Step Up to STEM!
Mercy College's Saturday STEM Academy gives K-12 students an opportunity to learn hands-on STEM concepts and skills in a collaborative environment with distinguished STEM educators. All students also experience college-readiness programming and interdisciplinary content.
Learn more about upcoming events and explore course descriptions below.
Contact us with any questions: Mary Ushay - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday STEM Academy
The Saturday STEM Academy is going virtual for our October 30 and November 6, 2021 sessions.
Sessions are held from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and STEM kits are provided.
Animals and their Habitats (Grades 1-2)
Learn about earth ecosystems, animal classifications, and discuss the future of animal life on other plants! Live animals will be introduced at each Zoom session.
Instructor: Dr. Debbie Mumford, Mercy College Adjunct Faculty
Fun and Games with Math! (Grades 3-4)
Learn about probability, integers, multiplication and division through bingo, jeopardy, tangrams and card games. Get ready to be a mathematics champion!
Instructor: Lorine Crawford
Bioengineering and STEM (Grades 5-6)
Ever wonder who designs equipment and devices to solve medical problems? Students will be given various materials to design and test medical equipment prototypes using the engineering design process.
Instructor: Kiowa Garcia
What a Reaction! Rube Goldberg Style (Grades 7-8)
Rube Goldberg machines are a series of contraptions that are engineered to perform a simple task. Use everyday household items along with items in your STEM kit to create a series of chain reactions to perform a task such as ringing a bell or popping a balloon. Start thinking of things that you could use in your contraption!
Instructor: Keira Lam
Can you see Plant DNA? (Grades 9-12)
All living things have DNA: the chemical instructions on how to make a living thing. Have you ever wondered how DNA looks like? We will test your favorite fruits, break apart their cell membrane, and separate the DNA from the nucleus. Fruits such as strawberries, bananas and kiwis are good source of DNA because they have several copies of chromosomes.
Instructor: Mercy College Professor Dr. Devdutta Deb
Meet the Saturday STEM Academy Instructors
Kiowa Garcia, Academy Coordinator
Kiowa Garcia currently teaches 7th and 8th grade General Science and Living Environment at The Charter School of Educational Excellence in Yonkers, New York. While studying Health Sciences as an undergraduate at Mercy College, Kiowa assisted as Lead Surgical Assistant to the Chief of Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Since then, she has earned her Master's in Adolescent Education with a concentration in Biology at Mercy College, focusing her pedagogy on Project-Based Inquiry and STEM education. She is currently a member of the Northeast Region of the Association for Science Teacher Education, and is currently perusing her interest in science curriculum development.
Deborah Mumford is currently a kindergarten teacher in the Edgemont School District. She is also the staff director and educator for The Nature of Things, a company which provides science curriculum and N-6 instruction featuring live animals in an environmental program to metropolitan new york school districts. Deborah is a graduate school Adjunct Professor in the Early Childhood Education at Mercy College.
Patricia Sutton has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years with experiences in Medical Surgical Nursing, Critical Care, Community Health and software applications. She earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from Westchester Community College in 1988, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the College of New Rochelle in 1994 and a Masters in Nursing Education from Mercy College in 2007. She is currently completing the dissertation phase of her Ed.D focusing on the impact of transformational leadership theory on leadership readiness among undergraduate nursing students. Patricia began teaching at the Dorothea Hopfer School of Nursing and was the assistant director of the program starting in 2011 and continued in that position through the transition to the Montefiore School of Nursing, until 2017 when she joined the Mercy faculty.
While attending Mercy College Joseph Thomas won numerous awards for his work and was able to intern at Blue Sky Studios and credited on “Horton Hears a Who”. A few years after he was awarded a full scholarship for his work to attend the Vancouver Film School, sponsored by HP, VFS, and Computer Graphics World magazine. He specializes in conceptual character and creature design from 2d to 3d for the feature film and video game industry. Proficient in all the most used software packages in the industry he spreads his passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge onto his students in an intense full throttle fashion. Whether it’s 3D modeling, lighting, texturing or animation he is always on top of the tools being developed.
