The New York Academy of science is the third-oldest scientific society and among the most prestigious in the United States. An independent, non-profit organization with more than 25,000 members in 140 countries, the Academy’s mission is to advance understanding of science and technology. It identifies and promotes scientific advances across disciplines and professional and geographic boundaries, and builds bridges and synergies between institutions and individuals. It helps to expand scientific knowledge by convening leading experts in meetings, seminars, and interdisciplinary conferences, and by disseminating information through both print and electronic media. The president and CEO is Ellis Rubinstein; the current chair of the board of governors of the Academy is Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, The State University of New York . Wikipedia.
News Article | May 12, 2017
NEW YORK, May 12, 2017 - From May 15th to 17th the New York Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America will host the 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders. The conference convenes every five years and is the preeminent gathering of basic scientists and clinical researchers to discuss, disseminate, and highlight the advances and challenges of therapies for myasthenia gravis (MG) and related autoimmune diseases. MG is a rare, acquired autoimmune syndrome that results in weakness and fatigue in the voluntary musculature of patients. Debilitating symptoms of this disease include vision impairment and loss, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, choking, and loss of coordination, resulting in a diminished quality of life as well as decreased life expectancy for some sufferers of this syndrome. Linda L. Kusner, PhD, Associate Research Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology at George Washington University and Conference Organizing Committee Co-Chair, noted, "The 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders gathers a community of scientists and clinicians from around the world that work to better understand diseases of the neuromuscular junction and provide information on improved diagnostics and therapeutics. During the three-day conference, we work as a team dedicated to find the cure." The prevalence of MG in the United States is estimated as occurring in 20 per 100,000 people. While modern medical advances have helped decrease the symptoms of the disease, there has been an increase in reported cases, especially among the aging population. The number of diagnosed MG cases is expected to rise as the aging population increases and screening techniques improve. From a public health perspective it is clear that an increased understanding of the etiology underlying MG is critical for enhancing diagnosis and treatment of this disease. "Linda and I were so fortunate to work with a program advisory committee, made up of top-shelf scientists and clinicians from around the world, to come up with a program we think nicely covers so many important aspects of this disease," said Ted M. Burns, MD, Professor of Neurology at the University of Virginia and Conference Organizing Committee Co-Chair. The three-day conference will focus on the most critical topics for translating basic laboratory discoveries into real-world treatments for MG. Basic scientists and clinical researchers from academic institutions, treatment centers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations will review current MG treatment options, ongoing clinical trials, and clinical limitations, while identifying current gaps in knowledge and future directions that could lead to potential breakthroughs. Speakers will include a keynote presentation from Vijay Kuchroo, DVM, PhD, from Harvard Institutes of Medicine on "T cell Function in Autoimmunity." The conference will conclude with a panel discussion with an international group of experts, to discuss "Comparing and Contrasting Treatment Strategies around the World." "We at the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America are proud to convene this meeting with most of the world's top scientists and clinicians in the field of myasthenia gravis in attendance," said Nancy Law, Chief Executive Officer of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. "We thank the organizing committee, led by Drs. Linda Kusner and Ted Burns, and the New York Academy of Sciences for their partnership in making this the most prestigious conference on MG and related disorders in the world." If you are interested in attending this event in person or viewing the webinar please visit the registration page for additional information. The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been driving innovative solutions to society's challenges by advancing scientific research, education, and policy. With more than 20,000 Members in 100 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. Please visit us online at http://www. and follow us on Twitter at @NYASciences. MGFA is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against MG. MGFA is committed to finding a cure for myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, improving treatment options, and providing information and support to people with MG through research, education, community programs, and advocacy. Visit our website at http://www. , email us at MGFA@mysathenia.org, or call 1-800-541-5454.
