Inside Rensselaer
* Summer STEM Programs Prepare the Next Generation

CIPCE offers several LEGO Robotics programs, for students of varying ages, during the summer months.

Summer STEM Programs Prepare the Next Generation
Rensselaer continues to build a national network of K-12 pipeline partnerships, focused on identifying, nurturing, and providing educational development of women and underrepresented minority groups. As the school year comes to a close around the country, more than 1,000 elementary, middle, and high school students from around New York state and beyond are planning to come to Rensselaer to experience a different kind of break from school. It’s a vacation that encourages them to pursue programs that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Beginning this month, the Dean of Students Office (DOSO), through its Pipeline Initiatives and Partnerships, will kick off its slate of summer programs. June 13-25, at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for middle school children, students will focus on investigating the origins of life on Earth and the conditions that lead to the formation of habitable planets in our own and other solar systems in partnership with the New York Center for Astrobiology — part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).

Also, more than 400 middle school children from Yonkers and New York City will participate in two one-week residential sessions on campus that include classroom study, interactive experiments, group projects, and a final presentation. The NYS5STEM @ RPI 2010 program is also coordinated by DOSO’s Pipeline Initiatives and Partnerships, in collaboration with participating school districts and the Title I School Improvement, New York State Education Department. This year, students will focus on several themes related to biotechnology, nanotechnology, energy security, and national security.

Another program planned by DOSO is Preface, a two-week residential program for talented high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing degrees and careers in the engineering field.

Launched nearly 13 years ago, Rensselaer’s Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education (CIPCE) works with area K-12 teachers and students, as well as local, statewide, and national organizations, to promote the use of robotics in the classroom. During the months of July and August, 13 different one- and two-week robotics programs will be offered for children ages 9-13 including LEGO® Robotics Engineering Academy, Jr. LEGO® Robotics Engineering Academy, Advance NXT LEGO® Robotics, VEX Robotics Engineering Academy, and vision and robotics.

This year, CIPCE plans to launch a new program — the Animation & Gaming Academy. The program will provide participants as young as 9 with an opportunity to create a variety of digital media projects. Students also will spend time learning how to make animations, music videos, and video games.

All of the programs will be led by Rensselaer undergraduate students trained by CIPCE staff. To date, more than 400 students, including groups from the Schenectady, Ballston Spa, and Amsterdam school districts, as well as the Town of Clifton Park, the Arts Center in downtown Troy, and middle school children from around the Capital Region, have signed up to participate in these academies.

For more information regarding DOSO programs, visit For more information regarding CIPCE programs, visit
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 11, June 18, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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