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Nassau BOCES and New York Tech hold workshop for Students Soar with STEM Success program

A group of people sitting at desks in a large room watching a presentation.

Nassau BOCES Center for Online Learning (COL) recently held its culminating workshop for the second year of its five-year NYSED Smart Start Grant program entitled “Students Soar with STEM Success.” Sixty-three teachers from eight Nassau County school districts and five teachers from Nassau BOCES Jerusalem Avenue Elementary school collaborated with a team from New York Tech (formerly NYIT) through a professional development program to increase the use of instructional technology in district-specified STEM areas.

Participating districts included Bellmore UFSD, Franklin Square UFSD, Herricks UFSD, Island Park UFSD, Long Beach City SD, Lynbrook UFSD, North Shore CSD and Roosevelt UFSD, in addition to Nassau BOCES’ Department of Special Education. Each district decided on the targeted area of application, and each participating teacher chose a classroom-based Action Research Project that provided the basis for their professional development plan.

Teachers shared their work in three ways:

  • Five teachers gave “keynote” presentations.
  • Teachers rotated through breakout rooms and partnered with a different district in each room. They utilized hand-held placards defining their projects to foster individual and small group discussion.
  • Teachers were grouped by grade bands and traveled through breakout rooms to view individual teacher presentations and New York Tech facilitator presentations on technologies utilized in the grant.

Nassau BOCES was awarded approximately $500,000 annually for five years (2021 - 2026) through the Smart Start Grant. In partnership with New York Tech, its goal is to improve the expertise of grade K - 8 teachers in computer science, engineering, and educational technology to prepare their students to