Tag Archives: STEM

Verizon challenges middle and high school students to develop innovative apps

Business Council member Verizon is once again calling on middle school and high school students to gather their teams, dream up ideas, and create concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

The first two Verizon Innovative App Challenges have encouraged thousands of students to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM subjects, and have awarded cash grants totaling $340,000 – and 130 new tablets, courtesy of Samsung Telecommunications America – to winning teams. Verizon is extending the program as part of its commitment to the Obama administration’s ConnectED initiative, to which the company has pledged up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions over the next three years.

This year’s program will name eight teams Best in Nation and reward them with cash grants of $20,000 each and new Samsung tablets for each team member. The deadline for submission is Nov. 24, and the winners will be named in January 2015.

Teams can register now and learn more about the Verizon Innovative App Challenge at (www.verizonfoundation.org/appchallenge).

New scholarship program encourages students to pursue STEM

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program, which will encourage the best and brightest high school students to pursue high-demand, high-tech careers and build their future in New York. The program provides a full SUNY or CUNY tuition scholarship to the top ten percent of students in every New York high school if they major in a STEM field and work in a STEM job in New York State for five years after graduation.

“By helping New York’s best and brightest students launch their careers in-state and in STEM fields, we are laying the foundation for a truly world-class workforce,” Governor Cuomo said. “This program offers a tremendous step forward to the top ten percent of our high school students, and it will open doors not just for them but for our State as a whole. I am proud to launch the STEM Incentive Program this year, and I encourage all eligible students to apply today.”

“Across New York, STEM careers are growing 2.5 times faster than those in any other field, and the Governor’s incentive program is a valuable opportunity for the next generation to fill the gap,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The program gives top-of-their-class students a world-class education in high-need fields while creating a pipeline of elite talent for the state where our workforce and economy need it the most. At SUNY, we are looking forward to getting this innovative program up and running.”

“Innovative programs like the STEM Incentive Awards will help students compete in academic fields essential to the future of our state and nation,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly.

To be eligible for a STEM award, a student must be attending a New York State high school and be ranked in the top ten percent of his/her graduating class (beginning with the 2014 graduating class), and enroll in full-time study at a SUNY or CUNY college in the fall term following high school graduation. Award details and applications are available at the New York State Higher Education Services (HESC) website at HESC.ny.gov. Applications are due August 15, 2014.

The Business Council supports education reform initiatives focusing on Common Core standards, P-TECH schools and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) which are a good start in bridging the gap between education and the skills needed in the workforce.



First Robotics Competitions teach teamwork

The Business Council of New York State is promoting the varsity Sport for the MindTM, the First Robotics Competition (FRC). FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams of high school students are challenged to design, build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Organizers describe FRC as being “as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.” According to the FRC website, “Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team ‘brand,’ hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.”

Two Business Council members — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology are hosting regional competitions in March. Other competitions will take place regionally.

At these regional competitions the objective will be to get the robot to carry a 2 ft. ball from one end of the field to the other, passing the ball from one robot to the next.

In addition to learning from building a robot, the students learn the importance of working together as part of a team.

Businesses can support teams with mentors, coaches or sponsorships. If you would like to get involved please contact The Business Council.

If you would like to read more about what students in the Capital Region are doing to get ready for the RPI competition, you can read reporter Andrew Bream’s story about the competition in the Troy Record.


Million Women Mentors launches national movement

Million Women Mentors (MWM), a ground-breaking collaborative effort designed to engage one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors, launches today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The initiative aims to educate and empower girls and young women to actively pursue STEM education and careers. In conjunction with National Mentoring Month, MWM has constructed a vast network of 13 corporate sponsors, and more than 40 partner organizations that are dedicated to cultivating multiple pathways of mentoring to bolster girls’ confidence and increase access to professionals working in the STEM field. Collectively, these public-private entities represent more than 18 million women and girls.

