Educators and business representatives spend an evening discussing the STEM Research Institute.

On December 5th, educators and business representatives gathered to honor the teachers and mentors who took part in the Questar III Summer STEM Research Institute.

In the program, teachers spend seven weeks for two summers working in local businesses, laboratories or higher education institutions working side-by-side with professionals in their field. This experience helps teachers to bring increased relevance to their work in the classroom – engaging students in the work and better preparing students to join the workforce.

This was the first year the program was opened to all STEM teachers. Until this year, the program was for science teachers only.

Based on a program founded by Dr. Sam Silverstein at Columbia University, the preliminary data from gathered from Questar III’s program participants is overwhelmingly positive. 100 percent of teachers who have completed the program say their experience has made them a stronger teacher, will impact students’ view of STEM, and has led to or will lead to trying alternate ways of teaching to foster student learning.

This summer, seven teachers completed their first year of the program, three completed their second year, and one teacher began a second placement. Light refreshments for the event were provided by the Ilium Cafe and Bistro in Troy.

This year was the fifth year of the program, and applications for next summer will be available in early 2018.

Click here for more information about the program.

2017 Participants:

Janice Balogh (1st year) Mathematics, Schodack CSD
SUNY Albany School of Public Health (Obesity/Eating Disorder research)

Kyle Crawford (1st year) Technology, Coxsackie-Athens CSD
Centrotherm Ecosystems (Power and energy systems, design and engineering)

Edward Bryden (1st year) Technology, Rensselaer CSD
Digifabshop/Tech Valley Center of Gravity (Drafting, manufacturing, woodworking, steel fabrication)

Ryan Debrosky (1st year) Mathematics, Lansingburgh CSD
Centrotherm Ecosystems (Design and engineering to apply to 8th grade matematic principals)

Kristopher Navratil (1st year) Technology, Schodack CSD
Tech Valley Center of Gravity (Utilization of tools/systems in makerspace)

Leonard Bacon (1st year) Science, Schodack CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Climate Change Research)

Nicole Freeman (1st year) Mathematics, Averill Park CSD
Dumbstruck (Analytics and coding)

Tom Guile (1st year) Engineering, Coxsackie-Athens CSD
IBM (working with a design thinking group that partners with businesses to address problems and apply solutions)

Deb Mabey (2nd year) Science, Hoosick Falls CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Fauna and flora research in terms of environmental containments)

Kim Hayden (2nd year) Science, Hoosick Falls CSD
NYS Department of Health/Wadsworth Labs (Molecular Genetics)

Darlene Hunter (2nd year) Science, Averill Park CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Impact of particles/pollution in rainwater on environment)

Read more about why Questar III has implemented this program here.