Spring 2018 STEM Institute


In April 2018, Stuyvesant High School hosted more than 800 NYC public school teachers and administrators at the Spring STEM Institute.

The STEM Institute, held twice annually, is a three-day professional development opportunity for teachers. It provides support to schools as they develop and implement STEM-focused approaches to learning, STEM programs, or build STEM-centered schools. This event is hosted by the Department of Education’s STEM Department and is generously supported by the GE Foundation as part of a deep multi-year partnership with NYC Schools. 

The gathering began with remarks from a number of STEM experts and key supporters, including Kelli Wells, Executive Director of Education and Skills at the GE Foundation and Dr. Linda Curtis-Bey, Executive Director of STEM for the NYC Department of Education.  Kelli Wells underscored the value of STEM education in our schools: “STEM is about a foundation of literacy, and STEM integration happens across all disciplines - together we are going to strengthen the STEM workforce of tomorrow."

The STEM Institute also featured a keynote presentation with Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza. Mayor de Blasio thanked the teachers present for their dedicated work in providing STEM education to their students. He emphasized the importance of STEM education and its relevance to the future.

This is literally crucial to the future in every sense … The future of our Earth, the quality of our life, our security, every piece of it runs through STEM education and you’re unlocking that for thousands and thousands of kids.
— Bill de Blasio, NYC Mayor

Mayor de Blasio commended former Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and her decades-long commitment to education in New York City. Then, he warmly welcomed and introduced the new Chancellor, Richard Carranza, who took the stage with an enthusiastic reception. 

In his opening remarks, Chancellor Carranza impressed upon the teachers in attendance how important STEM education is to the future. He spoke about the skills that STEM education prioritizes beyond the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. Through STEM methodologies, students develop creativity, communication, teamwork, and the ability to demonstrate and explain their work; Chancellor Carranza mentioned that these skills contribute to future success and opportunity for students, as these skills are important to employers and institutions of higher education.

The work that you are doing is critically important, not for the future of your school, not for the future of New York City’s public schools, it’s critical for the future of America.
— Richard Carranza, NYC Schools Chancellor

After inspiring speeches from the NYC’s Mayor and Chancellor Carranza, the teachers got down to work. A diverse set of partners (such as LEGO Education, Solar One Organization, NYC Department of Parks, and Codesters) facilitated a series of professional development offerings that included hands-on, interactive sessions in robotics, computer science, urban gardening, engineering, solar energy, design thinking, and more. 

Inspired by the NYC Department of Education, and GE Foundation’s partnership to enhance STEM education across NYC’s 1900 public schools?

Become a part of the work today. 

Matt Darian