WNYC Presents “STEM is the New Space Race”

A panel discussion on the state of STEM education in New York City Co-Hosted by WNYC Reporters Beth Fertig and Manoush Zomorodi

(New York, NY – May 7, 2013) -- The White House, business leaders, and the scientific and technology communities have declared a state of emergency in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, with President Obama calling on colleges to produce 10,000 more engineers a year and 100,000 new teachers with majors in STEM.

But the critical groundwork happens earlier, especially in middle schools and high schools, and New York City is finding success with small-scale, targeted efforts.

On Tuesday, May 21 at 5pm at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, WNYC’s education site Schoolbook.org will present “STEM IS THE NEW SPACE RACE,” a dynamic conversation among teachers – from elementary up to college – and industry leaders about the innovations, challenges and opportunities in the growing field of STEM education, with particular focus on what is happening in New York City.

As New York City becomes the Silicon Valley of the East, resources are being poured into STEM education to support training – and retaining – qualified teachers, improve the lab and computer facilities, and set higher benchmarks for statewide standards and tests. The city is also forging partnerships with companies, large and small, who say they are desperate for qualified workers to fill jobs in STEM-related fields.

Co-moderated by Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s New Tech City and Beth Fertig, Contributing Editor for Education, “STEM IS THE NEW SPACE RACE” will cover a broad range of questions, including:

  • Why do we need to expand STEM education?
  • How can the education field attract more people trained in science and technology to teaching?
  • What is being done to recruit more minority students and girls to the STEM fields?
  • What would the ideal school look like in terms of STEM, and what would it cost to bring that model citywide?
  • What needs to happen in the public and private sectors to bring STEM training to the next level?
  • How can the impressive results NYC has had with concentrated programs be implemented city-wide to the benefit of all students?

The panelists are:

Alicia Abella, executive director of the Innovative Services Research Dept at AT&T and vice president of the Young Science Achievers Program and chair of the AT&T Labs Fellowship Committee.

Michele Cahill, vice president, National Programs of Urban Education at the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Ryan Cain, science teacher at P.S. 3 The Bedford Village School in Brooklyn. He also works with students  after school on robotics with NYU-Poly and gardening.

Ben Esner, director of K-12 STEM Education at NYU/Polytechnic University.

Vikram Kapila, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NYU/Polytechnic University.

Saranii Muller, technology teacher at Fort Greene Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn, where she also coaches the Lego Robotics teams with NYU-Poly.

Josh Thomases, Deputy Chief Academic Officer for Instruction at New York City’s Department of Education.

Tickets: Free, but reservations are required
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Venue: The Greene Space44 Charlton Street, New York, NY (corner of Varick Street)