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BPTO talks STEM at BPS

University at Buffalo professor Joseph Gardella will give a presentation and lead a discussion on STEM in Buffalo Public Schools during Saturday’s regular meeting of the Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization.

Gardella leads a program that brings dozens of city teachers to UB and SUNY Buffalo State each summer to work alongside faculty and graduate students. The teachers take part in research, and in turn, gather ideas on how to make science more interesting and hands-on for their students. The teachers take what they've learned back to their classrooms. A dozen schools participate: East, Bennett, South Park, Riverside, MST, Burgard and Hutchinson-Central Technical high schools as well as Harriet Ross Tubman, Charles Drew Science Magnet, Lorraine Academy, Southside Elementary and Native American Magnet.

The millions of dollars secured for the program have equipped teachers with the classroom resources they need – lab kits, lab coats, test tubes, solutions, goggles and assistance from college students.

In fact, the Buffalo program – known as the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership – has gained national attention. Called ISEP, for short, the program is among 27 from around the United States picked to launch a national effort promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to young people. The national initiative was recognized in November 2015 during a White House event and aims to reach those traditionally left out of the STEM fields: blacks, Hispanics, females and the disadvantaged.

The public is invited to attend the BPTO meeting, which starts with a Continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the business meeting at 9 a.m. It will be held at East High School, 820 Northampton St.

Also during Saturday’s BPTO meeting, Gardella will be joined by Farhana Hasan, UB’s ISEP project manager.

Upcoming BPTO meetings, speakers and topics include:

-Dec. 16 - BPS Assistant Superintendent Fatima Morrell on culturally responsive education

-Jan. 21 - BPS Superintendent Kriner Cash on state of the school district

-Feb. 11 - BPS Chief of Strategic Alignment & Innovation David Mauricio on community schools initiative

-March 28 – New York State Regent Catherine Collins

-April 22 – BPS Chief Academic Officer Anne Botticelli on early elementary education and student success plan

-May 20 – BPS Title 1 Director Jaime Cohen on Every Student Succeeds Act

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