SCHENECTADY — A skills camp last summer offered dozens of youngsters an introduction to computer coding at the city’s Clarkson University Capital District campus.
Now the “Rise High” program is moving to a permanent home at SUNY Schenectady.
Classes will begin on Saturday when students from Central Park Middle School, Mont Pleasant Middle School, Oneida Middle School and Solid Ground Christian Academy will join program leaders and mentors.
The program is designed to promote STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) concepts to help close the tech industry’s diversity gap.
SUNY Schenectady President Dr. Steady Moono called the effort “transformational” and one that can “can spark a lifelong passion for science in Schenectady’s middle school and high school students.”
More than 60 students currently participate in the initiative.
As part of the program, students will explore a different area of science and technology each session throughout the year, according to the college.
Experts from industry and academia are invited to speak to students, showing them real-world applications followed by hands-on activities in areas including robotics, weather and climate, nutrition, the science behind music and more.
The effort is designed to encourage students to enter the field of technology and computer programming, one of the fastest-growing industries in the country.
Students are selected based on an application and a letter of recommendation.
The program was launched by Dr. Mark Little, Terri Little and Dr. Omayra Padilla De Jesús.
Other partners include Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Schenectady City School District.
The free program is funded by the Little Family Foundation.