U.S. Non-profits Fund H.S. Science Exchange Program With Russia

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Sanctions on Russia Meaningless, Society and Culture, Technology and Energy

SOURCE: http://upton.wickedlocal.com/article/20150316/NEWS/150317161

SEE ALSO:  Finland’s Aalto University Establishes Exchange Program With Russia’s Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

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Blackstone Valley Tech: Students team up with NASA, Russians
By Mike Gleason

Mar. 16, 2015

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UPTON – A Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School program that puts students in contact with Russian high school students and NASA engineers will be receiving grant funding this year.

The Cambridge Community Foundation and Biogen Idec announced this month that it would be providing the school with $5,000 as part of its second annual “Ignite the Power of STEM” grant program. Blackstone Valley Tech’s grant is one of 18 such grants awarded throughout the state, totaling $84,520.

The money will be going to fund a program in which Blackstone Valley Tech students in the culinary arts, electrical and plumbing programs correspond with high school students in Arkhangelsk, Russia and NASA personnel.

BVT Superintendent Michael Fitzpatrick said the program, now in its second year, was the idea of Global STEM Education Center founder Larisa Schelkin.

“(She’s) from Russia, and has been in the U.S. for 20-plus years,” he said. “She looked to take on a role as an ambassador, creating new opportunities for exchange.”

Fitzpatrick said the discussions began in the school’s electrical department.

“Our students were utilizing building codes, and comparing and contrasting them with the ones in Russia,” he said. “It started with the electrical program, but expanded to others, like culinary arts.”

The program also expanded to include a well-known symbol of U.S.-Russian cooperation: the International Space Station. Students in the culinary arts program are given the opportunity to see how food science is applied on the station, while plumbing students look at the design of the station’s water systems and electrical students consider the wiring of the station.

The students collaborate, said Fitzpatrick, by using Google Docs and the Skype communications service.

“The Russians are pretty good with English, and we’re a little rough with Russian – though we’re learning more words,” he said. “They’ve been accommodating on both sides.”

The students are learning through the discussions, Fitzpatrick said.

“This touches on all aspects on 21st century skills – students learn to be mindful of another culture, time zones, and communications techniques,” he said. “Flexibility, and learning to work around obstacles, has been very helpful.”

Fitzpatrick said the school sought the grant as a way to expand student opportunity without adding to the burden on its member towns. Blackstone Valley Tech, he said, is seeking another grant to fund a symposium about the collaboration program.

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About STEM Grants

STEMGrants.com is operated by Secor Strategies, LLC which is located next to the Kennedy Space Center and specializes in proposal development and program management.  Our business motto is “We find it, we write it, we help you manage it”.  Secor Strategies has managed successful STEM related projects including The Florida Governor’s School for Space Science and Technology, the NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI), and Florida’s National Science Foundation Day.

SOURCE: http://stemgrants.com/about/

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About Secor Strategies

Secor Strategies is a small business operating from Titusville, Florida which is next to the NASA Kennedy Space Center. The company was founded by Paul Secor, who was previously employed as the Director of Technology Transfer for the State of Florida’s Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA).

Secor Strategies finds funding opportunities, writes proposals, and manages programs for non-profits, small businesses, and universities. Staff members have extensive experience working with NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Small Business Administration, the National Veterans Corporation, and the State of Florida.

SOURCE: http://secorstrategies.com/about/

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