September 26, 2013

Three schools honored with Innovation Awards in statewide competition presented by SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering & New York State School Boards Association

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“Be the Change for Kids” Innovation Award winners recognized for novel programs
that provide education and career skills in emerging fields such as nanotechnology


Albany, NY – Supporting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s educational blueprint to prepare students for career opportunities in the state’s fastest-growing industries such as nanotechnology, three New York school districts have earned top honors for their innovative science, technology, engineering and math-related (STEM) programs in the second annual “Be the Change for Kids” Innovation Awards, presented today by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

“As Governor Andrew Cuomo champions New York’s rapid rise as the global leader in nanotechnology education, innovation, and economic growth, it is critical that the state develop a well-educated, highly skilled workforce and ensure that students are prepared to take advantage of these exciting career opportunities,” said CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros. “We are delighted to partner with the New York State School Boards Association to recognize this year’s honorees, and we congratulate these forward-thinking schools for their vision and commitment to their students, truly our most valuable resource.”

“The winning school districts – and indeed all of the entries in the competition – illustrate the exciting technology-centered learning programs taking place in schools across New York State. No doubt about it: These schools are pushing the education envelope, and the students are reaping the rewards,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “Many of the students in these programs are learning new skills in technology that will prepare them to take on jobs that don’t even exist yet. It is truly a pleasure to join with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to honor their achievements.”

More than 30 schools across New York State submitted entries for the award. Winning programs were chosen based on their ability to promote student curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and civic responsibility; prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math; and for their ability to be transferred to other school districts. Judging was conducted by faculty and staff members at CNSE.

The winning districts are:

  • The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District in Fulton County for its “8th Grade Introduction to STEM” program. Students explore a variety of topics, including robotics, forensics, alternative energy and nanotechnology through hands-on, project-based learning.

  • The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District in Onondaga County for its “Steam Team-Leading the Way for STEM Education” program, which emphasizes problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. This innovative, flexible middle school model teaches 21st century skills through partnerships with business and education.

  • The Warwick Valley Central School District in Orange County for its “Partners in Education” program, which involves elementary students, teachers and parents working cooperatively in multi-age classrooms. The program incorporates project-based learning, student-to-student mentoring, individualized learning and intensive parent involvement.

Each of the winning districts will receive $5,000, funded by CNSE, with a formal awards ceremony to be held on Friday, October 25 at NYSSBA’s Annual Convention in Rochester. In addition to the monetary award, students and staff from the winning programs will participate in tours and activities at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex.

“The students, faculty and administrators in each of the winning schools should be proud of their achievements,” said NYSSBA First Vice President Lynne Lenhardt, who serves on the boards of education for the Bethlehem Central School District, Capital Region BOCES and Tech Valley High School. “All of the schools participating in this competition illustrate how New York schools are meeting the challenge of educating students in the 21st Century.”

The “Be the Change for Kids” Innovation Awards were created by CNSE and NYSSBA to recognize innovative local school programs that help students gain important 21st Century learning and career skills in emerging fields such as nanotechnology.

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About CNSE. The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. With more than $17 billion in high-tech investments, CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, offering students a one-of-a-kind academic experience and providing over 300 corporate partners with access to an unmatched ecosystem for leading-edge R&D and commercialization of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology innovations. CNSE’s footprint spans upstate New York, including its Albany NanoTech Complex, a 1.3 million-square-foot megaplex with the only fully-integrated, 300mm and 450mm wafer computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration lines within 135,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms. More than 3,100 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty work here, from companies including IBM, Intel, GlobalFoundries, SEMATECH, Samsung, TSMC, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML, and Lam Research. CNSE’s latest expansion, which includes NanoFab Xtension (NFX), headquarters for the world’s first Global 450mm Consortium (G450C), and the Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building, a living laboratory for green energy technologies, will add more than 1,000 scientists, researchers, and engineers from CNSE and global corporations. CNSE Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany is home to CNSE's Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI). CNSE’s Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, which provides a prototyping and demonstration line for next-generation CIGS thin-film solar cells, and the CNSE Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility (CNSE MDF) in Rochester, the solar industry’s first full-service collaborative facility dedicated to crystalline silicon, support CNSE’s leadership of the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC). CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center of Excellence (STC) in Rochester offers state-of-the-art capabilities for MEMS fabrication and packaging. CNSE also co-founded and manages operations at the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (QUAD-C) at SUNYIT and is lead developer of the Marcy Nanocenter site in Utica, and is partnering with AMRI and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to develop the Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub in Buffalo. For information, visit www.sunycnse.com.

About NYSSBA. The New York State School Boards Association represents nearly 700 school boards and more than 5,000 school board members in New York. NYSSBA provides advocacy, training, and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state’s public schools.

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Media Contacts:

Steve Janack, CNSE Vice President for Marketing and Communications
(518) 956-7322 | sjanack@albany.edu

David Albert, Director of Communications and Research, NYSSBA
(518) 783-3716 | david.albert@nyssba.org