New York Tech continues its commitment to broaden the participation and diversity of New York students entering leadership positions in the STEAM fields. This year, a new project will focus on supporting public high school teachers in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). These high school teachers will take part in an inaugural mentoring program designed specifically to impact students in low-income schools with diverse student populations.
The STEAM Teacher Advanced Mentoring Program (STAMP) will pair 16 high school teachers from Title 1 schools in Long Island and New York City with one of four New York Tech faculty mentors with expertise in teaching and researching in STEAM fields.
In the early part of 2019, New York Tech surveyed 225 public school teachers to evaluate their STEAM professional development needs. “The program is designed to address the areas teachers indicated needing more support, which include the confidence needed to answer STEAM-related questions, discussing STEAM career options, and teaching engineering and technology concepts. The aim is to enrich teachers’ content knowledge while giving them the skills to confidently teach technology integrated STEAM lessons,” says Kate E. O’Hara, Ph.D., associate professor of interdisciplinary studies and the instructional designer and program developer for STAMP.
The mentoring program was conceived by College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., as part of a $100,000 grant from Voya Foundation. Voya Foundation supports New York Tech’s interdisciplinary STEAM activities which are designed to engage public school teachers and students in low-income and underrepresented local communities in hands-on STEAM-based learning opportunities.
The semester-long program will include several large group workshops, with weekly smaller virtual team meetings. With the knowledge and skills gained, high school teachers will develop a STEAM-based, technology-integrated lesson. Teachers who complete STAMP will receive a $300 stipend and $200 in classroom innovation seed money.
“This program helps us in our responsibility to contribute to the community that we live and work in,” says Amy Bravo, senior director of international and experiential education. “By helping teachers create engaging learning content, we hope to inspire more students into these fields and diversify the face of STEAM.”
By Renée Gearhart Levy