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CEC 25 to hold education summit for parents

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Community Education Council District 25 will be hosting the 2012 Parent Empowerment Summit in Nov. 17, where parents can get information about taking an active role in their child’s education.

The council, which covers the Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace, is hosting the fair at JHS 185, at 147-26 25th Drive in Flushing.

The summit is open to the general public, but parents, students and city Department of Education employees are encouraged to attend and take part in parent workshops and get information from education vendors and various services available to Queens residents.

The event is free to the public and will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Child care, translators and a light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Any interested parties can RSVP to cec25@nyc.schools.gov.

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Nazrul I. Khandaker from York College SEMAA Program says:
York College SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy), Program participated in 2012 Parent Empowerment Summit hosted by the Community Education Council District 25 and received lots of attention from the attendees. Through this summit, vital information related to NASA-sponsored York SEMAA Program was effectively communicated by Theresa Deepan (Office Staff, York SEMAA Program) and Shadai Deepan (4th grade teacher, York SEMAA Program) to the participating community members. It certainly enabled York SEMAA site to update attendees about the status of K1-9 NASA outreach education program dealing with aerospace, rocketry, robotics, flight simulation, and other space-related activities designed for students. Nationally, SEMAA Program has been rated as one of the top outreach education programs and very successful as well. It is a free program and brought to the community with the help of dedicated K1-9 public school teachers and aimed at inspiring and educating next generation explorers. York SEMAA Program already graduated well-over 13,000 students since 1999 and will continue to engage young minds towards critical thinking and hands-on lessons pertaining to mathematics, science, robotics, and aerospace engineering. Given the current financial constraints, let us strongly hope that the NASA SEMAA Program is deemed with utmost importance from outreach education point of view by the government and sustains in order to inspire, engage and educate students to become next generation explorers. Thank you CEC for hosting this summit and inviting York SEMAA site and allowing us to disseminate SEMAA-related information to the participating members. For details on York SEMAA Program, please visit: www.york.cuny.edu/semaa
Nov. 20, 2012, 2:02 pm
Junior from Queens says:
The summer vaction was one thing I would not want to give up, so the thought of going to school was not crossing my mind. My parent told me about the SEMA Program I was not happy about it right away. But after giving it some thought I decided to go. At first the SEEMA Program seemed like an ordinary class, nothing to exciting. However as the day went by I did not realize how much amazing information I learned. Everyday going home I told my parents all the the new little scientific facts I learned. The best part of the program was building a rocket.
The rocket was the most memeorable thing this summer. Making designs on how my rocket would look when I send it up in the sky. But using a real engine to propel the rocket was the best part it was not like a kindergarten project using mentos and soda. This was building and creating a real science experiment. The day we launched my rocket it went so high in the sky and it was amazing I felt like I accomplished a great experiment to science. However there was one thing I did not care for in the SEMA Progam.
The part that I was not to found of was that when I finally got into the grove of things it ended too soon. If it could have lasted a couple more week it would have been perfect. I felt like I could do more and we could have done another experiment.
I am glad I attended this program I would do it again it was something I would never forget. I would definitely let other kids know and have my parents spread the word about the program it is something that everyone should experience . As much as I love this program it helped with my classes that I took this year and it made me feel good to be the student raising their hand to answer the questions in science class.
Dec. 1, 2012, 9:03 am
Junior from Richmond Hill says:
The summer vacation was one thing I would not want to give up, so the thought of going to school was not crossing my mind. My parent told me about the SEMAA Program I was not happy about it right away. But after giving it some thought I decided to go. At first the York SEMAA Program seemed like an ordinary class, nothing too exciting. However as the day went by, I was amazed at the amount facts I retained. Everyday going home I told my parents all the new little scientific facts I learned. The best part of the program was assembling a rocket from scratch.
The rocket was the most memorable thing that summer. Making designs on how my rocket would look when I send it up in the sky. But using a real engine to propel the rocket was the best part, not like a kindergarten project using mentos and soda. This was building and creating a real science experiment. The day we launched my rocket it went so high in the sky and it was amazing I felt like I accomplished a great experiment to science. However there was one thing I did not care for in the SEMAA Program.
The part that I was not fond of was that when I finally got into the grove of things it ended too soon. If it could have lasted a couple more weeks it would have been perfect. I felt like I could do more and we could have done another experiment.
I am glad I was given the opportunity to experience this program. I would do it again and it was something I would always live with and never forget. I would definitely let other kids know and have my parents spread the word about the program it is something that everyone should experience .
I'm now in my 3rd year of college and graduated from the SEEMA program when I was in the 8th and 9th grade
Dec. 1, 2012, 5 pm
Kathleen Robbins from Astoria says:
As a high school science teacher and former instructor at SEMAA, I must stress the need for science and math programs that are free from the constraints of school standards and allow for the free pursuit of curiosity and exploration. The excitement generated by SEMAA and programs like it encourage children to pursue science in an open format that is encouraging. There is nothing greater than to see children deep in scientific investigation and with big smiles on their faces and this is what SEMAA delivers!
Dec. 5, 2012, 1:01 pm
Ruksana Alladeen from Hollis says:
As a supporter of SEMAA and a science teacher, I had the pleasure of enrolling three of my children in SEMAA program. My kids were excited with the program because it provided opportunities to explore and investigate, a vital aspect that was absent from the formal classroom setting. This program not only expand their knowledge, it made them more curious about Science. After enrolling in the SEMAA program at York College, my youngest son became extremely curious about rocks and their formation. He has started his own rock collection and he spends his spare time learning about his samples. This program is extremely important for our student because of its potential to encourage our children to pursue the sciences. As a supporter, I am constantly promoting this program to my students, my friends and families. I believe that programs like SEMAA are an essential part of our community. Students need to know that science is not just what is learned from books, but what they can discover.
Dec. 7, 2012, 12:40 pm
Peter Carmichael from Science Teacher in Queens says:
SEMAA is an incredible program filled with hands on scientificly releasted activities that engages children. I always encourage my students to get involved in this program. As a new teacher, it enhanced my teaching skills and was an enjoyable experience to all who participated. My hope is that the this program continues forever!
Dec. 9, 2012, 2:49 pm
Johanna from Queens says:
This past summer was my first time working in the SEMAA program. It was held at York College and it was very engaging and effective to foster active learning. I am in my second year as a graduate student at Queens College in the Literacy Education program, and so, most of the other aides in the program were younger than me; however, I had a great time observing and interacting with the teacher and the students. “I would like to “manage my classroom without dictating all thought and decision making for my students” (Donalyn Miller: "The Book Whisperer," page 171).

