NYU Tandon Invites NYC Students and Teachers to Take a Deep Dive into the STEM Pool

Summer Participants in STEMNow Programming Will Access Cutting-Edge Labs, Groundbreaking Research, and More

Chancellor Carmen Farina

For the fourth summer in a row, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering through its Center for K12 STEM Education will share the skills and excitement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through STEMNow, which will bring almost 1,000 K-12 students and their teachers to its Downtown Brooklyn classrooms and labs.

The kickoff celebration will take place on July 13, 2016, with a keynote speech by New York City Department of Education Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

“We know that STEM is the foundation of our future, and that’s why New York City has invested in high-quality, hands-on STEM education for all students, including the Computer Science for All initiative and expanded STEM Summer in the City,” said Chancellor Fariña. “I’m so pleased to have NYU as a partner in this work to get students passionate about STEM, and on the path to becoming the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Joining the chancellor at the podium to welcome students, educators, and community leaders to NYU Tandon will be Dean Katepalli R. Sreenivasan. “This year’s STEMNow will make an exciting mark on the landscape of STEM education in New York City and beyond,” he said. “When a high school student is exposed to high-level research in a university lab or a passionate NYU Tandon student mentor, it opens up previously unimaginable possibilities. When teachers return to their classrooms with innovative ideas for engaging their students in STEM, it has a ripple effect on entire generations of future engineers and scientists. We’re pleased to open NYU Tandon’s doors so that others can be inspired by our stellar faculty and students, work in our labs and classrooms, and immerse themselves in our culture of intellectual curiosity and technology in service to society.”

“By opening its doors to local students, NYU Tandon has allowed them to enter the world of possibilities available by studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I share their commitment to preparing young men and women from our communities for the many good jobs that technology startups and related companies are creating here in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. In addition, this program will build on partnerships I have created with our borough’s public schools to provide every student with the resources to study STEM.”

STEM skills are vital in our increasingly technology-based economy and society, and scientists and engineers are in high demand in a plethora of sectors, from manufacturing to medicine.

Why STEM Matters at NYU Tandon

The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) recently reported that African Americans represent just 3.6 percent of the engineering workforce and earn only 4 percent of the bachelor of science degrees in engineering conferred annually.

By contrast, 90 percent of the students served by STEMNow come from communities historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines and more than 80 percent from low-income families. Its goal is to democratize access to the kind of high-quality instruction required to succeed in STEM higher education and an increasingly competitive global economy.

A gender gap exists in addition to the racial and economic ones: Although women comprise 50 percent of the overall labor force, only a quarter of the people working in STEM fields are female, and in the sectors of cybersecurity and IT, the numbers are even worse –10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

STEMNow programming, the vast majority of which is totally free of charge to all participants, also seeks to address that issue, with offerings specifically geared towards young women.  Across all Center for K-12 Education programs, more than half of summer participants are female.  GenCyber is exclusively for young women, and 70 percent of ARISE students this summer are female.

Students of ARISE 2015 in Professor Iskander’s Soil Mechanics Lab engaging in research on modeling soil structure-interaction using transparent soils, lasers, and digital image correlation.

ARISE students in Professor Iskander’s Soil Mechanics Lab engaging in research on modeling soil structure-interaction using transparent soils, lasers, and digital image correlation.

For middle- and high-school students, highlights of STEMNow will include:

  • Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE): Designed for tenth and eleventh grade students with little or no access to high-quality STEM education experiences, students of color, and those from low-income backgrounds, this tuition-free seven-week program features challenging college-level coursework and lab research in such fields as civil and urban engineering, composite materials, mechanics, molecular design, robotics, sensors, and protein engineering. The students are mentored nearly one-on-one by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members.
  • The Creative Circuit Design Workshop: The one-week hands-on program for high school juniors and seniors will allow them to explore the basic circuit blocks that make up virtually all the interactive devices used today. They will create radios, design circuits with conductive ink and breadboards, learn to reduce the carbon footprint of their devices, and more, all under the supervision of experienced undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering students. The workshop is sponsored by the NYU Tandon Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 
  • CrEST (Creativity in Engineering, Science, and Technology): The program aims to train high school students from Community Renewal Schools in circuitry, electronics, mechanical systems, physical computing, robotics, and other STEM disciplines. In the fall, those students will work under the supervision of NYU Tandon students to teach CrEST workshops to their middle school counterparts.
  • CrEST Workshops: More than 380 middle school students will learn the hands-on CrEST lessons from their high school teachers during 30-hour workshops. Some of the city’s most prominent nonprofit organizations, including CAMBA, Good Shepherd Services, and Grand Street Settlement, will bring their middle school campers to NYU Tandon for the week-long “camp within a camp.”
  • GenCyber: Computer Science for Cybersecurity:  High school girls will be introduced to role models, computer science, programming, virtuous hacking, and digital forensics during intensive and supportive sessions designed to encourage them to pursue educational opportunities in cybersecurity — a field that is growing at more than 10 times the overall job market but is notoriously bereft of female professionals. GenCyber also prepares young women to participate in the popular NYU Tandon Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) High School Digital Forensics Contest. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Security Agency (NSA), GenCyber is offered without cost to high-potential applicants in Greater New York.
  • Science of Smart Cities: Developed by NYU Tandon engineering students, Science of Smart Cities introduces middle school students to the engineering, science, and technology that make cities more livable, efficient, sustainable, and safer, using hands-on activities, demonstrations, and experiments. Science of Smart Cities will also be offered on-site at one New York City school in each borough as part of the NYC Department of Education’s summer programming.
  • Tech Kids Unlimited: Technology can be a great equalizer for those with learning difficulties, and workshops by Tech Kids Unlimited aim to provide special-needs students, ages 7 to 19, with the 21st-century technology tools they require for success. Modules include Video Editing, Coding with MinecraftEDU, Website Design, 3D Printing, Sound Mixing for Podcasts, Stop Motion Animation, and Virtual Reality with Google Cardboard. NYU Tandon 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.
  • The ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering), Mentor Program, hosted by the NYU Tandon Construction Management program during the school year, provides industry mentors for high school students considering careers in design and construction.  This summer the NYU Office of Facilities and Construction Management (FCM) will provide four paid internships. Students will be assigned to project managers in charge of architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, construction, facilities, code consulting, and environmental, health and safety areas.  They will attend project meetings, conduct site visits, and attend weekly presentations by FCM staff.
  • 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. These tuition courses include several sections of calculus as well as Introduction to Engineering and Design, a three-credit course that will provide a working knowledge of contemporary engineering practice and will culminate in designing and building a robot.

The NYU Ability Studio will also host a day-long visit by middle and high school students participating in the summer session of Girls Who Code, sponsored by AT&T. The program aims to teach girls about career paths in technology and coding and how to become change agents in their communities. The interdisciplinary Ability Studio in the Media and Games Center (MAGNET) is dedicated to the study of disability and the development of accessible, assistive, and rehab technologies.

Touching Those Who Reach the Next Generation

In addition to hosting the students, STEMNow plays an integral part in helping NYU Tandon fulfill its pledge to the White House to educate 500 teachers and positively impact 50,000 public school students throughout New York City in the coming decade. NYU Tandon Dean Sreenivasan had made the pledge in December 2014, during the White House College Opportunity Day of Action, when hundreds of higher education leaders joined to support President Obama’s goal of making the United States the world leader in college attainment.

Teachers will take part in:

  • Discovery Research (DR) for Teachers: Twenty middle school science and math teachers will spend three weeks at NYU Tandon as part of a comprehensive year-round STEM professional development program, funded by a $2.5 million grant from the NSF DR K-12 program. NYU will field a team of interdisciplinary experts in robotics, engineering, education, curriculum design, and assessment to make robotics central to and sustainable in the city’s science and math classrooms. Math and science teachers return to their schools supported by NYU Tandon graduate students.
  • Research Experience for Teachers (RET) in Cybersecurity: Home of one of the oldest and most recognized cybersecurity programs in the country, NYU Tandon hosts training and research opportunities for high school teachers, particularly those from schools with socially diverse, economically disadvantaged, and under-represented student bodies. NYU Tandon faculty members teach how to engage students in hardware and software security and digital forensics, thereby opening high- demand career paths. During the six-week program, teachers also aim to complete a publishable research paper. Sponsored by the NSF RET Site program, the NYU Tandon session sends teachers back to their own schools with the knowledge, curriculum, and hands-on demonstrations to launch programs there.  Teachers will also prepare their students to participate in NYU Tandon’s CSAW — the world’s biggest set of student challenges in hacking, protection, and digital forensics.
  • Cybersecurity for College Instructors RET: A similar NSF-funded camp educates college instructors and prepares them to develop information security programs for their community colleges and four-year institutions.
  • STEM Summer in the City 2016: As part of the Department of Education's Summer in the City STEM 2016 program, NYU Tandon will run its Science of Smart Cities for 300 high school students. Highlights include training for 15 teachers, both on the NYU Tandon campus and embedded during the summer program off-campus. This program, too, aims to serve teachers in schools with diverse, under-represented student populations.

NYU Tandon receives generous support for its K12 STEM Education Center programs from Consolidated Edison, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), ExpandED Options, Fund for Public Schools, National Grid, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Security Agency (NSA), New York City Department of Education, Pinkerton Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment, Verizon, Joanne and Fred Wilson, and the Xerox Foundation.

For more information on STEMNow, visit engineering.nyu.edu/k12stem. For information on summer credit courses, visit engineering.nyu.edu/highschoolsummer. To register for Tech Kids Unlimited, visit www.techkidsunlimited.org/register. Join the conversation at #STEMNow.

Note: More images available at  http://dam.poly.edu/?c=1766&k=3b26f1f1ca

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to programs at its main campus in downtown Brooklyn, it is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and it operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn.