Kingsborough Community College (KCC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce its new STEM Lab, located in the concourse level of the school’s Robert J. Kibbee Library. Students, faculty and elected officials attended the celebration on the morning Thursday, July 16.
In an effort to promote the sciences, the lab is used for the STEM Summer Boot Camp, a two-week program which gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to have hands-on experience and education in 10 different modules in the sciences in a high-tech facility.
“We need educational programs like this,” said KCC President Farley Herzek, “opportunities for higher education for students to come to places like this to explore, and for our wonderful faculty to motivate and inspire students to be the best they can be.”
During the two-week program, students work with high-profile professors on areas such as biomedical engineering, graphics animation, environmental technology, forensics, manufacturing technology, material sciences, medical imaging, nursing and robotics. “That’s quite a bit to explore in two weeks,” added Herzek. To make it easier for the students to attend, they are provided with food and Metrocards.
The program is multi-faceted. “The faculty has done something really special with this program,” Herzek said. “The students are going to spend a week in this lab exploring hands-on many of these activities and then they are going to spend a week in our college science labs, having an opportunity to roll up their sleeves with our professors and get a better understanding of what we do in our science programs.”
“In the last 10 years in the sciences, KCC has put its money where its mouth is,” said Provost Stuart Suss. “Students will get individualized attention from the finest teaching faculty with the finest research credentials.”
Professor Sherrye Glaser hopes the STEM Lab will encourage students to consider the sciences as a career. “The goal of this STEM boot camp is to pique students’ interest in the sciences,” she said. This includes not only “hands-on experience with the latest technology,” but also, the “rare opportunity to work with experts in the fields,” she said
For students, the lab will provide an easy way in to the study of science. “The professors that are here are very interactive with the students to make sure we understand the whole process,” said student Natalie Lewis. “It’s a very supportive program and for two weeks, you’re getting little samples of different kinds of different programs involving science and technology.”
The reverberations from the lab will be felt beyond its walls, said one local elected official. “This is a tremendous day not just for Kingsborough but also the city of New York,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger, a former educator. “These young people are the key to help us find the answers to some of the pressing challenges of the 21st century.”
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Jaime DeJesus