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First annual science week highlights STEM pipeline and partnerships

UB, SUNY Buffalo State and ECC team up with the City of Buffalo and its schools for April 7-11 events

Release Date: April 2, 2014

“This is a way to strengthen the workforce for Western New York by building a stronger education pipeline through enhanced, more specific alliances among business and educational partners.”
Alexander N. Cartwright, vice president for research and economic development
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State and Erie Community College are teaming up with the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Public Schools, per a resolution brought forth by Buffalo Board of Education President Barbara Seals Nevergold, to make STEM education a priority for K-12 schools.

The first annual city-wide Science Week from April 7-11 underscores the critical importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to future employment in Western New York’s emerging life sciences and advanced manufacturing industries.

National guest speakers, teacher development workshops and hands-on classroom science activities are supplementing existing programs, including the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP) in the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS).

Funded by a $10 million National Science Foundation grant, ISEP is a coalition of partners, led by UB, whose goal is to transform how science is taught. ISEP is currently in 12 Buffalo Public Schools, helping to fill Buffalo classrooms with hands-on activities that make science exciting for kids, and providing professional development for teachers.

“This is a way to strengthen the workforce for Western New York by building a stronger education pipeline through enhanced, more specific alliances among business and educational partners to support industries critical to the region’s emerging innovation economy, including the life sciences and advanced manufacturing sectors,” says Alexander N. Cartwright, vice president for research and economic development at UB.

Science Week activities kick off 9 a.m., Monday, April 7, at Native American Magnet School (School No. 19), an ISEP school. Area leaders, including UB President Satish K. Tripathi, SUNY Buffalo State Interim President Howard Cohen and State Sen. Tim Kennedy will join Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown for in-class science lessons.

“The future of Western New York and our nation depends on more students graduating from high school prepared to enter college and the future workforce,” Brown says. “In offering our students a world-class education, it is important that they and their teachers are learning about STEM fields, in which hundreds of thousands of high-paying job opportunities will be available to them in this global economy.”

On Tuesday, April 8, teachers will choose from a wide selection of online STEM activities.

On Wednesday, April 9, the public is invited to learn more about innovative programs sponsored by New York State and the State University of New York, including the SUNY Teacher and Leader Education Network (S-TEN) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Master Teacher Program.

In the morning, at SUNY Buffalo State’s Ketchum Hall, they will get a demonstration of the TeachLive Lab, an initiative aimed at better preparing teachers in New York schools. In the afternoon, BPS science teachers will gather at McKinley High School for interactive workshops offering the latest science education techniques.

Thursday, April 10, is Nano Day, featuring nanotechnology presentations and activities at Hohn Auditorium at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Nearly 450 ninth-graders from Buffalo Public Schools and local charter schools will interact with polymer worms, computer hard drives and hydrophobicity exploration at sessions presented by the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the State University of New York.

Friday, April 11, is Science Week Celebration Day at Burgard High School. Scheduled activities include wind tunnel exercises and presentations from 9-10:40 a.m. Shirley Malcom, a nationally recognized expert, will be the featured speaker. Malcom is known for her efforts to improve the quality of and increase student access to education and careers in STEM fields, with particular emphasis on helping women and girls.

Leaders from the five primary Science Week partners will reflect on the week and Congressman Brian Higgins will close the program.

“We are building on the alliances to deliver on the promise that Buffalo Public Schools will deliver a world-class education for our children, making them more competitive in the global workplace,” says Eunice A. Lewin, a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees and one of the key organizers of Science Week. “It is a critical mandate that Buffalo is positioned to achieve.”

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