In the STEME Activity Center of the S. Jhumki Basu STEME Education and Research Center, Viva Coles is looking at dividing yeast cells through a microscope. Coles, one of a group of students presenting work at the center’s ribbon cutting ceremony on February 5th, is preparing her demonstration on yeast cell budding, a form of asexual reproduction.
The S. Jhumki Basu STEME Education and Research Center at NYU Steinhardt is a 6,000-square-foot, technology-rich environment that serves as a classroom, research laboratory, and collaborative space for STEME (science, technology, education, mathematics, and environmental) educators at all phases of their careers.
The center is named in honor of Dr. Sreyashi Jhumki Basu, a member of NYU Steinhardt’s science education faculty who died in 2008 at the age of 31 after a courageous struggle with breast cancer. It is a gift from Radha and Dipak Basu in memory of their daughter.
“What if we lived in a world where all kids had access to a high-quality science education?” is a quote from Basu which is painted on the wall of the lobby. Basu’s vision that the best and most advanced science education should be available to all children is the hallmark of the center that aims to engage New York City public school partners, community organizations, and programs in education that are committed to changing students’ lives through STEME education.
A CRISP fellow, Coles is taking part in a year-long teacher residency program focused on helping career changers and college graduates become urban public school science teachers. The large, open STEME Activity Center room is an ideal laboratory for science education students like Coles who can have access to state-of-the-art interactive technology and all types of resources for ongoing experiments.
“Here we have a space in which to challenge our prospective teachers to integrate exploration of phenomena and exploratory models for teaching and learning science,” says Associate Professor Catherine Milne, who teaches the fellows.
Coles and her classmates will take on the role of science educators at the center’s opening ceremony. Their presentations — which include demonstrations of cellular biology, robotics, and a carbon footprint app — will illustrate the nature and promise of the research and advancement that the center seeks to inspire.
The S. Jhumki Basu STEME Education and Research Center in Steinhardt’s Department of Teaching and Learning, is located at 239 Greene Street.
(Photos of Viva Coles and the STEME Activity Center, credit: Debra Weinstein).