The Big Apple: a city famous for its class, culture, pizazz and leading environmental pushes. The city so nice they named it twice lives up to its grand reputation and has some of the best STEM opportunities in the nation. Whether it’s creative and unique museums, prestigious Ivy League schools or hundreds of welcoming STEM-focused small business willing to let students in, you will want to visit New York.
Museums & Zoos
Many museums can boast wacky locations and interesting building, but the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum blows them all away! Existing entirely inside a decommissioned aircraft carrier, the museum allows visitors a rare look at the plane that broke the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, the only guided missile submarine open to the public and even the space shuttle Enterprise. These testaments to technology are ready to ignite the passion in your students and get them ready for the many educational opportunities that can be undertaken at the museum. Take part in programs that have kids build and test robotic arms like the ones used on the Enterprise space shuttle, or learn about topics like aircraft technology and design, space science and the Space Race!
New York has the distinct advantage of being home to the country’s only museum dedicated solely to math. The National Museum of Mathematics, considered the “Best Museum for Kids” by New York Magazine in 2013, houses dozens of fun, interactive exhibits that illustrates different aspects of mathematics. Groups can partake in a private tour with various options, including hands-on sessions in a classroom with museum staff to help drive home some concepts your students might learn in the museum. With exhibits like “Hyper Hyperboloid,” “Tracks of Galileo” and the “Square-Wheeled Trike,” the question is not whether you’ll learn something, it’s whether you’ll have time to discover it all.
Inspire the next generation of scientists with a visit to the Liberty Science Museum. Dig through the museum’s giant 35-ton sandbox to discover over 60 fossils including T-Rex bones and teeth. Experience live animals in the “Eat or be Eaten” exhibit with naked mole rats, cotton-top tamarin monkeys and leaf cutter ants. Watch a show in the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium (an 89-foot dome that brings the wonders of the cosmos before your very eyes) or experience Science on a Sphere and travel the world from your seat. Want to learn even more? Book “Live from Surgery,” and your group can talk to and ask questions to surgeons performing live surgery via video with procedures including heart surgery, pediatric orthopedics or prenatal surgery.
Universities & Academia
Columbia University, considered by many to be one of the top universities in the nation and boasting alumni that include former presidents and Supreme Court justices, is just waiting for you to visit. Take part in the university’s “Engineering Tour,” which offers students a chance to explore the school’s world-class research laboratories and meet with current students and faculty. The Engineering Tour supplements the regular campus tour, so groups with mixed interest can take both and still continue to learn about the school without having to worry about too much overlap.
Interested in learning more or getting hands-on while at Columbia University? Visit their Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and take part in their many programs aimed at giving high school and middle school-aged students a chance to engage in hands-on learning experiences throughout the year. “A Day in the Life of the Hudson,” takes kids out onto the river to collect samples and learn important data collection techniques employed by scientists. There’s also the Secondary School Field Research Program, which has students use the research reserve, Piermont Marsh, to engage in rigorous research in different aspects of the ecology and physical conditions of the wetlands.
Industry & Technology
Over one hundred years old, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has had a rich and patriotic place in the nation’s history. The area continues to contribute to our nation to this day as a home to hundreds of local manufacturing businesses and studios just waiting for you to visit. Explore the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s New Lab building on a tour that will take the group among the many factories and studios, like SIFU Fabrication, Honeybee Robotics and more, and talk to the business owners and workers constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and engineering
Located in a former blacksmiths forge, Holographic Studios has for over 40 years created 3D holograms for companies big and small. The company also maintains an open invitation to any curious visitors to its gallery of holographics, the oldest in the world, and a brief tour of its lab. A visit to the studios includes a trip through the gallery, where holographic photos of such celebrities as Andy Warhol, Isaac Asimov, Bill Clinton and Billy Idol reside, and a trip into the bowels of the lab to see where the magic happens. Lead by one of the pioneers of holographic technology, Jason Sapan, under the guise of Doctor Laser, groups learn about the history of holographic and how exactly these 3D images are made.
The Javits Center Green Roof is an abnormal 29,000-square-foot laboratory and home to 27 different species of birds, five species of bats, and thousands of honeybees. Take a tour and explore this marvel while the benefits and the construction of this massive flora environment are explained to you.
Learn how many cities across the country are undertaking efforts to transform their skyline to be more green through new technology and science from your knowledgeable tour guides. Randall Island is the site of another highly innovative Green Roof. Though smaller in scale, it holds many innovative growing technologies not found at Javits, and tours available through the New York Park District via appointment.