There are tons of amazing STEAM programs in the NYC suburbs!
STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics—education has quickly become a must-have for many families heading from the city to the suburbs. Between the endless jobs in cutting-edge fields to the boom in technology that’s pushing us all to be a little more innovative in how we think, learn and work, STEAM is truly next-generation learning at its best—and these schools top the chart.
#1. Ossining (Westchester)
The Ossining Union Free School District is renowned for its science programs—and the fact that they have the highest number of Intel and Regeneron Scholars in Westchester County year after year after year. Typically, Ossining High School goes head-to-head for spots in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search finals with schools like Bronx High School of Science and other elite, science-centric schools—and, often, this impressive Westchester school prevails.
From recent semi-finalist entries such as “Development and Function of Extrathymic T-Cells in Athymic Bone Marrow Transplantation Recipients” and “Ecat11 Plays a Role in the Epigenetic Regulation of Retrotransposons,” Ossining students keep impressing the community—and the judges—with their innovative thinking and sophisticated approach to very complex challenges.
#2. Millburn (New Jersey)
Science starts in kindergarten in this rigorous district and, by the end of middle school, Millburn students have covered physical science, nature, geology, astronomy, meteorology, hydrology and life science.
In eighth grade, hands-on labs are introduced where students create working models of the lungs and cardiac valves, as well as observe preserved species and, together, develop and build models of underground photosynthesis chambers. Even after school students roll up their sleeves and dig into all things STEAM. The engineering and coding clubs are very popular even at the elementary level.
It’s impressive work that more than pays off. Many Millburn high school and college students have gone on to earn top honors at the Merck Institute State Science Day competition. Others are accepted to the competitive Liberty Science Center’s Partners in Science program which places students in diverse research labs including New Jersey Medical School’s facilities. Graduates of this program have gone onto California Institute of Technology, New York University and Princeton University.
Supporting this work, Millburn High School hosts an award-winning Science Research Program each year. May 2019 will mark its 15th Annual Symposium, which is open to the public and gives students a chance to present culminating research work.
#3. Jericho (Long Island)
Jericho High School is known for its world-class scientific research opportunities. The district continuously sent students to the Siemens Competition until the renowned program ceased in 2018. Jericho also boasts years of Intel Regeneron Science Talent Search semi-finalists and finalists, as well as top finishers at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), which awards millions in scholarships each year. More than 1,700 students compete from 70 countries annually.
Recently, students have also been recognized in the U.S. National BioGENEius Challenge, LISEF Competition, Toshiba ExploraVision and NYSSEF Competition. After winning a top prize at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in 2017, Jericho High School student Kendra Zhang—and her teacher Dr. Serena McCalla—were featured in a documentary, “Science Fair.” Kendra’s work involved a new monitor to help diabetics monitor their glucose levels.
Not surprisingly, Jericho offers a host of diverse STEAM classes and extracurriculars preparing these young scientists for their innovative futures. From earth science and biology to college-level physics and chemistry, students have an opportunity to tackle complex work early on, refining their curriculum based on specific interests and desired areas of focus.
#4. Great Neck (Long Island)
Like Jericho, Great Neck schools have very intense engineering and science programs starting at the elementary level. In this district, high school students start with physics versus the more common physical or earth science lead-in. From there, students progress through chemistry and biology before landing in one of five AP-level science courses their senior year: AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, AP Chemistry or AP Physics 1 or C. Additionally, students can opt to participate in science research seminars to hone their skills even further.
Also like nearby Jericho, Great Neck students are encouraged to participate in local, national and global science and engineering competitions—and they excel. Many students participate in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest and Intel searches and earn scholarships from competitive programs sponsored by the Society for Integrative Biology, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, American Chemical Society, NASA and Cappex.
Even at the middle school and elementary level students have ample opportunities to flex their STEAM muscles. Each middle school has a dozen dedicated science teachers covering a variety of topics from astronomy to the human body to coding and robotics. Starting in elementary school, students can also participate in extracurricular and after school STEAM clubs, enhancing their skills even more.
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