Student Earns Teaching Fellowship to Support K-12 STEM Education

Computer science student Madeleine Nicolas

Computer science student Madeleine Nicolas

Inspiring the next generation of engineers, chemists, and coders starts in the classroom, and that is at the heart of what the NYU Tandon Scientific Outreach and Research (SOAR) program strives to do. Spearheaded by Chemical and Biomolecular Professor Jin Montclare, the SOAR program partners with two local Brooklyn high schools, the Urban Assembly Institute for Math and Science for Young Women and Brooklyn Technical High School, and works with students directly in their chemistry classrooms and labs.

NYU Tandon computer science student Madeleine Nicolas was awarded a Teaching Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, which supports the SOAR program. As a Fellow, Nicolas will be taking her passion for encouraging K-12 girls and boys to take a chance on science.

“I’m a huge proponent of STEM education, so I became interested in the SOAR program as I’m always excited to contribute to initiatives where I can use my technical skills,” Nicolas said. Her teaching fellowship with SOAR is not the first program she has lent her expertise to, though. “I teach coding part-time at elementary schools all over New York City, and over the summer I run a Makerspace at a sleepaway camp, where I incorporate all kinds of interdisciplinary STEAM projects,” she shared.

In her new role, she is developing an online pre-lab platform for students before they start experiments in their chemistry labs. “I’ll be debugging and maintaining the Lab Lessons platform, where high school chemistry and biology students access lab visualizations and other resources.”

With partner high school Brooklyn Tech, Nicolas is already working towards helping students use the Lab Lessons platform during the 2018-2019 academic year, where they can also assess their progress and get feedback from their teachers. Their practice with online modules will also help them prepare for the Regents Examinations required of all New York high school students.

“I’m particularly excited to have Maddie on board with SOAR because of her outstanding programming knowledge and skills,” Montclare said. “She will enable us to not only help engage the students, but also enable teachers to track the students’ learning and reduce time needed to prepare them for labs.”

“I'm really looking forward to the research findings our team observes in relation to student reception to the visualizations as well as the impact of these educational tech tools on their learning,” Nicolas said.


Camila Ryder
Graduate School of Arts and Science
Master of Arts in English Literature, Class of 2018