#19 Stony Brook-Brentwood Collaboration Will Give Teachers Hands-on Professional Development Training

With Stony Brook University personnel, Brentwood Middle School and High School teachers will get to participate in the Scientist and Teachers Engaging in Professional Development with University Personnel (STEPD-UP) program.

This collaboration will engage teachers in hands-on learning about Long Island’s salt marshes and marine ecosystems, dovetailing Engineering Design standards with Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems.

Ecology and Evolution with students at Flax Pond Marine Laboratory, an excellent training location that will now be used for the teacher training.

Teachers will apply problem-solving strategies, hands-on laboratory work, lesson-plan writing and learning techniques to provide in-service training to others. By engaging educators in scientific questions and investigations of global and local relevance with experts, STEPD-UP creates novel student-centered activities that educators can use to further students’ 21st century skills.

Project leader Rebecca Grella, a PhD graduate from the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook, has taught at Brentwood Union Free School District (the state’s largest suburban school district) for 17 years. Grella has created a research laboratory at Brentwood High School, which is referred to locally as “Little Stony Brook.”

Through this comprehensive professional plan, secondary science teachers participating in STEPD-UP will develop confidence for themselves and for their students, and engage in meaningful collaboration of innovative ideas, skills and expertise with their peers and University professors to positively affect student outcomes.

Read more: https://news.stonybrook.edu/facultystaff/stony-brook-brentwood-collaboration-will-give-teachers-hands-on-professional-development-training/

#18 Program Offers Spinal Cord Injury Survivors New Opportunities

Every summer, spinal cord injury survivors from across the country gather at Stony Brook University for two weeks of intensive rehab and camaraderie through a program run by Empower SCIa nonprofit organization that helps individuals develop skills that foster independence.

The program was founded in 2012 by three New England therapists who were troubled by ever-shortening rehab stays for spinal cord injury patients.

Therapists work with Ethan Callihan to practice transferring in and out of a wheelchair at Empower SCI.

Although Empower SCI program participants pay a fee, fundraising and a team of more than 50 volunteers help defray some of the costs.

Students in the School of Health Technology and Management were eager for hands-on experiences, so along with several faculty they assisted Empower SCI staff. What’s more, residence halls provided ample space for participants and live-in volunteers.

“A lot of our patients have had their injuries in the water, so there’s an element of facing old fears and overcoming the past,” said Tiffany Moy ’19, a graduate student in occupational therapy who volunteered at this summer’s Empower SCI. “They feel so excited because it’s something they never thought they could do again.”

Read more: https://news.stonybrook.edu/featuredpost/program-offers-spinal-cord-injury-survivors-new-opportunities/

#17 SBU Professors Host Computer Science Summer Workshop

Every Monday from July 9 through July 30, Professors Aruna and Niranjan Balasubramanian, from the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, held a machine learning workshop for children at Comsewogue Public Library.

Nine students participated in the workshop that was open to children entering grades six through twelve.

A group of participating students with the professors

Guided by the professors, students learned about the inner workings of computer science through hands-on activities. They worked with software on computers that helped them understand Optical Character Recognition, digital creation, and various other computer-related tools.

“The reason I wanted to introduce computer science to local children is because I think it is critical to engage with the community, let the members of the community know what Computer Science is about, and get students interested in computer science from an early age,” said Professor Aruna.

For their last session, students created a “chatbot” that took the form of a digitally-created owl. They successfully met the challenge of programming the owl to respond to certain questions by strategically developing and organizing key words in the software.

Aruna is an assistant professor and Niranjan is a research assistant professor. Both joined the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook in Spring 2015.

Read more: https://news.stonybrook.edu/stony-brook-matters/alumni/sbu-professors-host-computer-science-summer-workshop/