"Citizen Schools and our students in Newark are deeply grateful for the leadership of the Academy and Infosys. Their volunteers have helped many students build skills in the critical areas of genetics, space science, earth science and math. Our partnerships with the Academy and Infosys give Newark's students, parents and educators the confidence that we can make a real and inspirational difference through science and math education."Mohan Sivaloganathan Director of Development and Civic Engagement Citizen Schools New Jersey
An outstanding partnership was announced on December 13 between the Infosys USA Foundation, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Citizen Schools to provide apprenticeship experiences in science, technology, engineering and math to middle-school students in low-income communities. The Infosys USA Foundation expanded its challenge grant to the New York Academy of Sciences Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program to include Citizen Schools in New Jersey.
Through their partnerships with middle schools, Citizen Schools provides students access to scientists, technology professionals, engineers and math professionals to help foster knowledge of those fields. The partnership between the Infosys USA Foundation and the Academy supports the Academy's K-12 Science Education Initiative that provides academic mentoring by young scientists to underserved students. The program's goal is to ensure that students have an opportunity to explore science, math and technology in ways that will encourage higher achievement in the classroom and in testing outcomes.
Throughout the semester, the volunteers teaching these apprenticeships have shared the positive experiences that they have had with their students each week. Kimberley Plank, who taught a course about cells and genes at Ivy Hill Elementary School, shared that one of the most eye-opening experiences for her students was looking at real cells in microscopes. They were hesitant at first, but soon became excited to learn about how cells and genes make their own bodies function, and went on to create models of cells and genes.
Another volunteer, Steven Ketchum from Drew University, taught an apprenticeship called "Dynamic Earth." Students learned about the scientific method, density and fossils--even making their own fossils. Serena Elliot, one of Steven's students, says that after visiting the Drew University lab her new ambition is to study plant biology and geology.
"Infosys is committed to providing opportunities for students to improve their math and science skills. The Academy offers a valuable STEM education program that encourages learning in a fun environment. We are pleased to extend the program's reach to students in New Jersey. I am proud of our Infosys colleagues who volunteer their time and skills." Ashok Vemuri Head of Americas, Global Head, Financial Services & Insurance, Board Member Infosys
"When we started the program in New York, we had a handful of students from New Jersey-based universities who were spending a lot of time traveling to New York City to teach. Expanding to New Jersey was the logical next step as we had young scientists who wanted to teach, kids who were excited to learn more math and science, and a great partner in Citizen Schools. Infosys has been a leading supporter of our work and their challenge grant will help us scale up and catalyze other funders to take action." Meghan Groome Director of K-12 Education New York Academy of Sciences
Based on the achievements of the STEM Mentoring Program in New York City, the Academy believes that with the support of Citizen Schools, it can scale this model to impact science education in New Jersey. The Infosys USA Foundation has provided $380,000 in cumulative grants to give more students the opportunity to improve their science and math skills.
For more information, visit Infosys' press release.