College Decision Day 2019: Congratulations Seniors!

On Friday, May 10th, BEAM students joined 12th graders across the city for College Decision Day at the Apollo Theater!  Eight BEAM 12th graders joined 200+ high school seniors from around the city who announced their college plans on stage... at the Apollo Theater!

We're pleased to announce the schools that the following students will be attending:

Images from left to right display: Teo (City Tech), Kadija (Princeton), Felix (Syracuse), Kiana (Howard), Mayra (Lehigh), Moses (NYU), and Crisleidy (Baruch).

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In addition to these 8 students, we want to give a shout-out to all our graduating seniors. Here's a list of BEAM students currently ready to announce their college decisions: 

Maria

Maria

Naz

Naz

Zeñia

Zeñia

  • Amanda: New York University

  • Ashley: New York University

  • Concepcion: St John's University

  • Crisleidy: Baruch College, CUNY

  • Daniel: Le Moyne College

  • Elisa: Whitman College

  • Eric: City College, CUNY

  • Felix: Syracuse University

  • Jayden: Dartmouth College

  • Jessie: Bard College

  • Justin: Purchase College, SUNY (deferred for 1 year)

  • Kadija: Princeton University

  • Kellyann: Southern Connecticut State University

  • Kiana: Howard University

  • Kwabena: Howard University

  • Lennin: Franklin & Marshall College

  • Maria: Stony Brook University, SUNY

  • Mayra: Lehigh University

  • Moses: New York University

  • Naz: Baruch College, CUNY

  • Odalys: University of California San Diego

  • Rashik: University of Albany, SUNY

  • Reem: John Jay College, CUNY

  • Teo: New York City College of Technology

  • Viri: Columbia University

  • Zeñia: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Zyan: New Paltz, SUNY

BEAM students were also awarded many scholarships and other forms of financial aid:

  • The QuestBridge National College Match Program provides a full ride through college to students who are accepted at one of the program's partnering schools. (awarded to Kadija and Lennin)

  • And numerous other students were offered amazing financial aid packages by the college they will attend. The scholarships provided by Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Franklin and Marshall are particularly generous, as these schools meet 100% of demonstrated need. That means that a low-income student can expect to pay nothing for college. Some scholarships were so generous that student will actually get money back to pay for expenses that may come up, such as flights to and from home at the start and end of each semester!

Our seniors did an incredible amount of work to get through high school and to this day.  Congratulations to you all! 11th graders: now it's your turn and BEAM is here for you. 

Finally, for those following along at home, here is a list of the colleges to which BEAM students were admitted this year:

Albright College
Antioch College
Bard College
Baruch College, CUNY
Binghamton University, SUNY
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Brooklyn College, CUNY
Buffalo State College, SUNY
Canisius College
The City College of New York, CUNY
Clark University
Columbia University
Dartmouth College
Franklin & Marshall College
Guttman Community College
Howard University
Hunter College, CUNY
Iona College
Ithaca College
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Le Moyne College
Lehigh University
Lehman College, CUNY
The New School
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
New York Institute of Technology
New York University
Norwich University
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Purchase College, SUNY
Queens College, CUNY
Quinnipiac University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Seton Hall University
Siena College
Smith College
Spelman College
Southern Connecticut State University
St. John’s University
Stony Brook University, SUNY
SUNY Geneseo
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Oswego
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University
University at Albany, SUNY
University at Buffalo, SUNY
University at Connecticut
University of California San Diego
University of Rochester
Vanderbilt University
Wells College
Wheaton College
Whitman College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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How time flies! Students seen here at Bard and Siena in 2014 are going off to college next year!

How time flies! Students seen here at Bard and Siena in 2014 are going off to college next year!

Recruiting and Selecting BEAM Students: A First Hand Account

Today, we have a guest blog post from long-time BEAM volunteer, Maury Bohan, who is also a retired 6th grade math teacher. Maury accompanied our staff on an admissions school visit back in March and had the following to say about her experience. While BEAM’s admissions season is mostly over (it runs January-March), programs in both Los Angeles and New York have a very limited number of openings for current 6th graders in our BEAM Discovery. You can learn more and request an application here.

Early in March, on a Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of joining Lynn Cartwright-Punnett at PS 171/Patrick Henry Preparatory School in East Harlem, which has been a BEAM partner school since 2014. I had wanted to participate in a visit to one of BEAM’s partner schools, and Lynn felt it would be beneficial if we used the visit as a chance to share details with our many volunteers, instructors, and supporters.

A 7th grader works on the Admissions Challenge.

A 7th grader works on the Admissions Challenge.

