Finger Lakes Hub Joins Empire State STEM Learning Network

May 11, 2012

Rochester – The State University of New York, together with education and business leaders in the Rochester area today announced the launch of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub of the Empire State STEM Learning Network (Empire STEM). The Hub seeks to catalyze collaboration among business, education, community organizations, government agencies and committed individuals to advance innovative teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines for sustained economic vitality. 

“This is a proud day for the Finger Lakes Region, as partners in the local community, education, and economic development come together to build a stronger foundation for students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education.” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “These fields are so critical in developing the skills required for jobs in today’s knowledge economy. Congratulations to all of the Finger Lakes STEM hub members. I look forward to our continued partnership as we carry out our shared vision of a brighter future for all students.”

“Business support for education continues to grow, yet we are not seeing nearly the results we would all like,” said Ursula Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation. “At Xerox, our approach has always been to identify programs that work and then leverage that success and bring it to more and more young people. That’s why Empire STEM Network is so important. Bringing together the right people and resources will create a best in class approach to STEM learning that will move the needle and produce measurable results.”

“Today’s launch of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub is an important outgrowth of the original Rochester Area Colleges' Center for Excellence in Math and Science that I helped establish in 2006,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “The STEM Hub will be the intersection to bring together educators, business leaders, government, and the community to make sure our K-12 students do not lag the rest of the world in the skills they need to keep this region globally competitive. The Rochester Finger Lakes future rests in the ideas economy and we need to be doing everything in our power to train educators and students alike to make sure our next generation workforce will be ahead of the pack when it comes to math, science, technology and engineering.”

SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline Johanna Duncan-Poitier said, “The STEM disciplines are fueling today’s economy and it is more important than ever that we, as educators, are preparing more students to succeed in these fields. It is essential that we work together to maximize available resources and share best practices to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and college prepared for the STEM careers. Together with our partners in the Finger Lakes and across New York, we are doing just that.”

Dr. Anne Kress, President of Monroe Community College and member of the group said, "STEM education is a key economic driver of the 21st Century. Challenging students to think critically, collaborate, and solve problems are all skills needed for future success. By supporting effective STEM learning in our community we are creating a skilled and trained workforce, prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Finger Lakes STEM hub joins Empire STEM, a state-wide network of community-led collaboratives advancing STEM education to prepare students across New York State for success in school, work and life. The Network operates from SUNY, in partnership with the Battelle Memorial Institute.

The Finger Lakes hub is interconnected with other regional hubs of Empire STEM, including alliances previously announced in the Capital District, Central New York, the Southern Tier, and Long Island. Similar hubs are under development in the Hudson Valley, North Country, and New York City. Empire STEM helps regions to accelerate progress through open collaboration with one another and with other state STEM networks across the country.

The Finger Lakes STEM Hub will focus on three, key areas: professional learning, student impact and community awareness. The group will provide STEM educators tools to ensure they are fully prepared and confident in their abilities to prepare students for college and careers; it will identify and promote STEM activities and events that are engaging, exciting, and empowering for students; and it will connect STEM stakeholders in an effort to share information and create best practices. The Next Generation Science Standards will be followed to create best practices and professional development. 

Kate Bennett, chief executive officer of the Rochester Museum and Science Center and member of the group said, “The Finger Lakes STEM Hub aims to connect the people and programs focused on STEM in our community to leverage their experience and resources as well as learn from their successes. Programs like FIRST robotics and LEGO® leagues, The Green Machine Mobile Lab at Monroe 1 BOCES and hands-on learning activities at the Rochester Museum and Science Center are but a few examples of the many effective STEM programs in our region. We will encourage and shine a light on programs like these to help them grow and thrive.”

As an example of some of the work of The Finger Lakes STEM Hub, the group is participating in the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS) annual conference to be held in Rochester on Nov. 3 - 6, 2012. It also plans to launch a public education campaign beginning in 2014 titled, “Energize the Finger Lakes.”

To learn more about The Finger Lakes STEM Hub or to get involved, please visit www.EmpireSTEM-FL.org

About Finger Lakes STEM Hub
As part of the Empire State STEM Learning Network, The Finger Lakes STEM Hub is a catalyst for collaboration among business, education, community organizations and government agencies in the Finger Lakes Region to advance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  Through collaborative innovation, the group will leverage community resources to empower learners of all ages to succeed in a technology-driven economy.  The organization’s goals are:  to provide educators opportunities to enhance confidence and competence when preparing students for college and careers, to positively impact our area youth by identifying and promoting STEM activities and events and to support and bolster community awareness and involvement in STEM education. 

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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