Approximately 75 third-graders from Buffalo’s Hamlin Park Claude and Ouida Clapp Academy will visit Buffalo State on Friday, February 26, for a celebration of Planetarium Day, “Spring into Science,” a half-day educational event that focuses on the disciplines of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM).
The visit is part of the Buffalo Public Schools STEM Experience, a private/public partnership facilitated by the University at Buffalo that uses hands-on workshops, field trips, and speakers to spark student interest in the STEM fields.
After opening remarks from Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner, Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes, New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, and BPS Superintendent Kriner Cash at 9:45 a.m. in the Buckham Hall Gymnasium, students will break into groups and rotate through three technology and computer-based workshops. Each workshop will last approximately 25 minutes and go until noon. The workshops are:
Clark Greene, lecturer of career and technical education, and two of his students will demonstrate what cutting-edge 3D printers and laser engraving machines can produce. They also plan to give students mementos from the printers that they can take home.
Kevin Williams, associate professor of earth sciences and science education, planetary geologist, and planetarium director, will point out constellations and give students an overview of the night sky, while Ramona Santa Maria, associate professor of Computer Information Systems, and senior Scott Martin will illustrate how computer coding works through a pen and paper exercise with the students. Also, Martin will demonstrate the 3D animation program Alice.
“Scott will show the students how he uses code to make the characters’ arms and legs move,” said Santa Maria. “Overall, we want to give the kids an idea of how programming works, why it’s important, and what careers they can use it in.”
“Spring into Science” is the kind of hands-on program that Buffalo State is eager to offer children of all ages in order to make science, math, engineering, and technology come alive.
“Buffalo State has been a proud member of the Buffalo Public Schools STEM Experience team from the beginning,” said John Siskar, senior adviser for Buffalo State educational pipeline initiatives. “We see ourselves as a critical partner working with the district to ensure that every child receives a high-quality education and introduce them to STEM careers they may not know about otherwise.”
Along with Buffalo State and BPS, coordinating partners of the BPS STEM experience are the City of Buffalo, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership, Erie County Community College, the State University of New York, NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Information, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Museum of Science, and the Buffalo Sabres.
Sponsoring partners include National Grid, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Others are Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Praxair, Thermo Fisher Scientific, EverFi, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, dig, Lamar Advertising, Science Exploration Day, and Tech Savvy.
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