We began the morning with eight 7th graders, two of whom attended last summer’s BEAM Discovery program. The goal was to check in on what the BEAM Discovery alumni were doing and also to identify any 7th graders who we had not met in 6th grade, who would benefit from joining our program, AND who could succeed despite not having attended last summer. Lynn shared the goals of the BEAM Pathway Program, which include “…going farther than you expect, learning more, and exploring new ideas.” In addition to the potentially overwhelming information that the students would be with BEAM all the way through college, she also tempted the young students with details about dorm life, field trips, and good, hard brain work. After responding to questions, Lynn handed out the Admissions Challenge — seven questions to be completed in 40 minutes, and explained that the goal is not to do all of it perfectly, but rather “to figure out what you can figure out.”

7th graders at another BEAM partner school, KIPP Infinity, tell their 6th grade colleagues about BEAM Discovery.

7th graders at another BEAM partner school, KIPP Infinity, tell their 6th grade colleagues about BEAM Discovery.

After the 7th graders left the room, we were joined by a new crew of about fifteen 6th graders. They were physically so much younger than the 7th graders — clearly still children — and obviously nervous. Lynn immediately put them at ease, asking what they already knew about BEAM Discovery — basically that it is a summer math program five days per week for five weeks. She shared the daily schedule, and the goal to challenge brains, to grow and do more than students could do before, and to be a member of a math-loving community. Again there was talk of preparation for college, in terms of how choosing courses and activities during the summer is a way to start building autonomy so as to eventually be ready for decision making in college. Lynn then handed out the Admissions Challenge, and reminded students that “The goal isn’t perfect work; it’s interesting work.

Besides the results of the students’ work on the Admissions Challenge, there are a few other ways for them to demonstrate their potential as a BEAM student. They are all asked to share how they felt about the challenge and what they liked about it. They are also given some extra problems to do at home and send back, which can show readiness and interest, and allow students to perform while not under time pressure.

There is a third way that a student might earn some unofficial points toward gaining a slot in a BEAM program, and it was demonstrated after the sixth graders left us. Lynn earlier had an opportunity to quickly review the 7th graders’ responses to their Admissions Challenge and had asked the school contact person to bring one student back to our classroom for an interview. This would allow Lynn to ascertain whether the student is as ready for this summer’s 7th grade program as all the incoming alumni of last summer’s Discovery Program will be. I enjoyed listening first as the two of them chatted about school and math, and the student’s personal life. She shared that her life outside of school is mostly homework, supporting a younger sister’s homework, and church. She has never been outside of New York City, and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. What is she most concerned about in regards to BEAM’s summer program? That it is a sleep away program!

After chatting, Lynn and the student got down to work, discussing some great math problems. How encouraging it was for me to observe their back and forth, and the young lady’s willingness to draw conclusions, and then re-evaluate them given Lynn’s prodding. The student’s patience, persistence, and flexible thinking seemed to me qualities that will make her succeed, and that BEAM would benefit from. And this is where those unofficial points toward entrance come in to play. “Slant points” are like an additional note, one which this girl definitely received, that says if there is a tie for a slot at BEAM, this student has that “something extra” that makes her the preferred candidate.

As a retired teacher, I can’t imagine many more encouraging mornings than watching all of these 6th and 7th graders voluntarily meeting with a stranger to demonstrate their interest and talent in mathematical thinking. I can’t wait to hear which students are joining us this summer, and I look forward to seeing them grow and thrive through high school.

Maury works with Alberto and Rebecca on trivia questions at BEAM’s annual night of puzzles and trivia.

Maury works with Alberto and Rebecca on trivia questions at BEAM’s annual night of puzzles and trivia.

BEAM Discovery Family Lunch

On Saturday, May 4th we welcomed newly admitted BEAM Discovery students to the program with our annual Family Welcome Lunch. Students and their families got the chance to meet the BEAM full time and summer staff, other admitted students and learn more about what to expect in from the summer. Additionally, we invited BEAM alumni and parents to come share their experience during the summer. Check out some pictures of the event below:

If you did not get to attend the lunch or are interested in the event, check out the video below:

BEAM Pathway Program Family Lunch

On Saturday, May 4th we welcomed newly admitted BEAM Pathway Program students to the program with our annual Family Welcome Lunch. Students and their families got the chance to meet the BEAM full time and summer staff, other admitted students and learn more about what to expect at a summer away on a college campus. Additionally, we invited BEAM alumni and parents to come share their experience during the summer. Check out some pictures from the event below:

If you missed out on a chance to attend the lunch or are interested in the presentation. Check out the video below:

BEAM's Spring Newsletter has arrived!

On Friday, BEAM's quarterly newsletter arrived in the inboxes of all our subscribers. The newsletter featured:

  • High school admissions results

  • A look at our new empowerment groups

  • Information on our job openings for summer staff

  • "What We're Reading"

Missed it? You can read the newsletter now.