News Article | May 8, 2017
Activ4Pets, provider of online and mobile platforms that give pet parents easy access to their pet’s health information along with web-based veterinary consultations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kevin Ross Kimber, M.S., D.V.M. as its new Chief Veterinary Medical Officer. Dr. Kimber brings over 15 years of veterinary experience to Activ4Pets and will provide progressive veterinary leadership for Activ4Pets ‘s Mobile health platform, including guidance on best practices for Activ4Pets preventative pet health care resources to help pet parents be more proactive about their pet’s well-being. Dr. Kimber will serve as the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer of Activ4Pets and well as its sister company, Activ4Vets, which provides staffing and peer consultation services to veterinary professionals. Dr. Kimber holds a Masters in Zoology from Cornell University, graduating from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Kimber is licensed to practice Veterinary Medicine in New York and Minnesota, with licensure pending in Florida. Dr. Kimber’s expertise include Small Animal and Exotic Medicine with clinical interests in dermatology, internal medicine, preventive medicine, infectious diseases and epidemiology, behavior, dentistry, nutrition, and ophthalmology. Dr. Kimber has published on a wide variety of topics in journals such as the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, and he has held positions in a variety of local, state, and international education and research programs. He has clinical experience in rural, urban, and suburban small animal and exotic animal practices. “We are incredibly pleased to welcome Dr. Kimber to the Activ4Pets family,” said Florent Monssoh CEO and founder of Activ4Pets. “His wealth of experience in veterinary medicine and his commitment to the care of both pets and their owners will be invaluable in guiding Activ4Pets toward its goal of providing accessible, affordable, and quality veterinary care to pet parents everywhere.” Dr. Kimber will help forward Activ4Pets mission of bringing reliable, widely available, and cost effective veterinary care to pet parents across the nation. The first telemedicine platform for veterinary care, Activ4Pets is designed to address some of the biggest concerns facing pet parents when it comes to the health of their pets including rising vet costs, the complications of maintaining and accessing health records (especially during travel or with new vets), and keeping up with checkups, medications, and vaccinations. “The telemedicine model has been used for several years in human medicine, with positive results from the patient and the provider viewpoint,” said Dr. Kimber. I’m excited to join the wonderful team at Activ4Pets in bringing this powerful model to veterinary medicine and help bring busy pet parents convenient, affordable, accessible pet care tools. The maintenance of centralized records will also aid researchers in gathering real-world data regarding common diseases in pets, and will prove clinically invaluable to pets, pet parents, and their veterinarian.” Activ4Pets allows pet parents to track their pet’s entire medical history, medication and appointment information, as well as find location based information on groomers, sitters, pet friendly locations, emergency care, etc. all through the easy to use Activ4Pets App or through the Activ4Pets web platform. What’s more, Active4pets offers e-consults with licensed veterinarians through a simple web-chat format, allowing pet parents to save on money and travel for simple routine problems or questions, while simultaneously providing expert advice whenever they need it, wherever they may be – even when they are outside the practice range of their regular veterinarian. Activ4Pets is the first company of its kind, enabling pet owners to access their pet's complete health history and even consult with their veterinarian online – all via an easy to use web or mobile app based platform. The platform is accessible anytime, anywhere on the planet. With Activ4Pets you are never more than a click away from your pet's wellness information.
News Article | May 18, 2017
Criticism that researchers in the psychological and brain sciences are failing to reproduce studies -- a key step in the scientific method -- may have more to do with the complexity of managing data, rather than an attempt to hide methods and results, according to researchers. However, without greater focus on reproducibility, scientists will likely continue to face questions about the reliability of their research. "What we researchers try to do is provide the science-consuming public with genuine insights about brain and behavior," said Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology, Penn State. "We want to say things that are robust and true. Without reproducibility it's hard to say that convincingly." Gilmore said there are positive trends in creating more open and more reproducible environments in psychological and brain science. For example, he said, there are more researchers sharing both data and the computer software used to analyze it. Researchers are also continuing to raise awareness about reproducibility issues with one another. "Many scientists are beginning to embrace a more open approach to science that includes developing better software tools and databases that make it easier to share information," said Gilmore. Technology is also improving, which is also helping the effort, according to the researchers, who released their findings in a recent issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Developers are creating new web-based management tools and software to help researchers work with and openly share data with one another. There are also new data depositories with increased storage space. According to Gilmore, cognitive neuroscience is a computationally intensive field that produces data files in a variety of sizes and formats. Data can include files from EEG, fMRI, MRI, CT and PET scans; video or audio recordings and surveys; or computer-based tasks. However, there are relatively few organized initiatives to encourage sharing of these different file types, nor is sharing widespread. "Right now, data sharing is still largely unfunded and unrewarded and is only rarely required," said Gilmore, who also is founding co-director of the Databrary digital data library. "It's something that isn't a universal requirement for federal grant funding, for example." The researchers suggest that requiring data sharing for funding might be one way to motivate researchers. Publishers of scientific journals also could mandate the accessibility of data as a requirement to be published in the journal; in fact, some journals are beginning to require this. According to Gilmore, while research papers are often looked at as the finished product of the scientific process, the data behind research papers are just as important. "In addition to publishing scientific papers, behavioral and brain scientists need to be more open about the detailed procedures underlying their studies, more freely share the statistical programs that they use in analyzing data," said Gilmore. "And researchers should share the data itself as openly as possible." He added that better reproducibility of studies can help researchers discover more reliable and useful information about perception, thinking, memory, action and other products of the mind and brain. "We think that investments in the future of cognitive neuroscience infrastructure will generate big payoffs," the researchers said. "Fostering the widespread adoption of open, transparent and reproducible research practices coupled with innovations in technology that enable the large-scale analysis of our particular store of 'big data' will accelerate the discovery of generalizable, robust and meaningful findings about the nature and origin of human cognition."
