Representatives from National Grid present a check for $19,800 to support SUNY Oswego's KidsTech program. Joining teachers from the KidsTech program are (front row from left): Karin Dykeman, assistant professor, SUNY Oswego's technology department; Gwen Sanders, National Grid Community Relations Coordinator; Wally Dengos, National Grid Customer & Community Manager; Dr. Mark Springston, associate professor, SUNY Oswego's technology department; and Richard Bush, chair of SUNY Oswego's technology department.
Karin Dykeman and Mark Springston were facing a challenge.
Emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education was growing in K-12 schools. As faculty in SUNY Oswego’s technology department, they knew that students needed engaging enrichment outside of school to help them get excited about the subjects and ultimately be prepared for success while in the classroom.
Dykeman and Springston created KidsTech to address this need in 2012. This innovative program for children in kindergarten through sixth grade teaches problem-solving strategies and STEM concepts and principles through hands-on and minds-on activities. Classes are led by technology education majors at the college, offering them practical experience working with children.
Dr. Mark Springston speaks with student teachers in the SUNY Oswego KidsTech program
The 10-year-old program consists of two, four-week programs each semester for schoolchildren in STEM 4 Kids (kindergarten to third grade) and Young Inventors (fourth to sixth grade). Its primary reach was the Oswego area, but the program’s 2020 COVID-19-related pivot to remote delivery attracted students from across the region.
Representatives from National Grid visited the SUNY Oswego campus recently and presented Dykeman and Springston with a check for $19,800 to support the expansion and reach of KidsTech.
The professors expressed their gratitude for National Grid’s support of the program and STEM education projects.
“STEM education is important because it provides children with the thinking abilities and problem-solving skills to create a better future for themselves and those around them,” Dykeman said.
Springston added: “Programs like KidsTech make STEM content fun and engaging, so that learning seems more like play than work. Children are naturally curious and creative, and providing them with material that allows them to exercise those traits leads to deeper learning.”
KidsTech student teachers demonstrate a lesson on electrical circuits.
National Grid’s support will enable the program to:
- Acquire higher-level, more engaging materials and equipment to send home with students, enabling them to continue learning and exploring after their program session concludes.
- Continue and expand the remotely delivered program, using funds for more engaging materials and equipment.
- Provide a richer teaching experience for our KidsTech teachers and a more integrated knowledge structure for all participants.
About National Grid
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