Middle Schoolers Get a Head Start in STEM Fields at New York Tech Summer Program
August 27, 2019
Pictured: Students show off their completion certificates at the end of the Middle School Summer Academy: Technology and Engineering.
From August 5 through 16, 25 rising sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students attended the Middle School Summer Academy: Technology and Engineering at NYIT-Long Island and NYIT-New York City to learn about STEM careers. The students took part in hands-on workshops, including programming, robotics, 3D printing, and laser cutting. The summer academy is part of a series of STEM community outreach programs made possible through a Voya Foundation grant.
Student teaching assistant Danielle Hansen leads a robotics and computers lesson on the Long Island campus.
“The Voya middle school summer program at New York Institute of Technology provides younger students with a unique opportunity to learn and experiment with design software, fabrication equipment, and programming software that they might not otherwise be exposed to until much later in their formal education,” said David Fanning, laboratory engineer in NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences and one of the instructors for the summer program. “Being able to get that head start is quite an advantage.”
“It gives them a chance to dip their toes into the various engineering disciplines available before having to decide what they want to do after high school,” added Christopher Springston, graduate advisement specialist in the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences.
A student programs a Lego robot during a robotics and computers session on the New York City campus.
The students participated in individual and group design projects that integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics using advanced software and equipment. Classes were led by College of Engineering and Computing Sciences faculty and assisted by current students, including electrical and computer engineering students Danielle Hansen and Charles Murphy.
“It was a learning experience for the children and me,” said Hansen. “All of the projects we worked on were not only fun, exciting, and challenging for the children but us as well. At the end of the program, many of the kids were interested in engineering and were asking many questions about what we do [as students] and what it took to get where we are.”