St. Thomas Aquinas STEAM Summer Program Receives $50,000 Donation

St. Thomas Aquinas STEAM Summer Program Receives $50,000 Donation

Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc. has made the donation to support the program through the next two years.

Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. (O&R) has donated $50,000 to St. Thomas Aquinas College to help fund its Summer STEAM camp program for middle school students for the next two years. Analyzing blood spatter, processing fingerprints, collecting evidence, identifying suspects, and a variety of other crime scene investigation pursuits—a kind of CSI-STAC—are all just part of the course work at this innovative camp in Sparkill. The camp 75 students participated this summer. 

O&R also donated $50,000 to support the program through 2017 and 2018. STAC Summer STEAM aims to develop in students, the 21st century version of problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, and communication by making classroom work in STEAM stimulating, timely and engaging, according to Dr. Suzanne Reynolds, Assistant Dean of STAC’s School of Education and Director of the STAC Summer STEAM program.

“We view the elements of this program as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking,” Dr. Reynolds said. “The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.”

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Besides forensics study, other courses in the program include innovative hands-on studies in drone and robotics operation, virtual reality development, mathematics, and art. A new course features developing apps, where students gain hands-on experience by working with Apple’s Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS and building custom apps for Apple’s best-selling devices. O&R’s donation is part of the company’s commitment to promoting educational initiatives that enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning. The STAC program began in 2012 with 26 students recruited from public and parochial schools in Rockland, Northern Bergen, and Southern Westchester counties. The program is offered to students ages 11-13 entering grades six, seven, and eight.


St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340