those with learning difficulties, and these workshops aim to provide special-needs students, age 9 to 17, with the 21st-century technology tools they require for success. Four summer workshops will be held in the new NYU Media and Games Network (MAGNET) in MetroTech Center, taught with the help of NYU students. The first will teach coding en route to developing a digital game. The workshop on music and audio engineering will teach students to make a sound app and to become a producer of tech culture, rather than just a passive consumer. The third module will allow students to build virtual environments and 3D models with Google SketchUp. And the fourth will introduce students to 3D design and printing. School of Engineering Adjunct Professor Beth Rosenberg founded the program after realizing that her son, who learns differently, loved technology but wasn’t being exposed to it during the school day. <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" style="line-height: 1.5em;"></a></p><p></p>