The CBIA Education Foundation is hosting its third Cyber-Challenge presentation event at the Connecticut Science Center on Monday, May 21, capping a science and engineering program that spanned the school year for 115 high school freshman from three Connecticut schools.

“This project gets young people excited about math, science, and technology and lays the groundwork for them to enroll and succeed in rigorous advanced placement STEM courses later in high school,” says Judy Resnick, executive director of CBIA’s Education Foundation.

Watch our interview with Resnick

The students from East Hartford High School, New Britain High School, and Wilby High School in Waterbury were asked to help solve real world problems presented by the program’s four corporate sponsors.

Northeast Utilities wants students to come up with ways to light high school football games more efficiently at night. Pfizer asked for research on how to distribute a vaccine during a global pandemic. General Electric wants to review the various electric car charging devices on the market and have students come up with their own design and describe how to bring that charger to market. Hamilton Sundstrand is asking the students come up with home designs for three different climates that will allow for maximum energy efficiency.

The students will be presenting their solutions to the program sponsors at the May 21 event. Resnick says drawing connections between abstract concepts taught in class to real world applications helps to improve interest and academic performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“One of the things that we know about kids is that they learn better and are more engaged when they understand why what they’re learning is useful to them and how it plays out in the real world,” she said.

The program is funded through a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant. CBIA’s Education Foundation administers the grant and is collaborating with the Connecticut Science Center and Regional Educational Service Center EASTCONN. The May 21 event begins at 9 a.m. at the Connecticut Science Center located at 250 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford.

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