Hands-on science experiments at UB together with in-classroom science lessons form the basis of the UB-National Grid-Westminster Community Charter School partnership.
UB and National Grid partnered with Science is Elementary, a California-based nonprofit, to bring scientists and engineers to Westminster Community Charter School classrooms once a month to do structured, hands-on science experiments that are aligned with the Common Core curriculum. The program began with kindergarten and first-grade classes in January 2014 and will expand to higher grades each school year.
Once a year, all Westminster Community Charter School students have the opportunity to do hands-on science experiments with scientists and engineers in Davis Hall at UB.
Studies have shown that the United States lags behind other countries in STEM education. UB and partners like National Grid are working to combat that pattern by hosting engineering camps, volunteering in public schools and implementing other initiatives.
National Grid’s sponsorship of this program is part of the company’s larger Engineering our Future initiative, which provides funding support to address STEM needs. Like many technical businesses, National Grid faces a potential shortage of engineers to help design and run tomorrow’s energy networks.
UB and National Grid are also working with Science is Elementary, a California-based nonprofit that promotes STEM education. Liesl Folks, dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, serves on the board of advisors for Science is Elementary.