Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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BU Talks STEM Outreach with Kopernik

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: BU Talks STEM Outreach with Kopernik
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A local college is looking to join an observatory to get students excited about science, technology, engineering and math. As our Elyse Mickalonis explains, leaders hope the pairing of a fun environment and role models will help with that.

VESTAL, N.Y. -- Getting students interested in science, technology, engineering and math isn’t always easy...but local leaders are hoping to change that.

"Going into a school setting is exciting for students, but it’s constricting. You’ve got teachers, hallways, rules. You can break all those barriers down here, it’s all about you and the science and having fun,” said Harvey Stenger, BU President.

BU President Harvey Stenger and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo toured Kopernik Observatory & Science Center on Friday. Together they looked at the facility, as well as the programs, classes and events that are offered to students. The goal is for BU to work with Kopernik in expanding STEM outreach to local kids.

"To see if there’s some engagement opportunities that we have so that some of our students at BU come and work with students at Kopernik to help the younger children get excited about science and engineering, but also help college students get other people interested in science and engineering,” said Stenger.

Donna Lupardo, (D) Assembly-Endwell, added, "We’re always looking for ways to tie the experience we have not only at BU, but BCC and throughout all of our K through 12 schools with students to get them motivated and excited."

Lupardo and Stenger hope the hands-on experiences offered at the observatory could show kids that science can be fun.

"How do you keep the excitement in science when you take them from the qualitative to the quantitative and I think that might be where we could find some partnerships, especially in the Watson school,” said Stenger.

Lupardo added, "We’re trying to prepare kids for the future. We need them to be well-educated, good problem solvers. We need them to get out and have hands-on experience in the community."

Giving kids the tools they need to lead the way in STEM fields.

Time Warner Cable is the parent company of YNN and we are committed to the Connect a Million Minds program, inspiring youth to develop science, technology, engineering and math skills. For more information on the initiative, go to connectamillionminds.com.

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