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July 29, 2019
For immediate release:
Whitesboro Youth Science & Tech Academy Starts Second Year
To prepare the future workforce for the region’s growing opportunities in Science, Technology, and Engineering & Mathematics, Mohawk Valley EDGE and partners Whitesboro Central School, Mohawk Valley Community College, Bank of America, and National Grid launch a Youth Science & Tech Academy.
Whitesboro School District students in grades 6-8 will tour Danfoss, Indium, Griffiss Business and Technology Park, National Grid and other local businesses to learn more about science and technology opportunities in their own backyards. They will participate in projects and activities relevant to a variety of STEM fields and meet professionals from area businesses. Students will not only discover real-life STEM applications, but they will also make connections with local professionals and industry leaders.
“The Science & Tech Academy project is vital in helping Whitesboro’s students maintain high grades and higher aspirations in a time when science careers are more important than ever,” said Steven J. DiMeo, EDGE President. “Through motivating and exciting educational enrichment programs, we can begin to close the academic achievement gap faced by some students and maintain learning throughout the year. We look forward to launching this program to give local youth the greatest chance to succeed in our region.”
As part of the Academy’s STEM 101 and STEM 102 camps, students will be exposed to a range of science and tech fields from rocketry to nanotechnology to renewable energies and more. EDGE has worked with MVCC, the Whitesboro CSD, businesses in the related industry fields, and National Grid to interject the importance of nanotechnology and advanced electronics in the district with the development of the Marcy Nanocenter. The success of the inaugural program launched last summer at the Whitesboro Middle School, promoted organizers this year to add another week of programming to build on the interest and skills from last year’s program.
DiMeo noted the long-term benefits for the region are unmeasurable given Oneida County’s growing clusters of science and tech-based employment. “The program is a timely intervention to aid the aspiring STEM professionals in taking advantage of these fulfilling and high-wage careers.”
The Academy focuses on areas of rocketry, nanotechnology, renewable energy, and unmanned aerial systems (drones) to help students recognize the basic academic level they need to attain to succeed in technical careers, and to acquire the motivation needed to pursue careers in the science fields.
“The Youth Science & Tech Academy is a tremendous opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to engage with professionals and get hands on experience,” said Edward White, Executive Director, National Grid Foundation & Vice President, US Community Giving. “The Mohawk Valley workforce and leadership of tomorrow is being developed today, and the Youth Science & Tech Academy is where it’s happening.”
As an additional complement, EDGE and MVCC are working with the Whitesboro Teachers’ Center on a Progression of Learning Effort. A program is being introduced to train the teachers about hands on teaching in the areas of STEM that is similar in topics, albeit more brief, that the students will experience during the camp. The training will kick off this spring so that in the fall the students will have a learning experience that is built on a progression of STEM and nanotechnology topics that are age specific. The long-term goal of this project is also to replicate the camps at various sites/schools throughout Oneida County, reusing the curriculum developed and the insights gained from the pilot project.
“The Whitesboro Central School District is very pleased to be able to partner with Mohawk Valley EDGE, MVCC, Bank of America, and National Grid for the second year to provide our students in grades 6-8 with skills and concepts required for future high-tech science careers,” said David Russo, Whitesboro Central School District, Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Accountability. “The topics and learning experiences that take place at the Science and Tech Academies not only build upon our student’s existing knowledge, but helps to take learning to the next level with hands-on opportunities in fun and exciting ways. We would like to thank our partners in helping to provide this wonderful experience for our students.”
“Bank of America is thrilled to support the Youth Science and Tech Academy. In an increasingly technology-based world, an understanding of STEM concepts is critical for the success of our future workforce. By encouraging students to develop and maintain interest in STEM subjects, the Youth Science and Tech Academy will help to prepare the next generation of researchers, scientists, programmers and other technology professionals to be better critical thinkers and to discover creative ways of solving problems,” said Michael Brunner, Central New York Market President. “At Bank of America, we are proud to partner with Mohawk Valley EDGE, the Whitesboro School District, Mohawk Valley Community College and National Grid on this important program.”
“Career Camps provide the right instruction, equipment and facilities for kids to enhance their interests, talents and skills in new areas,” said Franca Armstrong, MVCC Associate Vice President of Workforce Development and Dean of the Rome Campus. “Through true partnerships with organizations that all care, this camp was a great opportunity for those students to discover, develop and increase their abilities in the STEM Field.”
For more info on EDGE’s work with the business and education community: https://www.mvedge.org/annual-report/
Mohawk Valley EDGE is a private, not-for-profit corporation that provides a coordinated economic development program in Oneida County. As an integral part of the long-term effort by the public and private sectors, EDGE works to strengthen opportunities and open the door for new businesses and industries to locate and grow within the region.
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