District Partners with Hofstra University in STEM+C Grant

District Partners with Hofstra University in STEM+C Grant photo
Freeport is one of six school districts on Long Island that have been selected to take part in an interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, Math + Computing Partnership (STEM+C) program through Hofstra University. As a result of a $1.6 million National Science Foundation grant awarded to Hofstra, Freeport will be introducing computer coding in ninth-grade Living Environment classes, which will ultimately deepen and enhance students’ understanding of the topics introduced in the classroom curriculum.

“We are excited to be partnering with Hofstra University on this innovative grant,” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, superintendent of dchools. “Students throughout our district have been utilizing coding in math and other STEM activities. We will now be able to incorporate computer coding within the science curriculum which will further expand our students’ abilities with coding. It will be in keeping with meeting the Next Generation Science Standards idea of 3-D learning. ”

Beginning in summer 2018, five Hofstra professors from a variety of academic disciplines will be training high school teachers in coding to help them develop a computationally enhanced biology curriculum. Freeport High School teacher Michael Smith will be participating in the program, and will be able to introduce coding to students in science the 2018-2019 academic year. The program will also provide tablets to students and teachers associated with the grant at no cost.

“Involvement in this grant provides students with more in-depth exposure to computer programming in science, an essential 21st-Century skill,” said district Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira. “Computer programming also enhances mathematical reasoning, making our students better problem solvers.”

Freeport’s partnership with Hofstra is its latest accomplishment in the field of computer coding. The district has been teaching computer coding across all of its elementary schools, and students are also honing their coding skills in after-school clubs at J.W. Dodd Middle School. The math department at Freeport High School offers an Advanced Placement Computer Science Class, and coding is regularly used in its research courses. In addition, Freeport Public Schools library media specialists Debbie Bergen, Mimi Bino and Lisa Eisenberg led a presentation on coding last year at the annual conference of Science Teachers Association of New York.