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Hofstra gets $150G for STEM programs

Hofstra University is Long Island's largest private university,

Hofstra University is Long Island's largest private university, with more than 12,000 students. Tuition, room and board for undergrads tops $44,000 a year. (Oct. 11, 2011) Credit: Alexi Knock

Hofstra University has been awarded more than $150,000 to advance its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — STEM — research and education programs.

Money from three grants, donated by the Motorola Solutions and American Honda Foundations, will help expand Hofstra’s STEM outreach to more elementary and secondary schools on Long Island, said Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, director of STEM Studio, Hofstra’s School of Education learning lab. It also will go toward the university’s MathApps academy for middle school students.

The lab will use some of the funds to offer transportation from K-12 schools beyond walking distance from the college campus.
“We mostly serve Uniondale because they could walk to the lab,” Brooks said. “Buses are very expensive.”

The funds will also subsidize program costs so the clinic can open two extra days a week.

Children at the studio learn to come up with solutions to problems, such as designing an ambulance route or a pulley to rescue someone from a cave.

Additional grant money will be used to open Hofstra’s MathApps Saturday Academy for middle schoolers this spring, to teach 50 Long Island children to design games and applications using math.

Program director Roberto Joseph said he was inspired to create the academy after he designed an iPhone app called Circuit Math.

“Instead of downloading and using others’ apps, why can’t we get kids to build their own?” he asked.

Joseph said his goal is to get younger generations to think like innovators instead of consumers.

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