National Science Foundation awards $2.95 million to fund STEM mentoring project for three SUNY institutions
September 4th 2012 · 0 Comments
SUNYIT to oversee pilot program in Utica, Rome school districts
SUNYIT is one of three SUNY campuses that will pilot an afterschool mentoring program targeting middle school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The intent, SUNY officials say, is to encourage students in “high-need, low-resource urban and rural communities” to pursue their studies in the STEM disciplines into college and successful careers.
“This builds on our experience of more than a decade in cultivating and supporting STEM-related programs and activities on and off campus,” said SUNYIT President Wolf Yeigh. “We’re pleased and excited to be part of this project.”
SUNY, the New York Academy of Sciences and SUNY Empire State College have received a $2.95 million National Science Foundation grant that will enable SUNYIT, the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Downstate Medical Center to introduce the program in three communities across the state over the next three years. In the Mohawk Valley, SUNYIT will place graduate student mentors in afterschool programs in the Utica and Rome city school districts.
“This will allow us to expand initiatives that we have been piloting for some time,” said SUNYIT Associate Provost for Sponsored Research Deborah Tyksinski. “It builds on the work we’ve done through our K-12 outreach, such as summerITeens camps in pre-engineering and math and science for girls, as well as robotics competitions.”
Officials say the initiative will recruit graduate students studying in the STEM disciplines to serve as mentors, and these “scientists-in-training” will take part in an online graduate-level course to prepare them for mentoring middle school students in afterschool programs. The program, developed by the New York Academy of Sciences, has already met with success in New York City. After the three-year pilot, officials say, they hope that other colleges and universities will adopt the program in their communities nationwide.