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NYU Poly Gets $3.5 Million To Train 500 NYC STEM Teachers

The New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering (NYU Poly) has received two gifts totaling $3.5 million that represent the start of a five-year $10.5-million fundraising campaign to support the NYU Center for K12 STEM Education's initiative to train 500 New York City teachers in science, technology, education and math (STEM). Those 500 teachers are expected to reach 50,000 public school students over the next decade.

NYU Poly won a $2.5-million National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research grant that will allow it to build a year-round teacher training program in the field of robotics. The program will be developed by a team of experts in robotics, engineering, curriculum design and assessment.

"This program is particularly innovative in enhancing the teacher professional development necessary for the disciplined use of robotics and engineering in teaching middle-school math and science," said John Cherniavsky, a senior advisor to the NSF's division of research and learning.

At the same time, technology venture capitalists Fred and Joanne Wilson gave NYU Poly a $1-million gift to seed an additional $7 million in fundraising over the next five years to equip New York City public school teachers with the skills to prepare their students for further STEM studies in college. The Wilsons' gift is expected to kick off the campaign to raise money for a professional development program that will give teachers the opportunity to learn robotics, computer science and cybersecurity.

"By focusing on teacher development, we will be able to impact so many more students than we could ever reach directly," said NYU School of Engineering Dean and President Katepalli R. Sreenivasan.

The announcement of the gifts came at the beginning of the NYU Poly's Summer of STEM, in which the first group of 44 teachers from 22 middle schools began training in how to teach robotics and the "Science of Smart Cities" to their students.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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