News Article | May 18, 2017
Criticism that researchers in the psychological and brain sciences are failing to reproduce studies -- a key step in the scientific method -- may have more to do with the complexity of managing data, rather than an attempt to hide methods and results, according to researchers. However, without greater focus on reproducibility, scientists will likely continue to face questions about the reliability of their research. "What we researchers try to do is provide the science-consuming public with genuine insights about brain and behavior," said Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology, Penn State. "We want to say things that are robust and true. Without reproducibility it's hard to say that convincingly." Gilmore said there are positive trends in creating more open and more reproducible environments in psychological and brain science. For example, he said, there are more researchers sharing both data and the computer software used to analyze it. Researchers are also continuing to raise awareness about reproducibility issues with one another. "Many scientists are beginning to embrace a more open approach to science that includes developing better software tools and databases that make it easier to share information," said Gilmore. Technology is also improving, which is also helping the effort, according to the researchers, who released their findings in a recent issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Developers are creating new web-based management tools and software to help researchers work with and openly share data with one another. There are also new data depositories with increased storage space. According to Gilmore, cognitive neuroscience is a computationally intensive field that produces data files in a variety of sizes and formats. Data can include files from EEG, fMRI, MRI, CT and PET scans; video or audio recordings and surveys; or computer-based tasks. However, there are relatively few organized initiatives to encourage sharing of these different file types, nor is sharing widespread. "Right now, data sharing is still largely unfunded and unrewarded and is only rarely required," said Gilmore, who also is founding co-director of the Databrary digital data library. "It's something that isn't a universal requirement for federal grant funding, for example." The researchers suggest that requiring data sharing for funding might be one way to motivate researchers. Publishers of scientific journals also could mandate the accessibility of data as a requirement to be published in the journal; in fact, some journals are beginning to require this. According to Gilmore, while research papers are often looked at as the finished product of the scientific process, the data behind research papers are just as important. "In addition to publishing scientific papers, behavioral and brain scientists need to be more open about the detailed procedures underlying their studies, more freely share the statistical programs that they use in analyzing data," said Gilmore. "And researchers should share the data itself as openly as possible." He added that better reproducibility of studies can help researchers discover more reliable and useful information about perception, thinking, memory, action and other products of the mind and brain. "We think that investments in the future of cognitive neuroscience infrastructure will generate big payoffs," the researchers said. "Fostering the widespread adoption of open, transparent and reproducible research practices coupled with innovations in technology that enable the large-scale analysis of our particular store of 'big data' will accelerate the discovery of generalizable, robust and meaningful findings about the nature and origin of human cognition." Gilmore worked with Michele T. Diaz, associate professor of psychology and linguistics, and Brad A. Wyble, associate professor of psychology, both of Penn State; and Tal Yarkoni, assistant professor of psychology and director, Psychoinformatics lab, University of Texas.