I was placed in a 5th grade classroom and the teacher provided stimulating, advanced activities for the students, such as making a flipbook of the phases of the Moon, or discovering the seasons in accordance with the positioning of the Sun and Moon. The questions that arose in class were absolutely compelling. The students were able to think and use their prior knowledge and experiences to delve into the provided data.

As a future teacher, I would like to instill this independence and engagement so that my students may build upon their own foundations. Students need a structure, but also someone to promote and encourage that structure.

This was a fascinating, effective way that NASA provided for these students as well as the teachers, aides, and everyone else involved. The most rewarding part of being a teacher is to know one is appreciated and has made a change. Thus, I will remember how this prepared me in such a way that I will most certainly apply what I learned in this program to my own future teaching.
Dec. 9, 2012, 11:36 pm
Bibi from Woodhaven says:
The SEMAA program engaged kids of all ages to have fun with Science and Math and to not be afraid to hold back on anything. I was an Aide for the program over the course of about 3 years and every time the program began I saw how the kids were super excited to get involved. They were all so smart and had quite an imagination! I was proud to be a part of this program. All the teachers, staff, and faculty made the program all the more interesting.

This program helped keep the kids on the right path. It kept them away for the streets and kept them involved with learning in a new aspect. I remember one of the students coming up to me and saying that they wished the NASA program could be part of school because it is so much fun. This program gave kids and parents something to look forward to on the weekends as well as during the Summer. I knew for sure the students didn't want to leave their beds Saturday morning to come but they did, and they made the program #1 and well-worth getting up Saturday morning.

Seeing the parents get involved at the Parent's Cafe was also wonderful. They realized how important being a part of their child's life was. Even though the program was mainly for the children, the Parent's Cafe gave the children a chance to bond with their parents. They had something other than school work to talk about. they were having fun together.

This program did wonders for everyone. I see some of the students I had 3 years ago almost ready to graduate High School and they come and tell me that it was worth waking up Saturday morning...it kept me going..it helped to shape the person I have become. IT is a good feeling to have a former student come back to you and tell you this.
Dec. 10, 2012, 3:10 pm
Bibi from Woodhaven says:
The SEMAA program engaged kids of all ages to have fun with Science and Math and to not be afraid to hold back on anything. I was an Aide for the program over the course of about 3 years and every time the program began I saw how the kids were super excited to get involved. They were all so smart and had quite an imagination! I was proud to be a part of this program. All the teachers, staff, and faculty made the program all the more interesting.

This program helped keep the kids on the right path. It kept them away for the streets and kept them involved with learning in a new aspect. I remember one of the students coming up to me and saying that they wished the NASA program could be part of school because it is so much fun. This program gave kids and parents something to look forward to on the weekends as well as during the Summer. I knew for sure the students didn't want to leave their beds Saturday morning to come but they did, and they made the program #1 and well-worth getting up Saturday morning.

