IgniteU NY is shaping the future of STEAM
In a forum for next-gen entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry professionals, IGNITEU NY on March 21 focused on emerging enterprises in the Capital Region that are shaping the future of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
Among the “ed-tech” program’s highlights was a preview of the Center for Advanced Technology under construction at Mohonasen Center School District provided by district superintendent. Kathleen Spring. Scheduled to open this fall, the 53,000 square-foot learning facility will house high-tech labs and classrooms offering “real world” work environments. Through a partnership between Mohonasen, Capital Region BOCES and Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), classes will be offered to high school, college and workforce development students.
Also featured was THINQubator, the 1200 square-feet of creative space that the Tech Valley Center of Gravity (TVCG) now offers kids pre-school through 12th at its new location in Troy’s Quackenbush Building to “think, tinker, design, and make,” said Erica Ionatti, TVCG chair and THINQubator co-founder.
“We wanted kids to have their own 3-D printers, their own laser printers, and their own tools,” she said. “It’s very organized and safe for them, and still has a lot of the same equipment that we offer in the adult space. They understand that this equipment is generally for adults and they really feel empowered by that.”
Other innovators presenting at the forum included:
Ellen Senisi, founder of EdTechLens, which develops new curricula in rich interactive media;
Peg Zokowski, founder of SmartKids, which connects kids in grades third through fifth with STEM-based entrepreneurs, and,
Terri Stripling, founder of Ten80 Education, which is cultivating STEM learning and skills to improve the classroom experience.