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Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 12:30pm

Today, Wednesday, February 26, 2020 Sterling National Bank Charitable Foundation Director Lucy Amicucci presented a check to Mercy College’s Center for STEM Education (CSE) co-directors Amanda Gunning, Ph.D. and Meghan Marrero, Ed.D.

The generous $5,000 gift from Sterling National Bank Charitable Foundation will support the Center’s Saturday STEM Academy, which provides elementary, middle and high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a program of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) enrichment led by distinguished STEM educators. With plans to grow the Saturday STEM Academy to serve more students and hire additional high-quality instructors, Mercy College and the Center co-directors are sincerely grateful for Sterling National Bank Charitable Foundation’s donation.

Launched in 2016 by Gunning and Marrero, CSE’s Saturday STEM Academy is open to students in grades K-12 and offers active, hands-on learning addressing topics such as robotics, math, animals, coding, health basics and even 3D printing. Classes are taught by Mercy Faculty or local NYS certified teachers and are specifically meant to complement their regular school curricula, as well as deepen their greater interests in STEM concepts. “We want as many students as possible, from all backgrounds, to come to Saturday STEM Academy. That is why the donation from Sterling National Bank is so important.” Marrero said.

"We need to broaden the pool of people who go into STEM careers so that we have a diversity of perspectives solving the complex STEM challenges of the future. We need to improve access to exceptional STEM education for all children and engage them with STEM concepts when they’re young.”

Noted in Gunning and Marrero’s research evaluating the efficacy of the Academy, after a few Saturday STEM classes, students anecdotally have reported improvement in their science and mathematics learning and have come to value how STEM concepts can be integrated into diverse aspects of their lives.

Gunning and Marrero help drive the purpose of CSE, which is to create opportunities for groups typically underrepresented in STEM to engage in enrichment activities for learning, career readiness, enjoyment, and personal and community growth, which may not be available through school districts. Through an emphasis on teacher and graduate student training, family outreach, college-readiness and student engagement, CSE integrates STEM ideas into a child’s everyday experience, no matter their socioeconomic status.

Sterling National Bank Charitable Foundation is honored to help the Center build on its strengths and meet its objectives of serving more families, students and teachers, and developing children’s’ abilities to think critically, and make civic and social decisions that positively affect their families and communities. A trusted financial ally for businesses and communities in the New York metropolitan area and beyond, the bank’s philanthropic arm, Sterling National Bank Charitable Foundation, supports organizations and programs focused on increasing educational opportunities.

“It is a pleasure to partner with Mercy College in supporting its Saturday STEM Academy,” said Amicucci. “Sterling National Bank Charitable Foundation is committed to helping institutions that increase access to education expand their service reach. With Mercy, we look forward to inspiring a new generation of critical thinkers that will build a better future.”