School of Education STEM

Early Start For Girls In STEM

About 100 girls from five Long Island school districts spent four weeks on campus working on design projects and problem-solving exercises as part of a free summer workshop aimed at getting them excited about engineering careers.

The new School of Education program, held in its STEM Studio, brought together students from Uniondale, Roosevelt, North Shore, Herricks and Great Neck between the ages of eight and ten for a variety of hands-on activities including:

  • Engineering a light show to emulate the Northern Lights to learn about different types of circuits
  • Building cars from recyclables as a lesson in green engineering
  • Creating bubble wands to learn about the properties of water and soap
  • Learning about the physics of roller coasters by constructing models out of pipe insulation

“The goal of the program is to use the engineering design process to solve STEM problems,” said Amy Catalano, director of the STEM Studio.   “We also want to give girls early exposure to intensive STEM experiences in which we facilitate success so that they come to see science as something they can do.”

“I enjoyed coming to the STEM program that is just for girls”, said Isabella Lee, a fourth grader from Great Neck.  “My favorite part was creating a light show, the Northern Lights.  I also learned how to make circuits and how circuits work.  It was fun to think of solutions and create them.”

The School of Education recently received a $25,000 grant from National Grid to reopen the STEM Studio in fall 2017.  Students from local districts and their teachers will be invited to the studio to work on engineering design problems with pre-service teachers who want to expand their repertoire of science instruction strategies at the elementary level.

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