Seeing the parents get involved at the Parent's Cafe was also wonderful. They realized how important being a part of their child's life was. Even though the program was mainly for the children, the Parent's Cafe gave the children a chance to bond with their parents. They had something other than school work to talk about. they were having fun together.

This program did wonders for everyone. I see some of the students I had 3 years ago almost ready to graduate High School and they come and tell me that it was worth waking up Saturday morning...it kept me going..it helped to shape the person I have become. IT is a good feeling to have a former student come back to you and tell you this.
Dec. 10, 2012, 3:10 pm
Roseanne from St.Albans says:
Over the summer, I had a wonderful opportunity of volunteering for the SEMAA Program. I worked with the 1st graders, I must say they are very intellectual and imaginative. They brought life into the classroom. The students learned things from the Milky Way to the Solar System. The thing that impressed me the most was the capability of the students and their prior knowledge. The teachers are very qualified as well. I learned a lot of things about instruction and engaging the students. I loved helping with the hands on projects, such as arranging the 9 planets, etc. I would definitely say I am way more interested in Math and Science than ever before and I am a Math Education Major!
I actually recommended the SEMAA Program to my employer's grandson. He actually did the last week of the program and he loved it. He enjoyed the hands on projects and the class itself. It is a vital program for all communities, especially the Jamaica community. Not only do students focus on Math&Science but they received free lunches everyday and the educators and staff demonstrated respect and courtesy to everyone. They also explained why it is important to say "Please " & "Thank you". The SEMAA Program is a top quality outreach education program, and it should be shared with everyone. I can truly say that I am amazed with this program and I would recommend it to everyone, because every student deserves a quality education and a safe and wholesome environment!
Dec. 10, 2012, 10:40 pm
Rajendra from New York says:
As a current Teacher and Counselor at CUNY York College, I was given the opportunity to teach for the NASA SEMAA Program at York College for 7 years. This program gave the students an opportunity to further their knowledge in Science and Math. As a Science teacher, I strongly encouraged all of my students to expand their thinking about how Science can be used throughout their lives.

I taught several grades including 6th and 9th. 9th Grade, which lasted for about 6 years until funding became an issue was the highlight for many students. My 9th grade class, every session came in not wanting to be there, and left with a feeling of remorse because they didn't want the program to end. For the most part, the program helped to guide my students in their high school careers. Coincidentally, I will be teaching one of my former students of the NASA Program in college next semester.

It is a great feeling to see former students in college on a road to success. It is even more honorary when a former student sees you on the street and tells you, "Hey! You made me love science and math, and I am majoring in Science!" It makes you feel like you had an impact on their lives. This program actually kept a lot of our kids in school and kept them reaching for the stars.

From 1st grade - 9th grade, keeping kids in this program has helped them. I remember seeing some of the little kids coming to watch some of my 9th grade students, and they were like, "Oh Wow, I can't wait to get to the 9th grade and do that!" SEMAA kept the kids thinking, kept them at their best, and kept them going and wanting to learn more.

Parents and children both became captivated with the program. They loved it and so did their children. Another advantage of the program being held on York College's campus was the fact that many of the SEMAA students ended up coming here for college, even some parents began taking courses here.

The NASA SEMAA Program was close to home for many and it was a way to keep students involved in science and math. It engaged them to use their imagination and also to continue to strive to be the best. As a teacher for York College, and a former teacher of SEMAA, I want to see our kids become the future of our country, and programs like this keep them on the road to success.
Dec. 11, 2012, 10:30 am
Jomill N. Wiley from Ohio says:
Respondents,

I am so pleased to hear of the impact that the NASA SEMAA Project at York College is having on you and the community at- large. Continue to support this excellent program and to encourage others to either participate or enroll their loved ones. Grasping STEM concepts and becoming more confident in math and science will dramatically change the course of a learner's academic path! Keep up the good work YORK SEMAA!

