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Expansion of the McNair CITIES Program

Expansion of the McNair CITIES ProgramThe MRSEC developed a new program to help enhance the curriculum of NYC high schools called the Ron McNair Curriculum Integration To Interactively Engage Students (CITIES) Program. The goals of the program are to increase student engagement and to motivate students to enjoy learning and to educate the public. In 2005, the MRSEC brought the program to a Enterprise, Business, and Technology (EBT) High School in Brooklyn. Graduate students worked directly with teachers in order to develop lesson plans, complement current labs and to train teachers to work with other teachers in order to integrate materials science demonstrations into their teaching. In further discussions with the EBT faculty, we discovered that several students needed assistance in their school's upcoming science fair. We learned that several NYC public high schools have implemented (internal) science fairs into their curriculum as a way to build student confidence, challenge potential, and instill independent achievement from a successful science fair project.

Our involvement with the school expanded from working one-on-one with teachers on curriculum and lesson plans to also working one-on-one with students on science projects. MRSEC participants were eager to share their knowledge and personal experience with the students. They assisted students throughout the science project, from developing a hypothesis to interpreting results to creating a poster display.

All of the hours that the graduate students spent with the EBT students were visible at the school's science fair held on May 16, 2006. After the science fair, the school's principal personally requested that graduate students return for 2006-2007 school year to help new flock of students with their projects.

As a result the MRSEC's significant involvement with the science fair at EBT, a former science teacher at EBT, who is now the Assistant Principal of Science at Brandeis High School in Manhattan, has asked MRSEC graduate students to work with several groups at Brandeis for the school's first science fair in the spring of 2007.

Students from Enterprise, Business and Technology High School in Brooklyn display their projects at the school's Science Fair held on May 16, 2006

For more information, please contact: Justine Herrera .