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STEM Reception at Hudson Valley To Provide Free Directories

CONTACT: Lisa Roche (518) 629-8063 or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, September 20, 2000

Hands-On Examples of Science Mentors in the Schools

Thanks to a grant generated by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Assemblyman Ronald Canestrari, Assemblyman Paul Tonko, and Assemblyman John McEneny, children at more schools than ever will benefit from hands-on experiences with mentors in the science field this year. The $23,500 member-item grant recently awarded to Science Technology & Mathematics (STEM) will allow STEM to give away their Mentor Directory for free for the first time ever. Normally schools are charged $30 per directory. The grant also will allow for the purchase of additional science equipment for schools to use.

Science Technology & Mathematics (STEM) along with Earth Smart: A Science Place for Children will be hosting a reception at Hudson Valley Community College on October 3, 2000 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at which teachers and educators can receive a directory and more information about the mentor program. STEM is a nonprofit organization serving schools and industry in New York State, dedicated to exciting students of all ages about mathematics, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The reception will take place in the World Children's Center in Higbee Hall, Room 100 on the Hudson Valley Campus at 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy. For more information about the reception, contact Nancy Cupolo at 629-8063.

At the Oct. 3 reception, there will be opportunities for the media to:
· Interview mentors that volunteer their time in area classrooms.
· Take pictures of teachers and students trying out the new science equipment and science kits.
· Inform the Capital Region of this great educational organization that is available to area schools at no cost.
· Illustrate how STEM is a great resource to help educators meet the new New York State Education Standards.

Nancy Cupolo of the Early Childhood Department says, "This interagency and interdepartmental collaboration will allow science and math educators to network with scientists and professionals in each respective area to obtain information regarding classroom resources which will directly benefit children within the Capital Region."

The mentor directory contains business professionals and experts in the fields of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology who volunteer their time in schools in the Capital District from kindergarten through 12th grade.  STEM mentors demonstrate in front of large group or individual classrooms, do hands-on activities, judge science fairs, visit schools on career days, and do individual projects with students.  Kits are available in such areas such as electricity and magnetism, levers and pulleys, bridges, human body, watersheds, the environment, and kitchen chemistry. Science kits and other equipment such as a Van Degraph generator and a space vacuum will also be on display for teachers, children, parents, and professional mentors to try out. Kids in attendance will have a chance to make their hair stand on end with a Van Degraph generator, or use the vacuum to demonstrate concepts of light and sound (a light will still shine but a bell won't ring).

The following groups are partners on the event:

World's Children Center at Hudson Valley Community College: The primary purpose of the World's Children Center is to explore the interrelatedness of local and global issues which influence children's development. The World's Children Center provides a forum for study and interaction among children, parents, educators, the college community at large who are directly or indirectly involved with children.

U.S. Geological Survey: The U.S. Geological Survey provides maps, reports, and information to help others meet their needs to manage, develop and protect America's water, energy, mineral and land resources. The USGS helps find natural resources needed to build tomorrow, and supplies scientific understanding needed to help minimize or mitigate the effects of natural hazards and environmental damage caused by human activities.

Earth Smart: A Science Place for Children is located within the World's Children Center at Hudson Valley Community College. Earth Smart is a collaborative effort between the USGS and the Early Childhood Department to provide a variety of resources and in-service training to teachers at the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels to promote science explorations and discoveries among children.

The following STEM mentors can be contacted for interviews before the reception to discuss their experiences with area classrooms and educators.

· Mr. Edward Brown: Retired NY Telephone and Adjunct Professor at HVCC. Subject areas: electricity, magnetism, levers and pulleys. Phone: 283-2352.

· Daniel Rogers: Civil/Structural Engineer.  Subject area: Bridges.  Phone: 272-6266.

· Dr. Lawrence Snyder: Professor of Chemistry, SUNY, Albany. Performs kitchen chemistry experiments with children.  Phone: 442-4418.

· Teacher who has used STEM: Beverly Schwartz, Carroll Hill Elementary School, 112 Delaware Ave, Troy, New York 12180.  School Phone: 271-5400.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training.