Category Archives: Stem

Request For Volunteers: CNY Regional VEX IQ Robotics Challenge

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This just in from the TACNY listserve.

Volunteers are needed for the CNY Regional VEX IQ Robotics Challenge – “Crossover” – which will be held at the MOST (Milton J. Rubinstein Museum of Science and Technology) on Saturday, January 21, 2017. The snow date for the competition is Sunday, January 22. Snow day status will be presented as a scroll on the MOST website on Friday evening, January 20.

Volunteers are the nuts and bolts of this robotics design, build, and compete engineering event. Of course, artificial intelligence requires human intelligence! We hope that all of you, our talented, local community, will be interested in and available to share your skills and knowledge to educate and inspire our local youth as part of our volunteer team this year.

All volunteers are welcome to arrive at the MOST at 8:00am on competition day. Due to competition needs, volunteers assigned to certain positions must arrive at 8:00am, and the remainder must arrive by 10:15am. The competition is anticipated to conclude at 3:30pm.

We will hold volunteer training at the MOST on Friday, January 20, 2017, at 5:30pm. Training is HIGHLY recommended for volunteers who have no previous experience in VEX IQ competitions, or who are filling technical volunteer positions such as Referee, Judge, Timekeeper/scorekeeper, Field Assistants, Pit Assistants, Inspectors, etc.

We offer our volunteers complimentary breakfast and lunch on event day.

If this robotics competition sounds like fun to you, please contact Diane E. Plumley, at, and provide the following information:

* Your volunteer position preferences, or whether you would like to be assigned “as needed.” (Volunteers will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and if you happen to request positions that have already been filled, event organizers will respond to and work with you directly via email, as there is room for flexibility, and always more help is needed on event day!!)

* Whether you will attend volunteer training on Friday evening, January 20, at 5:30pm, at the MOST.

* Whether you have technical robotics prowess, either professionally, educationally, or as a hobbyist.

* Your name as you would like it to appear on a name badge and promotional materials.

* Your academic or professional affiliation as you would like it to appear on a name badge and on promotional materials.

If you have friends or colleagues that may like to volunteer, please forward this email along to them. If you have questions about volunteering, available volunteer roles, or about the event in general, please contact Diane E. Plumley, at

Infinite thanks to all of you!! We cannot do this without you!! With your help, it will be a successful Challenge!!

Diane & the 2017 CNY Regional VEX IQ Robotics Challenge Organizational Committee


Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

Judges Needed For GENIUS Olympiad – Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY email list:

GENIUS Olympiad

We would like you to serve as a judge for GENIUS Olympiad to help us encourage young scientific minds from all over the world. If you would like to be a judge for the GENIUS Olympiad, please register on our website.

The GENIUS Olympiad is an international high school competition about environmental issues. The competition covers the disciplines of Science, Design, Visual and Performing Arts, Creating Writing, and Business. We are expecting more than 500 projects from 66 countries and 31 states (900 participants).

Anyone with a passion for environmental issues and a BS/BA degree in STEM, business, art, or education may volunteer to be a judge for the appropriate field. As a judge, there is a time commitment of at least three hours per session, in which you are expected to talk to 11 students and grade their performance based on judging criteria given to you. We would like to have you for both morning and afternoon sessions, if possible.

We will provide lunch and refreshments during judging, free parking, and a GENIUS Olympiad T-shirt for those who volunteer their time. More information will be sent via email to those who register.


* Tuesday, June 14, 2016
* Morning Session: 9-12 AM
*Afternoon Session: 1-3.30 pm
* SUNY Oswego Campus, Campus Center Arena (Science/Art/Design), Oswego, NY 13126

You are also invited to the International Cultural Festival at 5 pm on the same day. This event is fun and engaging with performances and activities from around the world.

If you would like to be a judge for the GENIUS Olympiad, please register on our website. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your friends and colleagues to invite them to join us. We particularly need judges for science, design, and business.

For information:
Dr. Fehmi Damkaci

phone: (315) 312 2698
fax: (315) 312 5424

Girls Summit 2016 – STEM Career Orientation Day, 7 May 2016

From the TACNY email list – see for registration information – and I’m assuming they mean Friday, April 22nd.

What: Girls Summit is a STEM Career Orientation day that aims to:

(1) spark the spirit, trigger the imagination and encourage young women to consider new and exciting career opportunities

(2) Increase a girl’s interest in math, science and technology and in sticking with school

(3) Provide girls with opportunities to meet and form personal contacts with women working in non- traditional fields

(4) provide hands-on learning about alternative careers in a format that is committed to benefiting girls of all ethnicities, races, religions and abilities.