News Article | April 24, 2017
Each year, more than 4,000 products compete for the Edison Awards. Each entry is thoroughly reviewed by the innovation leaders that make up the Edison Awards steering committee and then voted on by more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing and education including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines. Throughout the entire process, Edison Universe seeks out "innovators who have globally influential ideas, who have exhibited the incredible dedication, effort and persistence required to bring dreams to life," notes steering committee member Kenneth D. Gray. "They remind us that what we can dream, we can achieve." In the case of Anuvia, the innovative technology was developed by examining ways to utilize organic waste—from food, livestock or municipalities. The resulting technology created a plant nutrient that fit the concept of a "circular economy" where organic waste materials are consumed and processed into homogenous multi-nutrient enhanced efficiency, slow-release plant nutrient products which protect the environment, and improve soil health and plant growth. "We are honored to be a recipient of the Edison Award. This technology has enormous potential to reduce organic excess and produce commercially viable, environmentally sustainable products," says Hugh MacGillivray, Anuvia's executive vice president of commercial. The Organic MaTRX is a novel slow release delivery system that mimics what happens to organic matter in the soil. It places up to 17% organic matter back in the soil. It does not use any of the current chemical or poly coating technologies used by other slow release products. Anuvia products reduce nutrient losses in the environment and deliver a balanced nutrient package for crops and turf. Anuvia offers two product lines with the Organic MaTRX—GreenTRX™ for golf and turf markets and SymTRX™ for agriculture. Anuvia started its first full-scale production line one year ago in Zellwood, FL. By 2020, it projects that additional facilities will open to serve crop and turf markets throughout the U.S. Kicking off their year as Edison Award honorees, the award recipients gathered in New York City to participate in Edison's "Meet the Innovators Forum" at the New York Academy of Sciences and an Exhibitor's Showcase. The day was capped off by a Black-Tie Awards Ceremony where awards were officially presented in recognition of the very best of the best in innovation worldwide. The Edison Awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison, who pioneered new product development methods and a systematic process of innovation. This year marks the 30th year that Edison Universe has presented the Edison Awards. Recipients have ranged from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. The award is considered to be 3rd-party validation that delivers an affirmation of superior quality. Edison Universe, a 501(c)(3) organization, is committed to inspiring educational institutions and supporting the business world. Motivated by Thomas Edison's unique vision, unbridled optimism and insatiable curiosity, Edison Universe is focused on nourishing the possibilities, opportunities and foundations of success to empower the imaginations and vision of tomorrow's inventors and innovators. Anuvia Plant Nutrients, headquartered in Zellwood, Fla., is a company focused on a new, innovative and patented way of manufacturing enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEF) for the turf and agricultural industries. Anuvia addresses the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic – simultaneously by providing an avenue for organic materials to be used in a resource efficient and environmentally friendly manner that helps people, plants and the environment thrive. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/anuvia-plant-nutrients-receives-national-award-for-sustainability-innovation-300444443.html
News Article | April 20, 2017
With the help of genetically engineered mice, scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are moving closer to establishing the role that increased intestinal permeability, sometimes called a "leaky gut," plays in chronic inflammatory conditions. Regulated by a protein called zonulin, elevated intestinal permeability has been associated with several chronic conditions including autoimmunity, metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and even cancer. In an article published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, lead author Craig Sturgeon, a graduate student in the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center (MIBRC) at MGH, and colleagues provide a direct link between increased permeability of the small intestine and chronic inflammatory disease. They describe how inducing colitis in transgenic mice with two copies of the zonulin-producing gene variant led to significantly more severe symptoms and increased mortality compared with inducing colitis in animals without the zonulin gene. "This is the first time that we have been able to mechanistically link zonulin-dependent modulation of small-intestinal permeability and the resulting enhanced antigen trafficking to the development of an inflammatory disease," says Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the MIBRC and senior author of the article. "When we exposed these two groups of mice to inflammatory stress, the zonulin transgenic mice showed a remarkable increase in colon inflammation and in mortality -- up to 70 percent -- compared to normal mice." In a related finding that Fasano calls "even more remarkable," adding a zonulin inhibitor -- AT1001, also called larazotide acetate -- to the drinking water of the transgenic mice completely protected the animals from colonic inflammation and death, reducing permeability of the small intestine to normal levels, despite continued zonulin expression. Fasano's group discovered zonulin, which controls the opening of "tight junctions" between cells lining the digestive tract, in 2000. Since then it has been the subject of numerous studies implicating intestinal permeability in chronic inflammatory disease. In 2001 while at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Fasano developed AT1001 as a therapeutic agent for celiac disease. The zonulin-blocking agent is set to undergo Phase III clinical trials later this year, according to Innovate BioPharmaceuticals, which has licensed development of the drug from Alba Therapeutics, a company co-founded by Fasano. A professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Fasano explains that, while some alternative health care practitioners use the term "leaky gut syndrome" to describe a variety of health problems ranging from gastrointestinal complaints to neurological symptoms, he prefers the concept of loss of intestinal barrier function. "Leaky gut syndrome has been blamed by some non-mainstream practitioners as the reason for almost everything that is wrong with a person. With the development of this mouse model to study inflammation, we'll be able to separate science from speculation," he says. Lead author Sturgeon adds, "Use of these mice will allow us to gain insight into specific mechanisms by which zonulin-dependent increased intestinal permeability can affect disease onset, clinical severity and outcomes, and even possible prevention." Jinggang Lan, PhD, of the MIBRC is also a co-author of the Annals of the New York Academy of Science paper. The study was supported by National Institutes of Health grant DK048373. Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $800 million and major research centers in HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, photomedicine and transplantation biology. The MGH topped the 2015 Nature Index list of health care organizations publishing in leading scientific journals and earned the prestigious 2015 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. In August 2016 the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."
