– Today, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña joined students from the Bronx and Queens for a visit to the NYC Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics (Space Center).
Housed in a school building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the DOE-run Space Center hosts students in grades K through 12 daily for realistic space and flight simulations in its “Challenger Learning Center” and “NASA Aerospace Education Laboratory.” Through these hands-on learning activities, students take their math and science learning to new heights and work together to solve problems. The Space Center offers single-day class visits; week-long camps over spring break and during the summer; in-school and after-school programs in aviation, engineering, and robotics; and professional development for New York City teachers.
On her visit, Chancellor Fariña joined:
· 5th graders from PS 54 in the Bronx completing the “Space Mission: Comet” simulation. The students work as astronauts onboard a Space Station, and as Flight Controllers in Mission Control. They conduct scientific experiments and search the starfields in our solar system to locate and study a comet headed for Earth.
· 6th graders from the Pelham Academy of Academics and Community Engagement in the Bronx completing the “Aeronautics: Weather” flight simulation. They explore how weather affects flight by using a wind tunnel, model airplane experiments, and flight simulators; and collect data to complete an engineer’s test report when they go back to their school. Their visit to the Space Center is part of a six-week long curriculum that uses flight to teach concepts of air pressure and weather.
· 1st graders from PS 123 in Queens learning about astronomy in the Space Center’s brand-new inflatable planetarium.
“It’s amazing to watch students’ learning come to life in our Space Center,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “The emphasis on hands-on activities and collaboration engages students from K-12 in STEM subjects, and it creates excitement that they take back to their schools and classrooms after they visit. Our investments in the Space Center are encouraging students to explore STEM, major in STEM subjects in college, and pursue STEM careers.”
In 2016-17, the Space Center hosted 360 class trips and 9,600 students from across all five boroughs. In addition to the Center’s approximately $330,000 annual operating budget, the City is investing approximately $1 million in upgrades – including the new planetarium, new 3-D printers and flight simulators, and a “Planet Mars” simulation room where students can experience the red planet. Aligned to the City’s Equity and Excellence for All education agenda, Space Center staff are also collaborating closely with the DOE’s Math Department to better incorporate math concepts into lessons and simulations, including a new data collection component of the “Junior Aviators” program for 2nd graders and a new method for calculating the force of lift in the “Aeronautics: Weather” program for 6th graders.
"I am very glad students from my district had the opportunity to visit the NYC Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics with Chancellor Fariña. As STEM careers become a greater part of our economy, it is critical that we get our youth excited about science and math at a young age and this experience does just that. I thank the NYC Department of Education and Chancellor Fariña for providing my constituents with the opportunity to visit the center and apply the skills they are learning in school," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.