This year’s RIT-RPHS capstone program allowed small groups of students from the Rochester-based charter school to work with faculty in one of five subject areas. On Feb. 13, final presentations were made at Ingle Auditorium to an audience of their families, peers and teachers; leadership from the K-12 University Center; and distinguished guests such as RIT President David Munson, who made a welcoming address.
With complementary research experiences to help bolster Maya Rigor's passion of mechanical engineering, the honors student from the University of Delaware joined the Army Educational Outreach Program last year, having completed a project with university faculty. AEOP Internships and Fellowships is administered by RIT's K-12 University Center on behalf of the U.S. Army to provide high school through postdoctoral individuals from across the country with paid, interactive STEM experiences at Army labs and university partner sites.
Kenzie Moore, a fifth-year electrical engineering technology major from Los Gatos, Calif., volunteered with the Engineering Up afterschool program, partnered with the Rochester City School District (RCSD), which engages K-12 students in STEM-related fields.
Twenty-three Rochester Prep High School students are part of this school year's capstone program that allows them to work weekly with an RIT professor on a specifically designed research project that simulates work in a college course. Subjects include bacteria and biology, criminal justice, data to map large trends, fiber bundles and game design.
The Science and Technology Entry Program at RIT's K-12 University Center often teams up with RIT students and campus groups. STEP Director Ashley Simmons said those collaborations allow STEP scholars to learn firsthand what it’s like to be in various majors and programs, by gaining new perspectives, engaging in peer mentorship and networking opportunities, and building confidence.
For Jane Amstey, community engagement and working with youth is part of her identity. The newly appointed senior director for the Office of Pre-College Programs, through the K-12 University Center at Rochester Institute of Technology, has dedicated her life to giving back to those she helps serve in and out of the office.
Rochester Institute of Technology is hosting the JSHS Central/Western New York Subregional contest where high school students are given the chance to present results of original research efforts before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. At the end of the event, one participant will be selected for the New York State regional competition.
Many RIT faculty, staff and students work with Camp Tiger to bring various expertise to youth campers in unique STEAM learning experiences. That includes adjunct professor Alan Gesek and a grad student from the College of Art and Design that take content out of the classroom and into youth settings to combine the arts and sciences that allow opportunities for the facilitators to promote their fields, while sparking excitement in campers and their families.
This year, the K-12 University Center at Rochester Institute of Technology made its mark at Maker Faire Rochester – a gathering held annually to provide individuals with an outlet to display the work they do through hobbies, experiments and projects, with engineers, artists, scientists and various other crafters. Celebrating its first event in 2014, the event included more than 200 exhibitors and an estimated 7,200 attendees, including representatives from RIT K-12 programs, such as AEOP Apprenticeships and Fellowships, and STEP.
Dr. Naomi Lee is passionate about involving native youth in science, technology, engineering and math; and to prove there’s a STEM identity and need within the indigenous community. Lee, a Rochester Institute of Technology grad, hosts a program at Northern Arizona University that helps expose STEM innovation and research experiences to underserved students. It's sponsored in part by Army Educational Outreach Program Apprenticeships and Fellowships, which is administered through RIT’s K-12 University Center.
At Burger and Roth junior high schools in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District, about 50 students work daily with staff from the Science and Technology Entry Program – also known as STEP – through Rochester Institute of Technology’s K-12 University Center. Enrichment activities offered are meant to help foster academic growth, and often go beyond the classroom to support students. This school year, STEP Assistant Director Lisa Michalek is hosting weekly workshops with students that provide homework help, feature STEM activities, and highlight various development topics. It’s similar at other schools within the county that the STEP team is embedded in with outreach specialists Meg Brown, Rick King and Dana Storti.