Inasmuch, young girls and women are less likely than their male counterparts to work in STEM fields. In fact, just 24 percent of women work in STEM fields. The good news is that women in STEM careers earn 92 cents for every dollar male-STEM counterparts earn versus 75 cents in other fields. What’s more, 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend on mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge and skills.

MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector®, the national organization that works closely with corporations and thousands of entities to assist in STEM best practices and smart STEM investments.

For more information visit the Million Women Mentors website.

STEM good for Long Island schools

Newsday published an editorial highlighting how a STEM program rolled out through BOCES in some Long Island schools fills “a critical need in educating students in districts lacking high-caliber programs in science, technology, engineering and math.” The program launched with 23, ninth-grade students, 10 of whom are girls.

The editorial also noted that the school will start an engineering track based on a rigorous curriculum from the Rochester Institute of Technology, next year.

STEM programs are one way schools are preparing students to meet the job markets high demand for skilled workers with science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Op-ed: Immigration reform can benefit N.Y.

Cornell University President David J. Skorton’s op-ed in the Press & Sun Bulletin highlights how New York can benefit from immigration reform to fuel economic growth, especially in the tech sector. He calls on The U.S. House of Representatives to pass the comprehensive immigration bill that the U.S. Senate passed on June 27 in addition to outlining how international graduates of American universities, especially those in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), create jobs for Americans.

The Business Council of New York State supports immigration reform to meet the needs of citizens and businesses and improve economic competitiveness. The Business Council recently signed on to a multi-industry letter that was sent to The U.S. House of Representatives encouraging Congress to bring meaningful reforms to the nation’s immigration system.

Manufacturers finding It difficult to find skilled workers

Some of our members have expressed to us what the following story reports – that they are having difficulty finding skilled labor in New York. This is a topic we’ll be covering at two upcoming events: The Technology Roundtable on March 20 and the 2013 Education Conference, April 4.   There is space available, so, if interested, please register today.

The following Associated Press story appeared in The Washington Post is a terrific read. It takes a look at the growing concern of the skills shortage, recruitment and education and Click here to read more.

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SUNY Adirondack and BOCES will offer STEM program to high school students

Business Review logoSUNY Adirondack in Queensbury and BOCES are working together to offer manufacturing and electrical technology courses to high school students, according to a report by the Glens Falls Post-Star.

The new two-year, early-college program is geared to address the national shortage of workers with skills in science, technology, engineering and math.

Adirondack Community College, which rebranded itself as SUNY Adirondack, is teaming up to offer the program with the BOCES that covers Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Hamilton and Essex counties.

At least three high schools have expressed interest in offering the program, according to the Post-Star report. They are Hudson Falls, Queensbury and Saratoga Springs.

RPI’s Jackson touts university’s supercomputer, Sematech model during House Committee hearing

RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson spoke Wednesday before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in Washington. She discussed the role of scientific research and American competitiveness, and used New York as a good Shirley Jacksonexample of innovation and research.

Here’s the report from Pam Allen of The Business Review:

Shirley Ann Jackson offered up the success of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s supercomputer and Sematech as examples of how the federal government and partnerships can spur innovation and give early-stage companies the resources they need to move to the next level.

Jackson, president of Rensselaer in Troy, NY, spoke Feb. 6 to members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in Washington regarding the importance that research and innovation play in driving the U.S. economy.

Successful innovation requires four things: focus, ideas, support and a model that helps startups overcome the “valley of death” stage between innovation and commercialization, Jackson said.

Sharing infrastructure for research and testing also is critical, Jackson said. She noted that Rensselaer’s Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) was a good example of that.

CCNI, a joint project of IBM, New York state and Rensselaer, is used by 800 users and 25 companies. It hosts one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

Jackson also stressed the importance of drawing more young people into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

“We must address what I have called the ‘Quiet Crisis’ of a looming loss of STEM talent due to pending and actual retirements of today’s scientists and engineers, without enough young people in the pipeline being prepared to enter these fields,” Jackson said.

Click here to read more.