On August 2, a group of high school girls visited New York Institute of Technology’s New York City campus to learn about the university’s STEAM-related programs.
The day’s events were part of a seven-week summer immersion program presented by Girls Who Code (a nonprofit organization that seeks to close the gender gap in technology), MetLife, and the MetLife Foundation, to introduce young women to computer science. According to Girls Who Code, the share of women in the computing workforce is falling and will continue to do so unless more women are encouraged to study computer science.
The day began with a welcome from Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., dean of NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, and an introduction to electrical and computer engineering by Assistant Professor N. Sertac Artan, Ph.D.
New York Institute of Technology faculty then introduced the students to the programs and facilities available at the university. Michael Nizich, Ph.D., director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC), talked about the center; Emerging Technology Librarian Carlo Minchillo, M.A., led a workshop on 3-D printing in the Innovation Labs; Assistant Professor of Digital Art and Design Kevin Park, Ph.D., Art Media Technical Director Matthew Cornelius, M.S., and Associate Professor and Chair of Digital Art and Design Rozina Vavetsi, M.Sc., took the students on a tour of The HIVE (Home for Innovation, Visualization, and Exploration); and Sutton Murray and Mauricio Tacoaman, workshop assistant and supervisor, respectively, in NYIT School of Architecture and Design, introduced students to the Fabrication Labs.
The high school students also had the opportunity to meet with current New York Institue of Technology students Jamila Houghton, Fernanda Tovar, Prachi Bambarkar, and Theresa Russo, who spoke about their majors in the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, life at New York Tech, and their career goals as well as accompany the high school students on the campus tour.
“When corporations, NGOs, and institutions of higher education work together to intentionally nurture STEAM skill development in females, expose them to college, and engage them in practical hands-on learning, we can and will change the face of STEAM leadership in our country,” said Amy Bravo, M.A., senior director of International and Experiential Education and coordinator of the event.