top of page

High-schoolers get taste of STEM-related careers during summer 'HYPOTHEkids' program

The next generation of scientists, engineers and technology entrepreneurs has more than a few bright ideas.

Among them is an LED lighting source for rural villages in underdeveloped countries and a water-based fluid that would help regulate babies' body temperature.

Those concepts and others were developed by the more than two dozen high schoolers who participated in an intense summer program that challenged them to tackle global health problems.

Students also developed a mosquito repellent, to be used where malaria is endemic, and a "jam" to aid in removing babies from the birth canal.

"It's amazing to see something you built with your own hands from the ground up," said Arif Mahmud, 16, a rising senior at Brooklyn Technical High School, who added the program sparked his interest in science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called STEM fields. The summer lab was one program being pushed by the nonprofit HYPOTHEkids, a spin-off of Harlem Biospace, the touted tech incubator on W. 127th St.

"The idea is to get more minorities into STEM majors," said Christine Kovich, the Harlem Biospace co-founder. "Minorities are largely underrepresented."

African Americans make up 3% of the STEM workforce and women make up 24%, according to the National Science Foundation.

Experts picked two of the six projects — the LED lighting and the baby warmer — to be developed at Harlem Biospace.

The program, which kicked off in mid-July, was held at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University and led by Columbia Prof. Aaron Kyle.

"We wanted to train our students in this sort of work and have these sort of foundational skills and being able to apply the knowledge to a problem," said Kyle.

Aug 27, 2014

bottom of page