PEARL RIVER – What do crime scene blood-spatter and high-tech robots, Game Theory and Fibonacci Numbers and the Sparkill Creek all have in common?
They are all just part of the course work in an innovative summer science camp program for highly motivated area middle school students at St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) in Sparkill.
This summer, O&R has donated $50,000 to support that program as part of the company’s commitment to developing more educational programs focusing on science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies.
To see the program in action, view the video: https://bcove.video/2uWDKvO.
This year’s program features classes to develop in students the 21st century version of problem solving, teamwork, collaboration and communication. That development takes place in classes where students:
- Use up-to-date scientific methods from blood spatter analysis to ballistics tests to solve a classroom murder.
- Explore math mysteries surrounding the science of probability and its role in daily life.
- Design, fabricate, operate and study robots.
- Examine the connections between mathematics and science, art, architecture and design by investigating number patterns, ratio and proportion.
The STAC program began in 2012 with 26 students recruited from public and parochial schools in Rockland, northern Bergen and Southern Westchester counties. The program is offered to students entering grades six, seven and eight this month, meaning students range in age from 11 to 13 years-old. O&R first donated $25,000 to STAC to help fund these programs over a two-year period in 2015.
Earlier this year, O&R awarded more than $30,000 in grants to 34 STEM Classroom Grants program throughout its service area. Since that program’s inception three years ago, O&R has awarded 89 grants totaling $85,000.