Category Archives: Leaders

Spotlight on Cutting-Edge High Schools Embedded in STEM Workplaces

Spotlight on Cutting-Edge High Schools Embedded in STEM Workplaces

Over the last few years, the United States government has sought to improve the country’s global economic competitiveness by emphasizing the importance of high-quality education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This emphasis has led to many innovations and improvements in STEM education. As a result, hands-on, interactive STEM education has started to become the norm at the college and K-12 levels, with the top ranked K-12 STEM programs in the United States excelling at providing both science and math education to children across the country.

Recently, a unique model for providing high-quality STEM education has grown in popularity. The approach embeds STEM schools into STEM workplace locations, providing a cutting-edge experience for students. In New York, two high school programs currently offer this model. One program at Aviation High School focuses on the aerospace industry while the other, Brooklyn STEAM Center, concentrates on integrating STEM education with business and the arts. Read on to learn more about these two programs.

Aviation High School

aviationhighschool

In 1995, Aviation High School in Long Island City, New York, established a presence at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), where students have hands-on opportunities to develop the skills necessary to someday become an aircraft technician. Graduates of the school have gone on to become aviation maintenance technicians, engineers, and mechanics, among other careers. The aviation program, which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provides students with access to a Boeing 727 aircraft on which they can practice various skills related to aviation technology. Students graduate with the minimum of an FAA license, with some receiving a second one at the end of a competitive fifth-year program that takes place exclusively at the JFK site.

In addition to aviation maintenance technology, departments at the school include mathematics, science, social studies, physical education/health, and English. Advanced Placement courses are available in English, calculus, environmental science, chemistry, physics, world history, and other areas. Blending a technical education with a traditional academic curriculum enables students to pursue a variety of career paths after graduation. While some seek college degrees and others pursue military careers, many more obtain employment directly out of high school. Due to its unique model, Aviation High School has drawn significant attention from the media and has been profiled by CNN, CNBC, NPR, and VOA.

In the 2017-18 school year, Aviation High School statistics showed that over 2,000 students were enrolled, with almost half of them being non-Asian minorities, who continue to be underrepresented in the STEM workforce. With a 97 percent attendance rate, students displayed their exemplary motivation to learn. Ninety-five percent of students graduated in four years, and 97 percent of them graduated in six years. With a 96 percent attendance rate, teachers also demonstrated a strong dedication to their students.

Brooklyn STEAM Center

Brooklyn STEAM center

Located at the site of a former Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn STEAM Center places an emphasis on integrating STEM education with business and the arts. The school offers several specialty areas to students, which include computer science/information technology, construction technology, culinary arts/hospitality management, design/engineering, and film/media. Students from eight local schools enroll in these special half-day programs for the final two years of high school. Students spend the morning at their local high school and the afternoon focusing on their chosen specialty at the STEAM Center. Some of these specialties offer the opportunity to become licensed in a chosen field.

The school’s close proximity to more than 400 mostly technology and manufacturing companies in the former Brooklyn Navy Yard offers students real-world experiences. The STEAM Center also provides internships and work placement for students. This access to professional development opportunities is vital for students, many of whom are from groups that are underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Minorities represent approximately 93 percent of students enrolled in the STEAM Center. Many students at the STEAM Center are also part of another underrepresented group in the STEM workforce—people with low incomes—with 74 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches.

The school’s new facility on the third floor of the former Brooklyn Navy Yard opened in early 2019 with 221 students enrolled. Built at a cost of $17 million, it represents an investment of over $75,000 per student. Such an investment illustrates the importance of STEM education to the New York City Education Department. One of the school’s founders is a member of the New York State Board of Regents, lending even more credence to the educational experiment that the school represents. Furthermore, the school’s advisory board primarily consists of leaders in the industries that it teaches, highlighting the balance between the academic and workplace experience that the school strives to foster.

Mathematics Skills Shine in New Field of Sports Analytics

Mathematics Skills Shine in New Field of Sports Analytics

One of the best ways to get students excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is to show how these subjects relate to everyday life. When it comes to mathematics, one exciting area of everyday relevance is sports. Sports analytics is a major career field these days, with the 2011 movie Moneyball highlighting the… Continue Reading

Get to Know These Women in the National Academy of Engineering

Get to Know These Women in the National Academy of Engineering

Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. For example, only one in seven engineering professionals is female, according to a 2011 US Department of Commerce study. Women may earn more than half of the bachelor’s degrees in the US, but they only represent 37 percent of STEM graduates. Among computer science… Continue Reading

These 20 Outstanding Women in STEM Have Won the Nobel Prize

These 20 Outstanding Women in STEM Have Won the Nobel Prize

In the 117-year history of the Nobel Prize, 667 men have been recognized for their work in the fields of physics, chemistry, and medicine. Conversely, just 19 women (one of them twice) have received a Nobel Prize in these categories, and only one woman has won the Nobel Prize in Economics in the category’s 49-year… Continue Reading

This Online Program Matches Scientists with Kids around the World

This Online Program Matches Scientists with Kids around the World

With science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers plentiful, many are focusing on how to get students excited about STEM. One way to spark students’ interest in STEM is to emphasize hands-on learning. Rather than associating STEM with the boredom of long, dry lectures or multiple-choice tests, students can find the fun and excitement in… Continue Reading

You Need to Know These Women Scientists with a Coveted Lasker Award

You Need to Know These Women Scientists with a Coveted Lasker Award

The gender gap in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is well known, but one way to reduce this gap is to introduce girls to female role models working as STEM professionals. Fortunately, the Lasker Awards have been recognizing women in the medical sciences since 1945. These awards in basic research, clinical research,… Continue Reading

2 Ways Verizon Is Diversifying the STEM Field – What You Need to Know

2 Ways Verizon Is Diversifying the STEM Field – What You Need to Know

Recently, many organizations have focused on diversifying the STEM pipeline, which is designed to draw in people from the general population and lead them to the desired endpoint of employment in a STEM field. However, in the United States, the STEM pipeline has attracted mostly white and Asian men to STEM career paths. To change… Continue Reading

How One Woman Is helping Girls of Color Learn about Technology

How One Woman Is helping Girls of Color Learn about Technology

A lot of attention has been paid in recent years to the employment gender gap in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Presently, more men than women pursue and persist in careers in these areas. A similar employment gap in STEM fields exists for non-Asian minorities. For example, more whites and Asian minorities… Continue Reading

4 Inspiring Technology Leaders Who Beat the Odds to Find Success

4 Inspiring Technology Leaders Who Beat the Odds to Find Success

How can we encourage more diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also known as STEM? The largest percentage of workers in these fields is made up of white males, but now, many companies are trying to achieve a more diverse workforce. One way to reach this goal is to highlight individuals… Continue Reading