News Article | May 2, 2017
"With more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, we know that our current healthcare system and our country as a whole are not at all prepared for this dramatic demographic shift. It already creates a tremendous need for skilled labor inputs and exponentially accelerating clinical care costs. We must, therefore, look at innovative technologies as a way to mitigate these personal care challenges and help more Americans safely age in place whenever they wish that," said Summit Co-chair Abraham (Avi) Seidmann, Xerox Professor of Computers & Information Systems, Electronic Commerce; and Operations Management at the Simon Business School. For the first time, the University of Rochester-developed Summit will be co-hosted by West Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place, with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Delivering this year's keynote address is Dr. David Blumenthal, President and CEO of The Commonwealth Fund and former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (2009-2011). Dr. Blumenthal will share his insights on The Future of Aging: Optimizing Healthcare Systems from the dual-perspective of an academic physician and healthcare policy expert. World-renowned thought leaders, including Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of the John A. Hartford Foundation; Joanne Kenen, Executive Editor of Health for Politico and Mark E. Miller, PhD, Executive Director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission will share the work they are doing to disrupt and optimize the future of aging within the healthcare, finance, technology and policy spaces. Several of our speakers straddle more than one of these sectors, representing the exciting and necessary collaboration that is already underway. Panel discussions include: An addition to this year's d.health Summit is West Health's visioning session in advance of the conference, which will bring together healthcare leaders and experts at a first-of-its-kind workgroup to develop a roadmap for improving the patient experience, based on a senior's personal goals and preferences. West Health will present key takeaways from the session during a panel at the Summit and explore the ideal healthcare system that will incorporate technology innovations, social supportive services, care coordination, community assets and more to enable older adults to age in place with dignity, quality of life and independence. "It will take new thinking, more collaboration and deliberate action by a wide range of stakeholders to ensure successful aging in America," said Summit Co-chair Shelley Lyford, President and CEO of West Health. "Effective, low-cost senior-specific models of holistic care are urgently needed and must be widely available. Some of them exist today, but are limited in scale and scope. We hope to change that." "Aging Americans and their 40 million care givers need new care models. We hope this Summit will foster novel partnerships, disseminate thoughtful ideas, and lead to new care models that address the unique and specific healthcare needs of seniors by 2030," added Summit Co-chair Ray Dorsey, Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The d.health Summit 2017 will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at the New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center (250 Greenwich St., 40th Floor), New York, NY. Visit the d.health Summit website for more information and registration; and follow on Twitter @dhealth2017 or #dhealth2017. About the d.health Summit 2017 Bringing together world-class healthcare leaders, entrepreneurs, technology firms, policy makers, financiers and forward thinkers, the third annual d.health Summit will discuss and foster the adoption of technology-enabled solutions to dramatically improve the health of aging Americans. By focusing on high engagement and networking, attendees will learn, share and evaluate transformative approaches, as well as create new partnerships to improve care and generate economic value for one of the country's largest industries, in one of its most vibrant cities. Visit the d.health Summit website for more information and registration; and follow on Twitter @dhealth2017 or #dhealth2017. Registration Information To register, click here. Requests for complimentary press registration can be directed to Anna Stevenson. d.health Summit 2017 Sponsors Grand Rounds, Home Instead Senior Care, Pfizer, Simon Business School, VNA Health Group, and Welltower. Organized by the University of Rochester in collaboration with West Health. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dhealth-summit-showcases-disruptive-innovations-to-support-successful-aging-now-and-into-the-future-300449727.html
Hayter C.S.,New York Academy of Sciences
Journal of Technology Transfer | Year: 2011
Scholars have traditionally assumed the establishment and management of university spinoffs are guided by growth and the pursuit of profit. However, few studies have examined the motivations and post-establishment success definitions of entrepreneurs themselves. This paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of the mediating factors of academic entrepreneurship through an in-depth interview-based study of 74 nascent academic entrepreneurs. The results show that academic entrepreneurs define success in a number of complex, interrelated ways including technology diffusion, technology development, financial gain, public service and peer motivations, among others. Furthermore, a large percentage of the respondents have little immediate interest in growth and have instead established their firms to pursue other sources of development funding. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 836.20K | Year: 2012
The State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) are collaborating to implement the SUNY/NYAS STEM Mentoring Program, a full scale development project designed to improve the science and math literacy of middle school youth. Building upon lessons learned through the implementation of national initiatives such as NSFs Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program, university initiatives such as the UTeach model, and locally-run programs, this projects goals are to: 1) increase access to high quality, hands-on STEM programs in informal environments, 2) improve teaching and outreach skills of scientists in training (graduate and postdoctoral fellows), and 3) test hypotheses around scalable program elements. Together, SUNY and NYAS propose to carry out a comprehensive, systemic science education initiative to recruit graduate students and postdoctoral fellows studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at colleges and universities statewide to serve as mentors in afterschool programs. SUNY campuses will partner with a community-based organization (CBO) to place mentors in afterschool programs serving middle school students in high-need, low-resource urban and rural communities.
