About Us

The Mission

Columbia Engineering Outreach Programs aim to provide greater accessibility to academic and professional opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, especially for traditionally underrepresented local stakeholders. Through community engagement, we enhance the quality and reach of learning at all levels.

Programs connect local K-12 students and educators with the world-class STEM resources at Columbia Engineering, including on-campus and in-school education and enrichment opportunities.

Impact Statement

Across STEM fields, there are gender and racial gaps which have continued to widen nationally. To broaden equity and inclusion in STEM, engaging more female and minority students through outreach is important in encouraging students to successfully pursue higher education and careers in STEM.

Columbia Engineering strives to reduce these gaps through our outreach programs such as SHAPE, E.N.G., Engineering Speaks, and Inside Engineering. We rely on partnerships, mostly with Title 1 schools in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, to connect with K-12 communities. 

Engineering is a way to address real life problems. Everything in the human-made world is the result of engineering, and New York City itself is a feat of engineering with its building, bridges, roads, and infrastructure. Solutions to everyday problems can come from anyone, anywhere. Our programs aim to reveal engineering in our everyday lives and to inspire the problem solvers inside each of us. Engineering Outreach engages the community in the problem solving process to improve all of our everyday lives. 


Kris is smiling at the camera wearing black glasses, a black jacket, and a white shirt against a white background.

Kristian Breton

Kristian joined the Outreach team in July 2021. His career in education started when we worked in East Harlem to match mentors with students in the community. While there he launched the FIRST Robotics team #1880. Since then he has worked in a variety of roles for NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development, The New York Academy of Sciences, and The School of The New York Times. A throughline in these roles has been a commitment to providing high-quality programming to students from a wide range of backgrounds with a goal of young people seeing the many STEM pathways they can pursue. Kristian is excited about leveraging the resources of Columbia to benefit students, faculty, and researchers across disciplines. He traces his passion for STEM back to his time at Space Camp as a 6th grader.

Analiese is smiling at the camera, wearing a red dress, gold earrings, and gold necklaces.

Analiese Barnes-Classen

Analiese is an Outreach Program Specialist at SEAS. She was born and raised in Roxbury and relocated to Crown Heights in 2020. Prior to joining Columbia, she managed arts education programs at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Before that role, she worked in development and programming at various nonprofits in the Boston area, as well as the Center for Urban Pedagogy in New York. She holds a BA from Providence College in Public and Community Service Studies. She is a former member of the Boston SPARK Council and is in the 2021 class of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice Community Fellows. She is passionate about creating equitable and sustainable partnerships between the community and large institutions like Columbia.

Cassandra is smiling at the camera in a yellow sweater.

Cassandra joined the SEAS Outreach team as a Program Specialist after graduating from Northeastern University. In her five years in Boston, Cassandra worked as a Service-Learning Student Leader helping faculty integrate service into their curriculum and connected students to the community. Cassandra realized her passion for STEM education after interning at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, teaching Boston Public Schools high school students basic STEM tenets. Hearing their “oos” and “aahs” led her to pursue STEM outreach full-time. Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Political Science. When not pouring into the minds of future scientists, Cassandra enjoys reading books and baking for her roommates and coworkers.