Science of Smart Cities (SoSC) | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Science of Smart Cities (SoSC)

Teaching middle school students technology and STEM concepts for the cities of the future

A Science of Smart Cities participant shows off the features of a city she and her teammates created.

Summer 2019 applications are now closed, but sign up for our mailing list for updates!

About SoSC

A project of NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Center for K12 STEM Education, Science of Smart Cities (SoSC), introduces middle school students and their teachers to engineering, science, computer science and technology that make cities more livable, efficient, sustainable and safer. Hands-on activities, demonstrations and experiments integrate STEM concepts, showing how those concepts are applied through engineering disciplines in cities today, and how they might be applied in cities in the future. Participants learn about the scientific method and research practices, and SoSC connects participating students to each other, and to college age near-peers, through teamwork and mentorship.student examining a circuit

Science of Smart Cities was originally designed in 2012 by NYU engineering, mathematics and education students.  From a pilot that year, SoSC has expanded beyond its initial on-campus summer camp program format and grown in scope and scale. We created a follow-up version called ieSoSC, ran the program with nonprofit and school partners in the after-school hours, and in 2015 and 2016 partnered with the New York City Department of Education’s STEM Summer in the City initiative to train teachers and deliver the program off-campus, in all five boroughs. Dozens of NYU engineering undergraduate and graduate students have been instructors and their efforts refined the curriculum, added new lessons, and identified the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and students coding togetherCommon Core State Standards in Math (CCSSM) the program meets. 

Thank you to The Oath Foundation, ConEdison, National Grid, and Northrop Grumman for their valued sponsorship and support. 

Curriculum Info

The SoSC curriculum, and its activities and experiments, show how fundamental STEM concepts are applied in city planning, infrastructure development and the systems that cities, and their citizens, rely on through four instructional units: energy, urban infrastructure, transportation and wireless communications. NYU School of Engineering graduate and undergraduatestudent and parent at SoSC expo students instruct the program, highlighting innovations in areas like connected devices, smart cars, renewable energy and sensors (and the use of data they collect).  Over 1,200 middle and high school students have completed the program and 34 teachers have been trained in the curriculum.


Who Can Apply?

Students who...

  • Live in one of the five New York City boroughs 
  • Have demonstrated interest in STEM as shown in the required (short) application essays 
  • Are available for the entirety of the program
  • Are entering 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grade in September 2019


closeup of smart city robots and circuits

Dates and Additional Information

  • Application deadline: April 24, 2019 by 5pm

  • Notification on or around: May 10th, 2019

  • Orientation: July 3rd (morning)

  • Program Dates: July 8 - August 2nd
    • Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4pm (late pickup to 4:30 pm)
  • VIP EXPO: Friday, August 2nd (afternoon)
  • Family and Friends EXPO: Saturday, August 3rd (morning)

Additional Information:

  • SoSC is free to attend.
  • Transportation, MetroCards, etc. are not provided - families must drop off/pick up students.
  • Lunch and snacks are not provided. Students must bring their own food or have money.
  • Please watch your email around the notification date (students and parents/guardians); if you are accepted to the program a prompt reply will be required.

Application (Now Closed)

Summer 2019 Applications have now concluded, thank you to all who applied!