Barnard College is pleased to announce STEAM in the City Powered by Barnard and SNF, a training program aimed at pre-K through 8th grade teachers working at schools in the Harlem and Morningside Heights neighborhoods.
Launching in July 2021, the initiative will provide local teachers with instruction on best practices for educating students in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (aka “STEAM”). A generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and a matching financial investment from Barnard College will enable Barnard’s top scholars to offer pedagogical instruction to 15-25 teachers, with the goal of implementing a new STEAM-related curriculum designed to leverage spaces in nearby public parks, including Morningside Park, as environmental and design learning sites.
“Now more than ever, colleges and universities have a responsibility to invest their resources in their local communities to ensure that young students aren’t left behind by pandemic-era school closures,” said President Sian Leah Beilock. “Building on Barnard’s highly respected Science in the City and Math and the City programs, this collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation marks an exciting next step in Barnard’s commitment to the next generation’s academic success, and I look forward to seeing how our faculty experts can help enrich existing educational programs in the City.”
Teachers who partake in the program will attend a series of workshops designed to facilitate the creation of STEAM curricula that use city parks as “living laboratories” for hands-on learning that will keep young minds engaged. Teachers will also learn strategies to increase confidence and decrease anxiety around teaching STEAM, building on research demonstrating that instructor attitudes towards math and science profoundly impact the attitudes developed by their students.
“This program is fundamentally about breaking down barriers—the barriers between research and teaching, between the classroom and the real world, and between educators and exciting, positive experiences with STEAM subjects,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “Teachers are on the front lines of shaping our future. We’re proud to help Barnard empower them in making learning come alive for New York City students.”
Cammie Jones, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion at Barnard College, will oversee STEAM in the City as part of her efforts to foster strong relationships among the College, community leaders, and other stakeholder groups in Upper Manhattan and across New York City. Participants in the pilot program include SEED Harlem MS 371, PS 125 Ralph Bunche School, IS 286, PS/MS 206 Jose Celso Barbosa, Isaac Newton Middle School for Math & Science, and the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem.
"We greatly appreciate the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s support, which has made this program a reality," said Jones. “STEAM in the City will strengthen the resources and education available to local children, build upon Barnard’s efforts to bolster the pipeline of women and underrepresented minorities in the hard sciences, and activate park and outdoor spaces to unite the Harlem and Morningside Heights communities. We also appreciate Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s staff for their assistance in helping develop the partnerships with the participating schools, and the collaborative efforts of Brad Taylor, the president of Friends of Morningside Park.”
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.
Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $3.1 billion through over 5,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in more than 130 countries around the world.