Summer program offers hands-on, nanotechnology-based educational opportunities for children

(Nanowerk News) The newly merged SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) / SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC), based in Canandaigua, in collaboration with Nazareth College and the City of Rochester’s Bureau of Recreation, today announced that a series of hands-on, nanotechnology–based educational opportunities for children will be offered at the Carter Street Recreation Center this summer. In addition, starting next year, nanotechnology-themed summer camps are being planned as part of an overall effort to expand STEM-centered learning opportunities in the region, providing young students with the skills necessary to succeed in New York State’s growing high-tech economy.
“Under the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, nanotechnology-based learning opportunities are flourishing in Rochester and all around New York State. It is important that our children understand what nanotechnology is and how it is shaping their future, and educational programs like these open the doors to the endless possibilities awaiting them,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Chief Executive Officer and Officer in Charge of the newly merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT institution. “We are delighted to partner with the city of Rochester and Nazareth College on this pioneering effort that will further leverage the governor’s START-UP NY initiative to bring exciting, experiential learning directly to young students.”
Recognizing the importance of a science-infused education to meet the needs of 21st Century employers, this partnership will enable school-aged children from the Rochester area to participate in hands-on STEM-related experiments and activities covering topics such as micro- and nanotechnology, forensics, health, and wellness. A series of six sessions will take place over the course of five-weeks, beginning in July. They are free and open to all school-aged children.
Additionally, the newly merged CNSE/SUNYIT STC and Nazareth College are developing plans to hold annual Summer Science Camps at several of the city’s recreation and community centers to provide even more STEM-based learning experiences for students. Beginning in 2015, this effort will further leverage resources deriving from business growth driven by Governor Cuomo’s unique, tax-free STARTUP-NY program to help prepare New York’s future high-tech workforce. The camps will coincide with additional programming at recreation facilities throughout the city where staff members will receive training to reinforce STEM-based concepts throughout the year. An emphasis will be placed on encouraging participation of groups typically underrepresented in STEM fields.

The annual summer camps build upon those that have been held at Nazareth College during the past 12 years. These hands-on, inquiry-based day camps provide science-inspired involvement and utilize well-known themes, such as Harry Potter and C.S.I., to increase student interest. More than 1,500 students have attended the annual camps. Past sponsors providing scholarship funding for disadvantaged youth include the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, the John F. Wegman Fund, the Corning Foundation, and the Xerox Foundation, among others.

“This announcement is a testament to Governor Cuomo’s emphasis on providing students with the skills and confidence they will need to pursue the growing number of opportunities within New York State’s advanced-technology field,” said newly merged CNSE/SUNYIT STC Executive Director Paul Tolley. “With increased interest from companies looking to expand at our site as a result of STARTUP-NY, we are looking forward to even more opportunities to help educate New York’s future workforce. It is truly exciting to partner with both Nazareth College and the City of Rochester to meet this critical need.”

“On behalf of the City of Rochester, we are excited to partner with the newly merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT and Nazareth College as we forge a long-term commitment to educate the youth of our city so that they too can experience the state’s growing high-tech career opportunities that are transforming this region,” said Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services Commissioner Marisol Ramos-Lopez. “We look forward to offering exciting nanotechnology-based programs at our community centers, and I urge families across the city to involve their children with these fascinating events so they can learn about the science that is driving business growth in this city and beyond.”
“It is our pleasure to collaborate in an expanded fashion with both the newly merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT and the City of Rochester to provide these cutting-edge programs to youth who will see a world of possibility as they gain a better understanding of the power and potential of nanotechnology-based learning,” said Nazareth College President Daan Braveman. “These important programs will not only pave the way for a better blend of learning, inclusion, and scientific engagement, but they also serve a larger purpose as they prepare children from Rochester for a pivotal role in New York’s innovation economy.”
The STEM-based learning activities are scheduled to take place at the Carter Street Recreation Center from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8; Thursday, July 10; Thursday, July 17; Thursday, July 31; Tuesday, August 5; and Thursday, August 7.
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