College, Study Council Offer Science Saturdays

March 18th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

Sixteen area middle school students got hands-on lessons in computer programming and problem-solving during a four-week robotics course at SUNY Oneonta this winter.

Science Saturdays is a mini-course presented every semester by SUNY Oneonta in collaboration with the Catskill Area School Study Council. Each round targets a different age group and topic. This semester, 16 students from seven different area school districts worked alongside college students and faculty members to learn and play with Lego Mindstorm Robots provided by SUNY Oneonta’s Science Discovery Center.

Students worked in groups of two, supervised by faculty members and students from SUNY Oneonta’s Noyce Scholars Program and Physics and Astronomy Club, to build and program a robot to meet goals or perform tasks, such as avoiding obstacles on a course.

Supported by a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Oneonta’s Noyce Scholars Program is addressing the nation’s critical need for highly qualified science teachers by recruiting and training 25 outstanding science students to teach in high-need urban and rural schools. Each Noyce Scholar receives approximately $30,000 in scholarships during their junior and senior years. In return, students commit to teaching for at least four years in high-need school districts. Talented students are recruited as freshmen and sophomores and offered an enhanced curriculum that focuses on experiential learning activities such as Science Saturdays.

Established in 1951, the Catskill Area School Study Council is a partnership between SUNY Oneonta and area school districts. It provides a variety of educational opportunities for area K-12 students, including enrichment courses such as Science Saturdays, SAT Preparation, a youth concert, forensic speech & debate tournaments, the Upstate Academic Competition and student leadership conferences. The Study Council also seeks to provide staff development opportunities for schools.

More information on Catskill Area School Study Council programs is available at