As part of its continued effort to ensure our students are prepared for the 21st century workforce, the DOE's Summer in the City STEM program provides high-tech learning opportunities for students during the summer. Held at locations throughout the city, the program expanded in 2016 to provide nearly 3,000 students in grades 2-10 with an opportunity to learn and explore the possibilities that STEM education offers. The DOE collaborated with program partners, NYU Polytechnic's School of Engineering and the Museum of Science in Boston, who helped kids make real-world connections to their learning through “Engineering is Elementary,” "Science of Smart Cities," and "Robotics" programs. Microsoft Corp. generously provided funding to help launch the innovative program and increased its support of the program in 2016 by also providing licenses and devices for Minecraft Education Edition. Students created self-portraits and sculpture gardens using Minecraft Education Edition as part of the arts curriculum component of Summer STEM.
Through a mix of traditional instruction and hands-on projects, students take concepts from theory to reality on subjects ranging from solar and water power to structural integrity, sustainability, and machine-assisted production. The output consists of fantastic miniature cities replete with water supply, solar-powered lights, train crossings with sensor-activated barriers meant to prevent traffic accidents, compost fields and structurally sound towers. Robotic vehicles traverse the tiny towns unassisted, knowing which way to go thanks to sensors programmed to follow the roads. Even the small falafel truck the students cooked up managed to make its appointed rounds.
It isn't just the participating students who benefit from the program, though. Several program partners, including the NYU team also train DOE teachers in how to incorporate the program's offerings into their classrooms, giving them the tools to expand STEM education opportunities for students throughout the school year.
Summer STEM is made possible by a combination of public and private funds. Through The Fund for Public Schools, our generous private supporters include Microsoft Corporation, the Arconic Foundation, Target Corporation, the Ford Foundation, New York Community Trust, the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation and Jack Rudin.