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On December 6, teachers, business partners, sponsors and school administrators gathered at Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy to recognize the teachers and mentors who participated in this year’s Summer STEM Research Institute. The Institute places teachers in local businesses, colleges and research facilities for six weeks for two summers working side by side with professionals on the latest research, technologies and advances in areas related to the content they teach.

“This program is worthwhile, I know it’s difficult to take your summer and get to work, but honestly I couldn’t have done anything better this has been amazing over the last two years,” said Kyle Crawford, Technology Teacher at Coxsackie-Athens CSD.

Begun in 2014 and based off a similar program at Columbia University, this experience seeks to offer teachers in STEM disciplines a glimpse into the worlds their students will potentially enter following their graduation and/or post-secondary education. This allows for increased authenticity and relevancy in their instruction, which in turns leads to higher student engagement in the classroom and seeks to develop higher student interest in pursuing careers in the STEM fields.

“Having [teachers] come into our lab gives them a unique research experience and we get useful information for our own research, but the hope is that they can learn some new tricks to improve their modules to get the students excited about STEM and they impact 100 or 130 students a day,” said Dr. Michael Carpenter of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who has hosted teachers twice in the short history of the program.

“I was able to walk away with several weeks’ worth of curriculum involving how solar panels work and how we make arrays and how students can do this for a living right here locally,” said Edwin Bryden, a technology teacher at Rensselaer City School District.

Questar III also announced a new partnership through the program, beginning in the summer of 2019. Vicarious Visions, a leading video game design and production hub, will host six teachers from three school districts (East Greenbush, Schodack, and Averill Park) to develop a curriculum for a game design class that aligns with the skills that the industry seeks in their employees. This partnership grew from strong interest expressed by superintendents and teachers looking for contacts in the video game industry to visit classes and work with students on the fundamentals of game design.

We would like to thank all of our partners for their support of teachers in this program:

  • CAP COM Federal Credit Union
  • Center for Economic Growth
  • Chief Executive Network
  • The McCarthy Charities
  • National Grid
  • Regeneron
  • Tech Valley Center of Gravity
  • Workforce Development Institute
  • PhRMA

As well as our hosts:

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • The Wadsworth Center- NYS Dept. of Health
  • Tech Valley Center of Gravity
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  • LoDolce Manufacturing
  • Monolith Solar
  • National Grid
  • Global Foundries

Thank you and congratulations to all of this year’s participants!

Janice Balogh (2nd year) Mathematics, Schodack CSD
Tech Valley Center of Gravity

Kyle Crawford (2nd year) Technology, Coxsackie-Athens CSD
LoDolce Manufacturing

Edward Bryden (2nd year) Technology, Rensselaer CSD
Monolith Solar

Ryan Debrosky (2nd year) Mathematics, Lansingburgh CSD
National Grid

Kristopher Navratil (2nd year) Technology, Schodack CSD
Tech Valley Center of Gravity (Utilization of tools/systems in makerspace)

Leonard Bacon (2nd year) Science, Schodack CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Climate Change Research)

Nicole Freeman (2nd year) Mathematics, Averill Park CSD
NYSDOH Wadsworth Labs

Tom Guile (4th year) Engineering, Coxsackie-Athens CSD
SUNY Polytechnic Institute

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

Sam Ziebel (1st year) Science, Troy CSD
SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Tim Ryan (1st year) Math/Computer Science, Schodack CSD
Global Foundries

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

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