Brooklyn Community Foundation Grant Expands NYU-Poly Robotics Outreach Program

To encourage student to take up careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), two Brooklyn institutions have extended their partnership. For this purpose, Polytechnic Institute of New York University has received $500,000 grant from Brooklyn Community Foundation.

According to a press release, it is considered that this grant could triple the number of under-resourced central Brooklyn elementary, middle and high schools that employ students' fascination with robots to engage their interest in STEM subjects.

Established in 2007 with the Foundation's support, NYU-Poly's Central Brooklyn STEM Initiative (CBSI) pairs teachers from economically disadvantaged Brooklyn schools with graduate fellows from NYU-Poly's engineering programs to design dynamic, hands-on classroom lessons, thereby helping to develop both teachers and graduate fellows. CBSI expanded from 12 to 18 Brooklyn elementary, middle and high schools. The three-year gift from the Brooklyn Community Foundation aims to expand the program even further, to 36 schools. More than 80 percent of students served are minorities, and half are female.

Jerry M. Hultin, NYU-Poly president said that the Brooklyn Community Foundation's long and deep commitment to CBSI has encouraged some of Brooklyn's best young, diverse students in STEM studies and set them on a path to pursue higher education and rewarding technical careers.

CBSI has an intense and determinable impact on students: A recent outside evaluation reported that 74 percent of the 810 participating students increased their overall grades one-half or one full letter grade, and 80 percent saw their science and math grades improve one-half or one full letter grade.

Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation said that the foundation believes that all of Brooklyn's young people should have the opportunity to join the advancing fields of technology, engineering, math and science, and this partnership with NYU-Poly creates those opportunities by pairing graduate engineering fellows with teachers in Central Brooklyn schools so students can stay engaged by participating in robotics competitions and learning more about cutting edge developments in the field.