STEM education is the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These four general areas of study are extremely important in keeping up with advancement. Across New York State, STEM careers are growing 2.5 times faster than the non-STEM average growth. SUNY has been working to increase STEM education, and furthermore keeping New York and the United States as the technological and economical leader of the global marketplace of the 21st Century.
Last month, SUNY Oswego opened it’s doors to the Shineman Center. The building was named after Richard S. Shineman, who is said to be the catalyst for science research at the college. The center was opened for students in August, marking the culmination of a three year construction project.
Science, Engineering, and Innovation are the three main components to this center and its efforts to promote STEM education for its students. Last week, the Shineman Center opened to the public, and SUNY Oswego’s $118 million Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation drew “oohs and aahs” from hundreds of community visitors. And in concert with SUNY’s efforts to build a better tomorrow, the Shineman Center also went green!
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STEM education is very unique in the fact that its instruction is critical throughout early education. So, last year, SUNY partnered with the New York Academy of Sciences and SUNY Empire State College to monitor middle school STEM education in Brooklyn in a program called the STEM Mentor Program. In the program’s first year, 30 graduate mentors served as teachers to nearly 300 middle school students.
“The academy’s after school STEM Mentoring Program has had a profound impact on New York City’s youth, and the expertise offered by SUNY graduate students has the potential to greatly improve science and math literacy among middle-school children throughout New York state,” said Chancellor Zimpher.
Citing its success, the program was expanded this year, adding Stony Brook University, SUNY Oswego, and SUNY ESF. This not only doubles the number of active campuses, but extends the program to Long Island, as well.
And to capitalize on the systemic success, a SUNY research team has announced an initiative to integrate STEM learning with video games. The new project, called SUNY Games II, is funded by a SUNY Innovation Instruction Technology Grant.
SUNY Games II, along with the STEM Mentor Program and the beautiful new Shineman Center at SUNY Oswego reinforce SUNY’s commitment to STEM. Together, the efforts illuminate the progressiveness of the SUNY system with new thinking and application throughout the education pipeline.