Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers

(ITEST: Robotics / Entrepreneurship)


teachers and students building robots

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


Program Description

The ITEST Robotics and Entrepreneurship project at NYU Tandon School of Engineering is a professional development opportunity for New York area high school science and math teachers (will also consider CTE teachers). Funded by the National Science Foundation, under its Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, the project uses robotics and engineering design practices as the curriculum focus to create hands-on science and math curricula. Each summer, teachers and students from eight high schools across New York City will learn, build, and evaluate robots and related technology at NYU Tandon, then implement elective robotics classes and capstone projects at their schools.

Over the course of four weeks teachers, alongside their own students, will complete an intensive robotics curriculum developed by the mechatronics lab at NYU Tandon in which they will design and build a working robot in school-based teams. The course will culminate in an active demonstration of their working robots. Teachers will have access to the entire curriculum as well as robotics kits to take back to their school to teach this course to their own students. Ideally, the students who completed the course alongside the teachers can act as teaching assistants or mentors to their students throughout the school year.

ITEST students watching their robots move in a competition

Each school will also receive weekly visits from an expert graduate fellow to assist in carrying out the curriculum during the academic year and teachers will be expected to attend two meetings per semester at NYU Tandon. Finally, at the end of the academic year each school will participate in a final, judged highly ambitious robotics competition at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Competition details will be shared over the course of the program.


Project Goals

  • Develop and refine NGSS aligned curricula that promotes project-based, hands-on, instruction to help students learn, understand, and apply underlying science and math content through robotics and entrepreneurship activities.

  • Deepen teachers’ technical, pedagogical, and content knowledge, through robotics design experiences. 

  • Foster teachers’ skills and attitudes for integrating robotics-based learning in required science and math classes.

  • Enable teachers to use their students’ interest in robotics to help them learn required science and math content.

  • Introduce K-12 teachers and their students to the processes of entrepreneurship including business planning, social entrepreneurship, new product development, intellectual property, and raising funding.

Teachers Will: 

  • Discover the science and math inherent in doing robotics activities

  • Understand how to address the engineering design content of the Next Generation Science Standards

  • Develop viable models to incorporate essential elements of robotics in STEM learning.

  • Form a professional learning community for ongoing support

  • Be able to provide their students with a solid foundation for future college-level study in STEM disciplines.

  • Mentor students to participate in entrepreneurship competitions, and develop laboratory activities in their schools using an equipment kit (microcontroller and components) provided by ITEST.

  • Have personal experience, after shadowing industry professionals, to increase student STEM career-awareness.

Benefits to Schools: 

  • ITEST schools will establish an elective course related to robotics and entrepreneurship curriculum.

  • Teachers receive a kit of robotics equipment for use during summer that they can take back to their school.

  • Robotics will convey new & accessible representations of STEM content to students.

  • Teachers who have shadowed industry professionals will give students concrete examples of STEM careers, increasing STEM learning engagement.

  • Teachers can leverage technology entrepreneurship lessons to promote STEM learning motivation and engagement.


Teacher Eligibility

  • Two certified math or science teachers (will also consider CTE teachers) from the same high school should apply as a pair. *We will also accept applications if you don't have a coteacher.

  • Regular teaching appointment at a high school located in a New York City borough.

  • Three years of full-time teaching experience in science or math disciplines.

  • Teacher must be able to teach a course on robotics during the following school year.

  • Endorsement by the school principal. The principal must allow the course to continue throughout the academic year.

  • Each teacher must have 2 high school students from their school.

  • Must be able to attend two meetings per semester at NYU Tandon’s Campus.


Program Details

DURATION: Four weeks from July 8 – August 2, 2019.

  • Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am—5:00 pm
  • Where: NYU Tandon School of Engineering, 6 MetroTech, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • During the academic year: implement elective robotics class and participate with students in a robot product design and business idea competition.

Open House: February 27, 2019 at 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm (optional)

Application decisions and notifications are made on a rolling basis

closeup of hands constructing a robot

STIPEND: Project participants who successfully complete all requirements will receive a stipend of $3,750. Student participants receive $500. Income tax obligations are the responsibility of the recipients.

RESPONSIBILITIES: To receive a full stipend, participants are required to:

  • Attend all training, research, and presentation activities

  • Complete required curriculum design activities, oral presentation, and report

  • Participate in academic year follow-up activities including fall course implementation and spring capstone entrepreneurial robotics design project implementation.

  • Conduct classroom impact assessment and provide the results for reporting to NSF. 


Application (Now Closed)