The Carrier Dome will serve as a lab for high school and middle school students as they use smartphones to gather different types of data, and learn to display and work with that data.

By: Ingrid Montalvo

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) and Time Warner Cable have joined forces to create “Data Day,” an event targeting Syracuse-area middle and high school students where they will explore the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. “Data Day” will occur on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM on the Syracuse University campus.

“Data Day” promises to be a fun day where students from the Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse and the NYPENN Pathways Girl Scout Council will use smartphones to gather data from six data stations set up across the Carrier Dome. The students will then enjoy hands-on activities illustrating how smartphones collect different types of data. Once each activity has been completed, the students will learn to use a specialized app on the phones to work with and display the data they’ve gathered.

Studies have shown that students lose interest in STEM fields during middle school. This event is designed to reinforce the fun that can be had in the field. Career wise, many STEM areas have experienced a huge demand, but a low supply of graduates. The partnership between the iSchool and Time Warner Cable was created with the hopes to even out that curve. “Data Day,” encourages students to open their minds to degrees in STEM fields, such as the Information Management and Technology program offered at the iSchool.

“By talking to middle school and early high school students and making it fun and hands on, sliding in the learning, it can a spark a student to say ‘I can do that’,” said Time Warner Cable Community Investment Manager, Stephanie Salanger.

“Data Day” will begin with opening remarks from Marcene Sonneborn, assistant professor of practice at the iSchool. Immediately following that the students will be broken up into teams and begin their daylong STEM field exploration in the Carrier Dome. The day will conclude with closing remarks from Kim Brown, assistant director for alumni programs at the Career Services office at Syracuse.

The event is funded through Time Warner Cable's Connect a Million Minds initiative. The program is a five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in the STEM fields.