Other STEM Programs at Columbia

HK Maker Lab

The Hk Maker Lab is a suite of programs focused on introducing high school students to engineering design and STEM careers. The Hk Maker Lab is comprised of three components. The first, and most critical, component is the summer program, in which NYC high school students from minority groups or underserved high schools come to the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia for the opportunity to learn and apply the engineering design process. The summer program is free for all participants. The second part of the Hk Maker Lab entails placing summer program alumni in high-quality internships, giving them real-world STEM career experiences. Finally, the Hk Maker Lab summer program functions as a professional development opportunity for NYC high school teachers. Teachers are trained on how to teach the engineering design process to their students. Our goal is to stimulate teachers to create design-centric classes that can be taught to students throughout the City.

Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

Brain Research Apprenticeships In New York At Columbia (BRAINYACS) is a program for high school students interested in science. It gives them an opportunity to get hands-on experience as they work in neuroscience laboratories. Enrolled students have weekend trainings from January throughout the academic year, after which they work in laboratories for five weeks in the summer, mentored by MB&B students.

Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO) is an organization led by graduate students from Columbia University, brings the magic of brains closer to children and awakens their interest in brains and science in general. CUNO started with a small group of Columbia students visiting classrooms and teaching workshops. Now, the program members are not only graduate students, but also postdocs, research assistants, and a few undergraduates. The program consists of single-visit classroom workshops (occurring October through January), multi-visit classroom workshops (occurring in the spring semester), New York City Brain Bee co-hosting, and competitor training and curriculum development.

NeuWrite is a project started by members of the neuroscience department, with the goal to develop new approaches for communicating science to the public. The group members are various; from scientists, postdocs, and researchers to writers, filmmakers, journalists, and many others. NeuWrite aims to promote the involvement of scientists in media coverage of their fields and to advocate for a new standard for scientific coverage at leading publications. As the group expanded in New York City, similar activities have occurred in other cities, including Boston and Stanford.

Astronomy Department

Stargazing events are organized by Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach throughout the school year. The events take place every Friday (usually on the roof of the Pupin Hall), and besides stargazing, consist of public lectures, slideshows, and Q&A with astronomers. During the summer, lectures are replaced with a sci-fi movie followed with a burning discussion mainly focused on separating fiction from scientific facts. Once everything is clear (including the sky), the audience can gather around a telescope and enjoy the view.

Rooftop Variables expand borders of astronomy taught in New York City schools by starting an astronomy club in each school included in the project. It is being realized thanks to all the graduate students and high school science teachers who are successfully collaborating. In order to learn how to use the equipment for observation of variable stars properly, students and teachers are being mentored by PhD students.

Bridge to PhD Program is intended for students who are interested in pursuing research and graduate studies in natural science disciplines. The program aims to enhance the participation of students from under-represented groups in PhD programs. To achieve this, the Bridge Program provides an intensive research, coursework, and mentoring experience to post-baccalaureates seeking to strengthen their graduate school applications and to prepare for the transition into graduate school.

Science Honors Program at Columbia University

SHP offers various courses instructed by scientists and mathematicians who are actively engaged in research at the University. The target group is high school students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades who have shown a great interest in sciences and mathematics. Classes are held on Saturdays throughout the academic year, and they are mostly focused on physical, chemical, biological, behavioral, and computing sciences.

Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

This program aims to provide scientific research experience to K-12 teachers (Research Experience for Teachers) to pass the knowledge on to their students. Participants of the program will be included in seminars mostly led by Columbia University faculty, and also in presentation and discussions on their own and their colleagues’ research.

Secondary School Field Research Program

SSFRP at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory was founded with the idea to bring high school teachers and their students to work on research projects along with scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The program is currently established among five New York City public high schools, each one with a science teacher in connection with the program and who has the task of selecting students to participate in the program beside them. In collaboration with the Harlem Children’s Society, Columbia University and the National Science Foundation, the Lamont-Doherty Secondary School Field Research Program also aims to provide stipends or part-time work for students during summers.

Resources for Women and Minorities in STEM

In recent years, STEM has become a buzzword in educational and professional circles, though it is actually an acronym: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. As these fields begin to grow and more qualified professionals are needed to lead innovation, it has become increasingly clear that recruiting more women and minorities is essential for continued growth and creativity. Historically, these populations have accounted for a small fraction of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, which are often regarded as male-dominated industries.

Check out the links below for more information!