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STEM Hub Happenings: CNSE, Girls Inc., and SEFCU Present the Eureka! Program at CNSE

CNSE hosts Girls Inc in Albany

UAlbany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) hosted the nation’s first nanotechnology-based Girls Inc. Eureka!® Program.

The Girls Inc. Eureka! program at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), the first of Girls Inc. nation-wide Eureka! programs with a focus on nanotechnology, is approaching the end of its first school year.  Designed to engage under-served populations within the City of Albany, the program began in July 2012 with an initial group of 30 girls, all of whom are now 8th graders in Albany and Schenectady Public Schools.

Last summer’s launch started the program strong, with the girls participating in their first intensive summer camp experience. Volunteers from Girls Inc., CNSE and SEFCU led the participants in hands-on nanoscale education at UAlbany’s CNSE NanoTech Complex and exposed the participants to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on weekly field trips. The program is designed to bring back the same girls to participate in the camp again in the summer of 2013.

As the program goes into its third and fourth years, program staff will help the girls find paid internships with local businesses and organizations during the summer, with individualized plans and opportunities crafted to suit the needs of each student. The program will culminate with the then high school seniors taking responsibility for their futures by securing an internship, job, or summer program on their own.

In order to remain active in the program, participants must earn a minimum of 14 credits during the school year.  Girls Inc group at CNSEA variety of opportunities will be offered to fulfill this commitment and can include:

  • An hour long group activity at their school
  • A one-on-one meeting with the Eureka! Coordinator
  • A take home assignment
  • Participating in an organized community activity with the group

The activities listed above are but a small example of what students can choose to do, since the credited activities do not have to be planned or hosted by the Eureka! team. Ongoing activities can focus on any of the Eureka! areas—academic, assistance and study skills; math, science, technology and computers; sports; personal development; career planning—or other issues of interest to the participants.

Over the next five years, the program will provide up to 150 girls with a pathway to exciting careers and post-secondary education in nano fields – nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanobioscience.  The program is of no cost to the participants, and is fully funded by CNSE, Girls Inc. and various regional partners, including generous support by SEFCU. This type of collaborative effort is characteristic of New York’s regional STEM hubs, where partners with stakes in the local area develop talent, community, and a future workforce in their local regions.   The Eureka! program is part of the critical effort by the Empire State STEM Learning Network to encourage young women to pursue a growing number of educational and career opportunities in the field of nanotechnology.

As the Eureka! girls finish up their years and get ready for their second summer camp experience, we encourage you to stay up to date with Generation SUNY and STEM hub happenings.

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This is another great example of what is going on across New York thanks to SUNY and the Empire State STEM Learning Network. The Empire State STEM Learning Network is a statewide, community led collaborative advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to prepare all students across New York State for success in school, work and life.  Empire STEM is transforming education through regionally-based STEM communities that can create and implement the most innovative approaches in classrooms, schools and programs. A connected set of regional hubs and partners are beginning to work together more efficiently to identify, test, validate, share and advance promising and innovative STEM teaching and learning programs, practices, policies, platforms and partnerships.



Written by Will Donovan

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