Joseph is currently teaching at the Center for the Digital Arts, Peekskill at Westchester Community College and Mercy College, White Plains and Manhattan campuses, also CG generalist freelancer and CG consultant for companies such as the History Channel.
Patricia McCue currently teaches 7th Grade Science at Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle and coaches their Science Olympiad team. She has a BA in Chemistry from College of the Holy Cross and a Masters in Teaching from Pace University. She completed her Mercy College/Wipro Science Education Fellowship in 2017 and has taught workshops in coding to 7th grade girls on behalf of Mercy's Center for STEM Education.
Dr. Kathleen Kenney-Riley
Kathleen Kenney-Riley is an Associate Professor in the Nursing Program in the Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences. She is also a practicing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore. Her area of research includes focusing on chronic illnesses in children and families. She is currently beginning a study looking at the cognitive impact of Lupus on teens.
Lorine Crawford is a NYS certified teacher of Mathematics 7-12, Elementary K-6 and Special Education. She started her teaching career in the New York City schools in 1997. She taught middle school mathematics in White Plains Middle School from 1997-2014. She is a mathematician who believes in helping young learners understand mathematical concepts and how to use them to solve problems. Lorine wants all children to believe in the possibility of success and persevere through the rigor of the new standards. Since 2014, Lorine has been raising her four children in Monroe, NY where she has been volunteering her time in her children’s classes in the Monroe Woodbury School district as well as tutoring mathematics. In 2018 she supported the Center of STEM Education at Mercy College by assisting in the training of Yonkers School teachers to help incorporate mathematics into the science curriculum.
Aimee Ferguson attended Manhattanville College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education and Literacy. Currently she teaches 4th grade students math and science at Jefferson Elementary School in New Rochelle. She was in Cohort 2 of the Wipro Science Education Fellowship at Mercy College and has presented posters at several STEM conferences.
Aimee plays an active role in the school community and continues to seek professional development opportunities. She plans to continue to foster and develop children’s curiosity in the area of science and encouraging them to be good Earth Citizens.
Cortney Kuperman has been teaching for 19 years in the East Ramapo Central School District, 17 years teaching a combination of first, second, and third grade. Cortney is currently teaching kindergarten at the Early Childhood Center. She is a mother of four, and when she’s not teaching you can find her cooking in the kitchen, planting in the garden, or camping out with her friends and family .She was in Cohort 2 of the Mercy College Wipro Science Education Fellowship and has presented a poster on using Kindles in Kindergarten Engineering at the Mercy College STEM conference in May 2019.
Dr. Renee Haskew-Layton
Renée Haskew-Layton, PhD, is a neuroscientist; her research focuses on cell signaling pathways involved in protecting the brain from oxidative stress. She is currently Assistant Professor and Biology Program Head at Mercy College. Dr. Haskew-Layton received her doctoral degree in Neuroscience in 2005 from Albany Medical College; she later completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell Burke Medical Research Institute in White Plains NY in 2011. Dr. Haskew-Layton is passionate about training the next generation of scientists using a chick embryo model to study the brain.
Duane Stilwell was born and raised in Mexico. He graduated from the American School in Mexico City, before moving to Germany and then the US. Duane earned his Bachelors at SUNY Empire and hit Masters at Lehman College. He began his teaching career at the International High School in Queens in 1997. He taught Regents, Honors and AP Chemistry, as well as Forensics and science research at Spring Valley HS for 14 years. He is currently teaching Bi-Lingual Chemistry at Nyack High School. Duane has coached several Science Olympiad teams and collaborated on the creation of the science curriculum for the East Ramapo School District. Duane was a Wipro Science Education Fellow at Mercy College in 2015, and presented on behalf of Wipro at the National Science Teacher Association Conference in Nashville in April 2016.
