STEM takes off in schools with help from CNSE

Posted at: 03/14/2014 7:29 PM
Updated at: 03/14/2014 7:30 PM
By: Jessica Layton

ALBANY - Andrea Unser is leading a lesson in one of the world's most cutting edge fields.

It's probably not the kind of science you learned from a text book in grade school. It's a hands-on activity using materials that could potentially save lives. It's the same stuff this Guilderland native uses to study breast cancer at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Unser, a College of Saint Rose graduate who studied bio-chemistry, recalls her father telling her to check out the CNSE campus because, in his words, "there were cool things going on."

She did. Now she's sharing those same cool things to inspire younger students. It's one of the main goals of CNSE's partnership with Myers Middle School in Albany.

When asked what they're learning so far, one middle school student joked she's still kind of lost.

But confusing is ok, as long as it's fun.

"We want to keep that fun aspect so when they go to high school and college, they don't think this is too hard, I can't do this because they can," Unser said.

There are bonds being formed between these super smart mentors and these 13- and 14-year-olds in this after school activity that takes place once a week for two hours.

"We can look up to these people," says 14-year-old student Joshua Campbell.

Hearing that makes teaching about enzymes and glucose even more worthwhile for Unser.

"The best comment I can receive from a student is I forgot I was in school. And that's the goal, we want to keep them interested," she said.