Release Date: December 1, 2009
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's Center for Educational Collaboration (CEC), Time Warner Cable and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns hope to increase awareness and appreciation for state-of-the-art secondary science and math education at a fair to be held 4 p.m. Dec. 2 at 54 Riverdale Ave., Buffalo.
The STEM Fair (STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) will include interactive demonstrations designed by UB, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Buffalo Zoo, including "Burning Money" and "Elephant Toothpaste," hands-on science projects that illustrate chemical vs. physical change conducted by Ted Fuqua, a local high school chemistry teacher and Graduate School of Education student at UB.
Chris Shively, a UB PhD student and adjunct professor at Buffalo State College, will introduce children to the power of computer programming. Andrew Olewnik, research associate from UB's New York State Center for Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation (NYCEDII), will contribute two demonstrations of engineering and design.
The STEM Fair is part of Time Warner Cable's new educational initiative in STEM awareness, "Connect a Million Minds," www.connectamillionminds.com. Time Warner Cable has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs' newly expanded Project CITE (Careers in Technology and Engineering) program for this community initiative. UB intends to enter into a partnership on similar initiatives, says Eric Vosburgh, program manager for development, research and evaluation at UB's CEC.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the CEC and UB to enter into partnerships with local businesses and other organizations who are interested in STEM areas, as well as helping maintain students in the preK-16 pipeline," explains Vosburgh. "It's important to engage students and let them know what's exciting and available to them in the STEM areas at an early age."
UB's commitment to STEM education is framed within a larger national focus on STEM initiatives in the U.S. Beginning at the height of the U.S.-Soviet space race in the late 1950s, national STEM projects have since been identified as a priority of the Obama administration, Vosburgh says. Obama's nationwide "Educate to Innovate" campaign aims to significantly improve American STEM education in the next decade.
STEM programs seek to enhance education in science and math, where jobs may be available. The latest results from the "Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study" show that the U.S. has been losing ground to other countries in these educational areas over the past several decades.
"Our goals are to expose, engage and educate the students at an early age," says Vosburgh. "Most students make their decisions on what they're going to do, whether they know it or not, somewhere around their middle school years."
Terence Rafferty, regional vice president of operations for Time Warner Cable WNY, said technology and innovation are "key components of Time Warner Cable's ability to connect millions of people to entertainment and information every day.
"Time Warner Cable's new initiative, Connect a Million Minds, creates a powerful link between the strength of our company and the talents of our employees with the needs of students throughout the communities we serve," he adds.
The UB Center for Educational Collaboration serves as the hub for UB's preK-16 initiatives. The CEC coordinates connections between UB's intellectual and professional resources and school systems. The center is also the administrative home of the UB-Buffalo Public Schools Partnership.
For more information on UB's role in the fair or on the CEC, contact Eric D. Vosburgh at 829-6146 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the STEM Fair, contact Matthew Tremblay, public and government affairs coordinator for Time Warner Cable, at 558-8555 or email@example.com.