Project deliverables include a three-credit online graduate course for mentor training, six pilot sites, a best practices guide, and a model for national dissemination. The online course will prepare graduate and postdoctoral fellows to spend 12-15 weeks in afterschool programs, introducing students to life science, earth science, mathematics and engineering using curriculum modules that are aligned with the New York State standards. The project design includes three pre-selected sites (College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering at the University of Albany, SUNY Institute of Technology, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center) and three future sites to be selected through a competitive process, each of which will be paired with a CBO to create a locally designed STEM mentoring program. As a result, a minimum of 192 mentors will provide informal STEM education to 2,880 middle school students throughout New York State.
The comprehensive, mixed-methods evaluation will address the following questions:
1) Does student participation in an afterschool model of informal education lead to an increase in STEM content knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and interest in pursuing further STEM education and career pathways?
2) Do young scientists who participate in the program develop effective teaching and mentoring skills, and develop interest in teaching or mentoring career options that result in STEM retention?
3) What are the attributes of an effective STEM afterschool program and the elements of local adaptation and innovation that are necessary to achieve a successful scale-up to geographically diverse locations?
4) What is the role of the afterschool model in delivering informal STEM education?
This innovative model includes a commitment to scale across the 64 SUNY campuses and 122 Councils of the Girl Scouts of the USA, use an online platform to deliver training, and place scientists-in-training in informal learning environments. It is hypothesized that as a result of greater access to STEM education in an informal setting, participating middle school youth will develop increased levels of STEM content knowledge, self-efficacy, confidence in STEM learning, and interest in STEM careers. Scientist mentors will: 1) gain an understanding of the context and characteristics of informal science education, 2) develop skills in mentoring and interpersonal communication, 3) learn and apply best practices of inquiry instruction, and 4) potentially develop interest in teaching as a viable career option. It is anticipated that the project will add to the research literature in several areas such as the effectiveness of incentives for graduate students; the design of mentor support systems; and the structure of pilot site programs in local communities. Findings and materials from this project will be disseminated through presentations at local, regional, and national conferences, publications in peer-reviewed journals focused on informal science education, and briefings sent to more than 25,000 NYAS members around the world.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DEVELOP& LEARNING SCIENCES/CRI | Award Amount: 15.00K | Year: 2015
This award will emable the participation of students and early-career professionals in the conference, Shaping the Developing Brain: Prenatal through Early Childhood, to be held November 11 - 13, 2014 at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. This multidisciplinary conference will convene leading researchers with expertise in the fundamental stages of early brain development, and will include exploration of the connection between research and improved outcomes for children. Conference sessions will present the latest discoveries regarding the development of human learning and memory, emotion, and social behavior in the first few years of life and explore socioeconomic, family, and nutritional factors that can influence both brain and behavior. Discussion topics will include implications for educational practices, health and nutrition practices, applied research, and government policy with the potential for enhancing healthy brain development and assisting children with, or at risk for, developmental delays and disorders.
Through a competitive application process, travel and registration fellowships, underrepresented minority fellowships, and child care grants will be awarded to 23 students, postdoctoral fellows, junior investigators, and recent graduates in science, medicine, psychology, education, and public health. Fellowships and grants will be awarded to applicants based on a written description of need, the relevance of their work to the conference topics, and letters of recommendation. Applicants who received high marks on their research abstracts to present during the conference poster sessions will be given priority. Participation in the conference will provide opportunities for outstanding individuals in the initial stages of their careers to interact with and gain insight from senior researchers, promoting future collaborations addressing the cognitive and behavioral development of the nations most vulnerable children.