School Improvement

Research/Internship Program for Teachers of Science, Engineering, Mathematics and/or Technology (STEM)

This program - founded at Columbia University in 1990 and at Questar III BOCES in 2014 - provides an opportunity for secondary school science teachers to work side-by-side with researchers to conduct authentic scientific research in an area related to the courses they teach.

The hands-on experience includes paid summer lab work at local research facilities, professional development time to create lessons and a second-year mentor program.

The program was originally founded by Dr. Samuel Silverstein, John C. Dalton Professor of Physiology and cellular Biophysics and Professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In early 2014, Dr. Silverstein visited Questar III to discuss the program, its impact, and ways it can be expanded into our region. Since being founded in 1990, the program has helped to train science teachers in research techniques and led to improved practice in the classroom and increased scores on Regents Exams in science.

Research shows the program has significantly enhanced the interest and proficiency of students in the classrooms of participating teachers, as well as increased teachers interest and proficiency in science. There are also clear cost savings since fewer students are repeating mandated science courses and assessments needed to graduate.

2017 Participants:

Janice Balogh (1st year) Mathematics, Schodack CSD
SUNY Albany School of Public Health (Obesity/Eating Disorder research)

Kyle Crawford (1st year) Technology, Coxsackie-Athens CSD
Centrotherm Ecosystems (Power and energy systems, design and engineering)

Edward Bryden (1st year) Technology, Rensselaer CSD
Digifabshop/Tech Valley Center of Gravity (Drafting, manufacturing, woodworking, steel fabrication)

Ryan Debrosky (1st year) Mathematics, Lansingburgh CSD
Centrotherm Ecosystems (Design and engineering to apply to 8th grade matematic principals)

Kristopher Navratil (1st year) Technology, Schodack CSD
Tech Valley Center of Gravity (Utilization of tools/systems in makerspace)

Leonard Bacon (1st year) Science, Schodack CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Climate Change Research)

Nicole Freeman (1st year) Mathematics, Averill Park CSD
Dumbstruck (Analytics and coding)

Tom Guile (1st year) Engineering, Coxsackie-Athens CSD
IBM (working with a design thinking group that partners with businesses to address problems and apply solutions)

Deb Mabey (2nd year) Science, Hoosick Falls CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Fauna and flora research in terms of environmental containments)

Kim Hayden (2nd year) Science, Hoosick Falls CSD
NYS Department of Health/Wadsworth Labs (Molecular Genetics)

Darlene Hunter (2nd year) Science, Averill Park CSD
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Impact of particles/pollution in rainwater on environment)

Read more about why Questar III has implemented this program here.

Program Overview Video:


2015 Program Video: