A $100,000 grant from The Voya Foundation, the charitable arm of Voya Financial, Inc., will help New York Institute of Technology increase diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) in 2020. The grant supports a yearlong project called “Diversifying STEAM Leadership,” where public school students and teachers in minority and underrepresented Long Island and New York City communities can experience hands-on STEAM-based learning opportunities.
Exposure to STEAM/STEM from elementary school to college can encourage students to pursue careers in these fields. Past Voya grants have supported New York Tech afterschool programs, summer academies, and an eye-opening 2019 survey of 225 public school teachers, which found that only half felt confident teaching STEAM/STEM to their students. In addition to expanding New York Tech’s existing programs for K-12 students, this year’s grant will equip teachers with the skills and resources needed to bring STEAM-based learning activities into their classrooms.
“This year, Voya Foundation funding has allowed New York Tech to engage over 3,000 public school students, teachers, and families in STEAM-based learning activities,” said Amy Bravo, M.A., senior director of International and Experiential Education. “Their generous support has helped to lay the groundwork for a more diverse generation of makers, doers, and innovators, who will help to reinvent New York State as a center of technology and innovation.”
The 2020 Voya Foundation grant will:
- Further develop the NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences STEAM Teacher Advanced Mentoring Program (STAMP), pairing 30 high school teachers with New York Tech faculty mentors who will train teachers to bring STEAM-based problem-solving into the classroom;
- Expand the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences’s 2019 Summer Tech and Engineering Academies for middle schoolers to now include digital art and design lessons, forming interdisciplinary Summer Maker Academies;
- Grow New York Tech’s Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) to hire a STEAM enrichment coordinator who will design and deliver activities for each unique school’s needs, while also addressing United Nations Sustainability goals like reduced inequality, gender equality, and quality education;
- Develop new STEAM After School Program activities in Glen Cove and New York City, including an activity that will allow students to develop their own sustainable city using 3-D modeling;
- Expand the Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation Center’s electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program, allowing 100 middle school students from low-income areas to create their own prototype to recycle e-waste.
The Voya Foundation has been a longstanding supporter of New York Tech’s initiatives. It invests in programs and initiatives that help foster healthy, sustainable communities and support nonprofits that improve children’s education and financial resilience.