Professor Kessler has worked at major record companies including The Verve Music Group and Atlantic Lava, and as an engineer for platinum selling artists, including John Mayer, McCoy Tyner, Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Buffett, The Black Crowes, Jewel, Joss Stone, and P Diddy, to name just a few. His work as a television post-production engineer has earned him three Emmy awards. He is a producer, performer, composer, writer, and educator. As a musician, he has studied extensively on guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, and piano.
Robocracy - In Bots We Trust!
Robocracy is a FIRST Tech Challenge High School robotics team in Northern Westchester, NY. They were founded in 2015 by First LEGO League (FLL) veterans who wanted to continue having fun in FIRST after FLL. This team had a successful rookie year in the 2015-16 FIRST Res-Q season, and then made it to the World Championship in the 2016-17 Velocity Vortex season. The high schoolers and their coaches look to bring more STEM activities to neighboring communities with diverse backgrounds, so other kids can also enjoy the rewarding experience that FIRST and other STEM activities promote.
Karla Purcell is a 4th grade teacher at John F. Kennedy Magnet School in Port Chester, where she has been teaching elementary grades since 2001. She was in the first Cohort of the Mercy College Wipro Science Education Fellowship, and runs workshops in Family Learning Opportunities and Research in Engineering and Science (FLORES) in her district. With her 4th grade colleagues, Karla teaches an after-school gardening project for 3rd and 4th graders that incorporates science, literacy, nutrition and community outreach.
Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn has taught at Columbus Elementary School in New Rochelle for 20+ years. As the school's K-5 science facilitator she has worked with students and teachers to develop a school-wide, integrated, hands-on approach to learning called STR2EAMing into LEARNing which culminates with the K-5 Convention. Creating authentic opportunities for design thinking she has mentored ExploraVision teams as well as a top 20 nationwide finisher in a NASA Engineering Design Challenge. For two summers she has conducted research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory's Tree Ring Laboratory as part of Columbia University's Summer Research Program. Taking the learning abroad, she has spent two summers in Asia working with STEM teachers in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. She was recently honored with the Anton Banko Excellence in Elementary Educator Award by the State Science Association. Elizabeth continues to challenge herself and her students to think creatively as they solve problems and create innovative solutions to real-world situations.
Chuck Sincerbeaux has been an elementary school teacher in the White Plains Public Schools for over 25 years. He has used computer technology in his classroom for most of his career and has led many technology workshops. He completed his two-year Mercy College/Wipro Science Education Fellowship in 2016 and was a recent recipient of a Wipro Mini-Grant for The Equity Project, which allowed him to give extra mentoring and supplies for his students to excel at their school STEM fair. Chuck is a former NSF Fellow in Mathematics.
Marcia Manzueta is a bilingual special education teacher at Edison Elementary School in Port Chester. She has a BA in Elementary Education from Iona College and Masters in Literacy from the College of New Rochelle. She completed the two-year Mercy College/Wipro Science Education Fellowship in 2017 and has partnered with Mercy College to do bilingual family science nights in Port Chester.
Carmen King is an educator and mentor for over 25 years, and currently teaches 5th Grade at Mamaroneck Avenue School in White Plains. She was in the first cohort of Mercy College's Wipro Science Education Fellows, and continues to do science education leadership projects in her district . With one of her Wipro grants, she set up a sustainable garden at school with 2nd and 5th graders. She has a special interest in literacy and poetry.
Cenia works at Sleepy Hollow High School in Tarrytown where she teaches ENL Biology, ENL Applied Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Inquiry in Science. She was a Cohort 3 Wipro Science Education Fellow at Mercy College and is now a Master Fellow for Stem Ed Innovators where she trains & runs professional development for STEM teachers.
Dr. Wendy Mages
Dr. Mages is an Associate Professor of Childhood Education at Mercy College. Her research focuses on the effect of educational strategies and contexts on language, cognitive, and social development. Dr. Mages also writes and performs personal narratives. If you would like to know more about her work as a storyteller, please visit her storytelling site: Wendy Mages: Storyteller.