With fondness,
Jomill N. Wiley, National Director
Dec. 11, 2012, 1:11 pm
Robert Saby from York College says:
ok
Dec. 14, 2012, 4:44 pm
Robert Saby from York College says:
ok
Dec. 17, 2012, 11:05 am
Robert Saby from York College, NY says:
I joined SEMMA in 2003 I was a teacher at a fairly large urban Junior High School in Brooklyn and a research associate at York College. My addition to the program was to substitute, for one Saturday, for a fellow research associate who was teaching the 7th graders. My first thought was if only I could have used SEMMA resources into my classroom that would make a tremendous difference into the lives of my students and secondly I wish that I was blessed with these students enroll in SEMMA. I was privileged to join the program on a permanent basis the same year and continue to be passionate about the quality of education provided by SEMMA. One basic aspect in teaching is class size, SEMMA, which is a free of charge program, provides an environment where students are engaged on hands-on-activities under the guidance of certified instructors and teacher aide.
One thing I learned over the years teaching for SEMMA is that we still have students who are capable and highly motivated to learn science and math. I am always thrilled to see students wearing 2 or 3 layers of warm clothing enduring the cold weather to attend a SEMMA session. As a teacher it is always a rewarding sensation to see so many young people enthusiastic to learn and respond to your lessons.
SEMMA is a great platform for Jamaica and his surrounding neighborhoods to provide young people a place where they can come and further their knowledge in science and math. SEMMA does not only cater to the youth; it engages parents as well on decision making pretending to their children education. The parent Cafe invites some interesting guess each week; it could be a school principal taking about the changes on DOE regulations; it could be an ladder engine company on safety and prevention, a congressman on social and economic issues; over all SEMMA plays an important role in this community and it would be a terrible lost if this free service cannot continue.
Dec. 19, 2012, 9:08 am
Zarine Ali from Ozone Park says:
York College has done and continues to run an exceptional SEMAA program. It is fundamental that students, especially those who live in predominately minority neighborhoods are exposed to math and science at an early age. The K 1-9 age groups that benefit from this free program have a better chance of succeeding in high school and college, as they are exposed to critical and more objective methods of thinking at a young age. As an alumni of York College I have seen how excited these young students are in a college setting. They feel very special and light up especially when York College students smile and ask them about the SEMAA program. A lot of students who are in the SEMAA program do not belong to an affluent family, so without this program these students will not have an outlet to express themselves. Parents also use this time to have some quality time for themselves. They can do their errands, knowing that adults are supervising and chaperoning their child at all times. Parents can also socialize with each other at the college Starbucks Cafe. It is vital that funding continues for the SEMAA program, because so many young students look forward for the start of the program each year. The college provides a nurturing, safe learning environment. At the end of the Saturday program you will always see Dr. Khandaker who runs the program talking to parents, answering questions and making sure all the kids get home safely. I truly hope that this wonderful program, not only continues but gets expanded.
Dec. 27, 2012, 10:31 pm
Theresa Deepan from York College SEMAA Program says:
In a community lacking affordable opportunity and a society filled with educational cutbacks, a program such as SEMAA unites the community and aides in the rounded development of its youth as well as the education of their parents. According to Lisa Colangelo’s article in the Daily News, the borough of Queens is one of the most diverse places on Earth, with that comes individuals from all walks of life with many strengths and several weaknesses. SEMAA’s parent café provides a stimulating forum where these individuals can unite as the old adage dictates- it takes a village to raise a child. Without the presence of a program such as SEMAA, students would have a more difficult time realizing that they can reach for the stars. When grief, poverty and hunger run rampant through a neighborhood it is arduous to conceive notions beyond the realm of neighborhood boundaries, but the SEMAA program allows for parent and child alike to be introduced and explore fathomable potentials through exploration, unification, edification and exemplification.
Jan. 23, 2013, 3:10 pm
Mortimer Wills from Arverne, NY says:
I have been teaching science in the SEMAA program since its inception in 1999 under the direction of Dr. Schlein and Mrs. Rhea Warren. This scientific and mathematical program has done wonders for the young people in the Queens community and beyond and is doing what the York College academic institution did for the community when it opened in Jamaica, Queens.
My children grew up in the SEMAA program, accompanying me every Saturday morning to construct aerodynamic planes, or fly them in a virtual reality lab, build rockets or perform experiments on impact craters. They had so much fun moving up the grades that they never wanted to leave the program upon graduation and continued with SEMAA as teacher's aides.
Financial cutbacks on a program of this kind will hurt the country as a whole by robbing it of its emerging young scientific minds.
Feb. 13, 2013, 9:51 pm
Sandy Wills from Duke University says:
I am currently a first year graduate student at the Department of Immunology at Duke University. With a PhD in Immunology I hope to develop vaccines for infectious disease such as HIV, tuberculosis, and
malaria. Before I entered the PhD program at Duke, I was enrolled in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester where I completed a masters thesis on the molecular
mechanisms influenza virus host adaptation.

I participated in the SEMAA program @ York College for a total of 6 years, first as a 5th grade student in Fall 2000 and as a teacher’s assistant in Fall 2004. My experience in the program has cultivated my love for science at a young age. The program laid a basic foundation in the scientific method with hands-on science activities- key for thinking as a scientist. An integral part of my time at SEMAA as a teacher’s assistant was sharing my passion for the field with students and encouraging them to think creatively.
March 12, 2013, 11:54 am

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