Students Learn About STEM, STEAM via NNYB

It was inevitable that Orande Daring would notice the progress between last month and last year, when the Outreach Team went to Nyack High School.

Learning how the project relates to STEM education/NNYB

Learning how the project relates to STEM education/NNYB

Daring, principal at Southern Westchester BOCES since January, oversees five programs in its Secondary Career and Technical Education Program.

He recalled students’ reactions during the bridge presentation last March at Nyack High School, where he formerly taught math and science to middle and high school students.

Last year’s presentation showed crews in the early construction stages. “Because I was familiar with Brian I reached out to have it here,” he said.

Daring oversees the Certified Nurse Assistant, Pre-Engineering, Veterinary Science, Emergency Medical Services and Emergency & Protective Services programs and is developing a plan to implement STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) initiatives with two to three years.

Watching history in the making before their eyes/NNYB

Watching history in the making before their eyes/NNYB

“I thought it was a good presentation: they gave us a bit of background about the bridge and the need for having it, and the slides explained more detail,” Daring said. The columns going into the river were interesting from an engineering perspective — and the rebar sample was a hit.

Comparing the lightweight construction rebar and the thick pieces used to reinforce the concrete helped students understand what they saw on the slides.

What impressed him most was listening to crew members in various fields share their experiences. “The kids can see it’s not just being an engineer, it’s an engineer talking about working on a project and part of the team building it,” he said.

Learning how the bubble shields will protect homes and fish in the river was also helpful. “They talked about details so the students could understand the process,” he said.

Students exhibited their vocational skills at Spring Open House/SWBOCES

Students exhibited their vocational skills at Spring Open House/SWBOCES

Some of the 16- and 17-year old students in Daring’s programs are college-bound, and some are going to technical school. He appreciated seeing the crane in action and the time-lapse video, which put the project into perspective.

“About a week later I went to a retirement party for one of the principals and drove to the waterfront,” Daring said. “I can see the columns.”

Juniors and seniors who meet academic requirements during their first two years of high school can ask to attend BOCES, which offers automotive technician, carpentry, plumbing and other trades.

Those who graduate from a program receive an endorsement on their high school diplomas and take the NOCTI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute) exam toward the end of their senior year. Someone who graduates with an auto endorsement at 18 is eligible to apply for an automotive technician after graduation; other fields have different requirements.

“A carpentry student has to be an apprentice to a master carpenter; someone interested in automotive would work with a licensed mechanic,” Daring said, adding companies sometimes reach out to the school.

The school is looking at beginning exploratory programs in 9th grade for fields not offered. “We have students interested in culinary arts, nursing, cosmetology (to name a few),” he said, “and these aren’t promoted in school.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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