School partnerships assisting with STEM education

Posted at: 05/06/2014 6:58 PM
Updated at: 05/06/2014 8:24 PM
By: WNYT Staff

We continue to hear that high tech jobs that require an education in science, technology, engineering and math are coming to the Capital Region. However, we are also hearing that there is a concern that we won’t have an educated workforce to take those jobs. In order to do that schools are now creating partnerships to help educate kids in STEM.

It's just hours before the science fair and the team from Brighter Choice Charter School that conducted the bubble gum test is strategizing and going over its research.

“We know all gum can help clean our mouths, but there’s certain chemicals in it that can actually take bacteria out. We want to know which one it was,” said one student working on this project.

Another Brighter Choice team is inspecting its mountain display -- especially the animals living there. “We learned that the reason why they live there is because that’s their habitat and they adapted to that already,” said another student who was working on that project.

They join their peers--hoping those who stop by their booth will see all the science, technology, engineering and math that went into completing their projects.

“We wanted to see if girls and boys play the same games. It was interesting to us, because we wanted to see if it was different or similar,” said Jahmir Pitcher, when talking about his project.

“It was hard putting this together, but if we had teamwork we could accomplish our goal. That’s what we did,” said Messiah Freeman, another Brighter Choice student.

However, the knowledge earned by these students might not have happened had it not been for the partnership between the charter school and the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

“They come twice a week for about an hour and a half to two hours, and they do very hands on, engaging exploration of varying science topics,” said Becky Beach, Director of the ACPHS Academy. “We bring them to our college campus, so they are not only learning about these essential fields. They are also learning what college really is and what college is all about.”

Recognizing the benefits of turning kids onto STEM -- the college starts working with the students in the 3rd grade.

“It's just a light inside that they’re happy to be there and not like ‘Oh, I have more school,’” said Samantha Zerniak, a student volunteer.

More information about the STEM partnerships can be found here.