When: The event will be held on Saturday, May 7th from 9:00am to 3:30pm (PRE-REGISTER BY FRIDAY APRIL 25TH)

Where: (SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryMarshall Hall)

How Much: $5.00

For additional information please contact Flavia Rey de Castro, Program Director, at or at 315-424-0040


Click for a larger view.

European Southern Observatory – Catch A Star 2016 Writing Contest Now Open

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following first came across my inbox courtesy of George Normandin of Kopernik Astronomical Society – the 2016 installment of the Catch A Star Contest for student writing. Details are provided below. With school in session (perhaps to get the keen eye of one’s English teacher) and the weather currently no good for observing (although you have some lead time!), now’s a great time to get a young observer writing early and writing often.

2016feb6_cas_logo_mediumThe goal of the European Astronomy Contest Catch a Star is to stimulate the creativity and independent work of students from European secondary schools, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills, and to help the spread of information technologies in the educational process.

Catch a Star is a contest that has been held as a result of the collaboration between the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The idea of the Catch a Star program is to encourage students to work together, to learn about astronomy and discover things for themselves by researching information on an astronomical object.

* * *

School students around the world are invited to take part in the 2016 Catch a Star astronomy writing contest.

To participate, students should submit a written report on an astronomical topic of their choice — for example, an astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem or theory. Reports must be written in English and be no more than 5000 words in length. They may be undertaken by groups of up to three students, plus a group leader who is not a student.

Each submission must be emailed as a PDF file to The deadline for all entries is 30 November 2016.

The five winners will each receive a mounted image of a fascinating astronomical object, courtesy of ESO. In addition, each winner will also have the chance to carry out remote observations at the National Astronomical Observatory “Rozhen”, Bulgaria, or to hold a video conference with a professional astronomer.

Catch a Star is organised jointly by the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and ESO. Its aim is to encourage creativity and independent work amongst students, and to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills.

Find out more about the competition on the Catch a Star website.


* Catch a Star 2016 –
* How to participate –
* Catch a Star 2015 winners –


Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator & Strategy Officer
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65

NYS STEM Incentive Program – 2016 Announcement

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

A reproduction of the key info from the Higher Education Services Corporation NYS STEM Incentive Program is below. This is, hopefully, the most useful post to the CNYO website this year – with thanks to Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli for sending out flyers about this announcement.

The NYS STEM Incentive Program provides a full SUNY tuition scholarship to the top 10 percent of students in each NYS high school if they pursue a STEM degree in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program and agree to live in NYS and work in a STEM field in NYS for five years after graduation.


An applicant must:

  • be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • be a high school senior/recent high school graduate who will be enrolled full time at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University, beginning in the fall term following his or her high school graduation;
  • be ranked in the top 10 percent of his/her high school graduating class of a NYS high school;
  • be matriculated in an undergraduate program leading to a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics at a SUNY or CUNY college;
  • earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher each term after the first semester;
  • execute a service contract agreeing to reside and work in NYS for five years in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. View the terms and conditions of the service contract;
  • not be in default on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any state award; and
  • be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a state award.

Students matriculated in these programs of study may be eligible for a STEM Incentive Program award. The program of study must result in an approved occupation.

Award Amounts

A recipient receives an annual award for full-time study equal to the annual tuition charged to NYS resident students attending an undergraduate program at the State University of New York (SUNY), or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the Standard SUNY Tuition Rate was a maximum of $6,470 per year.

The STEM Incentive Program award will be reduced by the amount of any other tuition-only assistance award, such as the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), received.

Note: Any award payment received may have tax implications. Any questions regarding this should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.


A recipient is entitled to an annual award for not more than four academic years of full-time undergraduate study while matriculated in an approved program leading to a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics or five years if the program of study requires five years.

How to Apply

The application deadline for the 2015 STEM Incentive Program has passed.

The application for 2016 graduating high school seniors will be available in January 2016.


A recipient is not required to submit another NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Incentive Program Web Application once awarded this scholarship, but must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Payment of State Grants, Scholarships and Awards Application each year to receive payment.

Awards will be paid directly to the colleges on behalf of students upon the successful completion of each term. Successful completion of a term means the applicant meets all of the eligibility requirements for the award.

Frequently Asked Questions

View commonly asked questions pertaining to STEM.


Please contact the HESC Scholarship Unit at or 1-888-697-4372 with questions about this Program.