Black Family Technology Awareness Day at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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2013 Black Family Technology Awareness Day
2013 Black Family Technology Awareness Day

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at fam-tech@rpi.edu.

Black Family Technology Awareness Day is part of a larger Rensselaer effort to interest area young people and their families in pursuing occupations in the fields of science and engineering. Other “pipeline” events include: Design Your Future Day, to engage young girls in science and engineering studies and professions; Exploring Engineering Day, to spark the interest of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in science, technology, and engineering; and the Rensselaer Molecularium™ project, to teach young children about the smallest forms of matter.

Black Family Technology Awareness Day draws nearly 1,000 students, families, educators, and members of the surrounding community to the Rensselaer campus.

“Innovating a Resilient World Through STEM”

Eventbrite - STEMFEST 2016: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 17th Black Family Technology Awareness Day

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will host the 17th Black Family Technology Awareness Day on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. The daylong STEM event is designed to expose area students and their families to educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) and the arts. The event is free and open to the public. The program will be held on the Rensselaer campus from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The 2016 theme will be “Innovating a Resilient World Through STEM.”

The program will begin with an opening ceremony at 9:15 a.m. in Darrin Communications Center (DCC), room 308. Rensselaer, featuring remarks from Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson and Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20). Immediately following the ceremony, attendees will be immersed in a series of workshop offerings that will be held in various spaces on campus and also in downtown Troy from 10 to 11:45 a.m.

This year, workshop highlights include understanding the importance of computer science by teaching students and their parents how to code; using LEGO robotics to explore software programming; teaching an intro to Latin dance as a means of applying science to help students learn about musculature and the use of electromyography to measure force produced by specific muscle groups while dancing; and designing wind turbines. There also will be a meditation offering, and workshops exploring the power of teams, encryption in today’s world, the basics of particle simulation using examples from Disney’s Frozen, humanitarian logistics through a simulated donation drive, fun play activities that involve simulating the arts of indigenous cultures, and an introduction to augmented reality, among others.

“Our continued goal is to demonstrate the appeal of STEM-related subjects and research to school-aged children and their parents,” said James Spencer, executive director, Rensselaer Technology Park, Real Estate, and New Venture Development, who now has the Black Family Technology Awareness Day program within his portfolio. “We have done this by providing hands-on activities that are fun and exciting. Such opportunities create space for us to encourage, explore, create dialogue, and collaborate. Throughout the day, students and parents will truly see the role that STEM plays in their lives, and we hope that they will continue to explore the experience on their own and also through resources and future programs that we hope to offer.”

In addition, the event is partnering with TEN80 Education to host a special program for high school students. The organization—based in Saratoga Springs—develops and publishes a K-12 STEM curriculum, trains educators in the art of STEM, and organizes events that motivate students to engage and learn over time.

Lunch will be held in the Rensselaer Alumni Sports and Recreation Center (Armory) from noon to 1p.m.

The afternoon program will be held in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Concert Hall from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The program will feature Rensselaer STEM Stars, a series of short TED-style talks featuring undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and members of the community who will share their interests, passion, experiences, advice, or lessons learned in STEM.

The culminating program will highlight the Art_X initiative, which has been designed to help Rensselaer students discover the art in science and technology as well as the science and technology in art. The program will feature a lecture and performance by Mary Simoni, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, as well as a musical performance by Eddie Ade Knowles, professor of practice in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and founder of the Roots of Africa Music Ensemble, a Rensselaer course devoted to learning and performing in African, Afro-Cuban, and New World Percussion.

Call for Workshops
While we have already received a number of submissions for workshops, individuals who are interested in hosting a 45-minute workshop for the event or consideration for future programs are encouraged to complete the online form. Please review the form, and take the time to fill in the details completely. Here is a link: http://rpihub.org/bftad-presenter-registration/

Call for Speakers
We are always looking for speakers. Do you know anyone that has a great story about their experience in science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM), and the arts? In planning our future programs, we would like to showcase Rensselaer students, faculty, staff, and alumni as part of an Rensselaer STEM STARS speaker series. Featured individuals will focus on making connections to the event theme, while also sharing their own story and experience about their STEM journey, lessons learned, advice, challenges, research, and more. If you are interested in participating, or would like to recommend someone, please complete the online form. Here is the link: http://rpihub.org/bftad-speaker-registration/

Thanks for your interest in supporting and attending Black Family Technology Awareness Day. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, February 13, 2016. As things develop, visit our website for updates and event pre-registration details.

Individuals who are interested in volunteering are encouraged to complete the online registration form. Here is a link: http://rpihub.org/bftad-volunteer-registration/

Note: We will have hired photographers taking photo and video during our event. Please bring your completed media release form for any child under 18 years of age. Here is a link: http://mms.rpi.edu/videoreleaseform.pdf


Black Family Technology Awareness Day History

View images from past events.

1999 - Our first year!
2000 - Year two.
2001 - Year three.

The theme for 2002: “Bridging the Digital Divide—The Importance of Technology in Everyday Life”

The theme for 2003: “Embracing the Future for Our Community”

The theme for 2004: “Flying Forward While Looking Backwards”

The theme for 2005: “Education and Application” - 450 area students and families attended.

The theme for 2006: “Preserving Our Legacy through Technology” - More than 450 area students and families attended.

The theme for 2007: “The Future Starts with Me” - More than 600 area students and families attended.

The theme for 2008: Our 10th year! “A Decade of Discovery” - More than 900 area students and families attended.

The theme for 2009: “The World is Mine” - More than 1,000 area students and families attended.

2010 - More than 850 area students and families attended.

2011- An event was not held.

The theme for 2012: “Tetherless Training for Tomorrow’s Technologies: Heroes, Role Models, and Mentors.”

The theme for 2013: Celebrating our 15th year! “STEM Fest 2013: Connecting Minds to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through Music & the Arts.” More than 1,000 area students and families attended.

The theme for 2014: “Innovate to Educate: Re-Introducing Young Minds to Opportunities in STEM.”

2015 - An event was not held.

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