NYIT ETIC Director Michael Nizich leading a class.


NYIT Students Mentor the Next Generation of Doers and Makers

March 13, 2019

Pictured: ETIC Director Michael Nizich leads one of the workshops at the E-Cycle Program.

Six NYIT students took 38 future doers, makers, innovators, and inventors under their wing at the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) E-Cycle Program at New York Institute of Technology on March 6 and 13.

Students from Walt Whitman High School and Academy Charter Middle School learned about the value of recycling and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint of interconnected improvements promoting global sustainability that will hopefully be completed by 2030.

NYIT Student Participants:

The E-Cycle Program, led by ETIC Director Michael Nizich, Ph.D., and assisted by Professor of Teacher Education Hui-Yin Hsu, Ph.D., is an interdisciplinary project focused on U.N. Sustainable Goal 6: to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The students were divided into teams of eight and were tasked with disassembling retired electronics and then using the parts to design and build management systems for clean water and sanitation. NYIT student mentors from the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education were on hand to guide them as they brainstormed and executed their ideas.

In just 20 minutes, the teams came up with clever uses for the recycled parts including drones that collect garbage, drones that feed fish, a drone that identifies injured or sick sea life by listening to their cries, wind turbines, and devices to protect pelicans from consuming plastic in the ocean.

The event is part of the NYIT STEM Community Outreach Program: Preparing Future Leaders, an initiative supported by a Voya Foundation Grant and spearheaded by Amy Bravo, M.A., senior director of International and Experiential Education, to engage K-8 schools, teachers, students, and higher education communities in STEM fields.

Other initiatives in the program include:

  • STEM After School Programs: NYIT students mentored by their professors lead enrichment sessions related to STEM topics. For more information, contact Vanessa Newman.
  • STEM Teacher Needs Assessment: NYIT faculty assess K-8 public school teachers to measure their content knowledge in areas such as computational thinking, environmental science, math, and biology and then train teachers on how to design innovative STEM activities for their classes. For more information, contact Hui-Yin Hsu.
  • Summer Tech Academy for Middle School Students: In August, middle school students are invited to participate in two workshop sessions on each campus to learn about STEM careers. NYIT faculty and students will lead classes in programming, robotics, 3-D printing, and laser cutting. For more information, contact Emily Rukobo.
  • Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) Expansion to New York City: NYIT faculty and students will introduce the New York State STEP model to middle and high school students in New York City. The program helps students focus on achievement and excellence using innovation and creativity to help them meet their goals and envision themselves as successful contributors to STEM fields. For more information, contact Christopher Williams.