On Friday, December 10 the Vaughn College Robotics Club traveled to Thomas Edison High School in Queens. There were 60 middle school students from IS 216 and IS 217 in attendance to hear about the transformational benefits of a Vaughn education and the introduction to the robotics program. The College and Thomas Edison High School maintain a great relationship and many students from Thomas Edison High School continue their education at Vaughn after graduating.  

During the event, the robotics team and the middle school students were split into individualized groups, giving students an opportunity to learn more about each area indepth. The first group featured Amanda Camacho ‘23 and Rebecca Snyder ‘23 who touched upon life at Vaughn and the transition into college from high school. In a separate group, Vaughn students Chris Walker 24 and Cristian Sorto 23 spoke about the College’s robotics and their personal experiences of being a member of the robotics team. The third group led by Misael Marquez ‘22 and Kyle Mercadante, learning specialist for the academic success center, spoke about the various robotics competitions such as how they function, roles within and showcased videos from previous VCAT tournaments. The final group led by Daniel Doscher 23 and Tatiana Jaimes 22 showed a live demonstration of robots in action at a competition. Students spent 30 minutes at each station before continuing onto the next presentation. 

Experiences such as these further Vaughn’s ongoing partnership with the Heckscher Foundation to provide students with opportunities and futureproof careers. With the Heckscher grant, Vaughn is building on its already solid relationship with Thomas Edison High School to develop a dual-credit program whereby students are exposed to the power of STEM and receive college credit while enrolled in high school. The robotics club demonstration to the middle school students of IS 216 and IS 217 exposes even younger students to the importance of STEM and the exciting educational opportunities at Vaughn College. This also furthers Vaughn’s core values of ‘Achieve Impact’ and ‘Practice Collaboration.’ Both values are dedicated to providing students an educational experience that will transform their lives, create a learning environment for trustees, faculty and staff that nurtures a passion for student success while also focusing on a culture driven by a commitment to shared governance, teamwork, communication and collaboration within the institution and in partnership with outside entities. To read more about the College’s core value, click here. The mission of Heckscher Foundation for Children is to level the playing field for underserved youth. To learn more about the Heckscher Foundation and its history, click here.