STEM Research Institute
In 2014, Questar III introduced the STEM Research Institute (SRI) – modeled after a successful Columbia University science teacher professional development program. SRI provides an opportunity for secondary school teachers of science, mathematics, engineering or technology to work for two summers under the mentorship of researchers or STEM industry professionals, participating in authentic scientific research or working in STEM businesses related to the content they teach.
In addition to the hands-on workplace experiences and engagement with STEM professionals, educators dedicate 1 day each week during the summer to share their experiences with SRI colleagues and collaborate to create lesson plans for their classrooms. The benefits are two-fold:
- Upon completion of the program, teachers have shared how these workplace experiences have exponentially increased their understanding of the modern STEM workplace and have impacted their classrooms in multiple ways, including changes in instructional practices, increased student engagement and higher levels of academic achievement.
- Students are introduced to curriculum that are based on real world, real time STEM workplace applications, learning how concepts in the classroom are relevant to research and STEM work resulting in increased student interest in STEM college and career pathways
Since its inception, the program has partnered with and/or received support from a variety of recognizable institutions including NYS Wadsworth Laboratories, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, SUNY Poly and Albany College of Pharmacy as well as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, IBM, Global Foundries, National Grid, the Center for Economic Growth, General Electric and Vicarious Visions.
And the program benefits go beyond these educators and their classrooms as the lesson plans created through these experiences are presented at education conferences statewide and around the country and are available as well on Questar III’s website for colleagues to modify or introduce as is in their classrooms.
Caitlin Colwell (1st year) English, Schodack CSD
Jason Defrias (1st year) English, East Greenbush CSD
Matt Duff (1st year) Technology, Averill Park CSD
Micaela Ethier (1st year) Math, Shenendehowa CSD
Valerie Gordon (1st year) Art, East Greenbush CSD
Christopher McDermith (1st year), Technology, Schodack CSD
Brian McDonnell (1st year) Technology, Catskill CSD
Mike McGillycuddy (1st year) Construction Technologies, Questar III BOCES
Terry Miller (1st year) Math, Averill Park CSD
Nate Porter (3rd year) Technology, Coding, Physics, Schodack CSD
Karyn Rees (1st year) Physics, Averill Park CSD
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Tim Ryan (2nd year) Math, Computer Science, Schodack CSD
Judith Selig (1st year) Science – Biology, Ballston Spa CSD
Hudson Valley Community College
Erin Sharkey (1st year) Science – Biology, Greenville CSD
Dawn Wetmore (1st year) Technology, Berlin CSD
Sam Ziebel (2nd year) Science – Chemistry, Troy CSD