Make sure you don’t miss the next one! Sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

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BEAM's Empowerment Groups

Recently, an article featuring Dr. Edray Goins, a Black mathematician and past speaker at BEAM, gave a glimpse into what it can feel like to be “the only one”. His perspective is a compelling reminder that while STEM careers can be rewarding and exciting, for students coming from historically marginalized communities, the world of STEM can also be incredibly lonely. When you look around a math class and find you are the only person of color or the only woman, it can be a demoralizing experience. STEM spaces are often dominated by people who either accidentally or overtly send the message that underrepresented minorities don’t belong.

Because of the social and emotional dynamics that come with pursuing STEM as an underrepresented minority, STEM preparedness for our students means more than academics. Beyond foundational math and science skills, students need opportunities to grow in their confidence and self-determination needed to excel in a social environment that can be hostile. Ayinde, our College Support Coordinator, and Sylvia, our High School Programs Social Worker, are tackling this aspect of STEM preparedness through a new BEAM initiative: empowerment groups.

Empowerment from within is something they have to keep moving at. And I think that is where it intersects with STEM.
— Sylvia
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Sylvia leads the Young Women’s Empowerment Group while Ayinde organizes the Young Men’s Empowerment Group. Sylvia and Ayinde share their thoughts on this special project, why they launched it, and what they have learned so far.

What is an empowerment group?

Ayinde: So I think for me, the core of it is, identifying your own viewpoints and your thoughts on yourself and where you stand in society at large. Because I think, especially at the time around high school (college too), there are so many factors that go into how you see yourself, and so many of those come from outside sources: friends, family, media. The point of an empowerment group is to center that, so that the primary source is internal, the primary source is coming from you.

Sylvia: For the women’s empowerment group, that [title] is word for word what we are trying to do; we are trying to empower women. I look back on myself in high school and I think if I had had a support group like that I would have been more confident. Girls are raised to be careful, and boys are raised to take risks. So we have conversations about this within group, and the goal is for them to feel empowered to do anything that they want to do regardless of gender. But also it is a safe space. So I think it is a very therapeutic space. But also a space for them to feel empowered to reach their goals, and reach their potential. I want them to get to a point where they want to accomplish goals not because they are perfect but because they are brave and want to do these things for themselves.

Why empowerment groups? How did you get this idea?

Sylvia: As the social worker in the office, and at first as the only not mathematical person in the office, it felt like BEAM was missing something and there was something in my toolbox that I could add. And so I was helping a student with a summer program application, and I really encouraged her and kinda pushed her. She got in and she said it was great, but privately she told me about a actually really traumatic experience that happened during the program. It got me thinking about what we do here at BEAM and how we sometimes put them [students] into places where they are the only one (race or gender), and it made me think about how we can support our students more holistically. And so I sat down with Ayinde.

Ayinde: Having experience with another non-profit (as an Oliver scholar), and part of my experience then was them preparing us to be in spaces where you are going to feel like an outsider or an outcast. So having had that experience coming to BEAM, I knew we needed to move in the direction of grafting conversations like that. But it wasn't until my conversation with Sylvia that I started to see how we can go about having those conversations. The other part was I went to an all boys middle school. So I have had thoughts about boys and how they perceive their ideas about manhood and how those ideas grow, and I wanted to have space to talk about grafting one's identity for a very long time.

I think both directly and indirectly they [empowerment groups] allow us to make sure our students know the importance of how they view themselves.
— Ayinde

BEAM is about math, right, and STEM access? Where do the empowerment groups fit into that mission?

Ayinde: One of the biggest things that, I think, is getting spoken about more these days, but still not enough in my opinion, is the aspect of what it means to belong and feel like you are a part of a specific career path: to feel as though you are a engineer or a mathematician or a scientist. And lot of things go into that. A lot of things affect what students believe about themselves. I think both directly and indirectly they [empowerment groups] allow us to make sure our students know the importance of how they view themselves. Specifically, because the majority of the students in the men's group are seniors, we talk a good bit about how they view themselves and when that view comes in conflict with how the people around them view them. What I am trying to do is prepare them for when they go to college, and they are away from their friends and family, and they are in that 100 student math class, maybe with only 5 or 6 people who look like them, and maybe feel like they are the only ones struggling, when that moment comes, that is not a reflection that they don't belong in that space.

Sylvia: I agree with a lot of what Ayinde is saying, I think with women there is the other layer, of the fact that women are not represented in STEM. Also I think that currently all of the women in the women’s group are women of color, which adds another layer. So making sure that they feel confident in themselves that they can succeed in STEM if that is what they want to do. Or, if it is not, that they still have that confidence in themselves and allowing them to feel comfortable in spaces that are predominantly male dominated. Little things like when they have a disagreement and they want to share it. Or if all of the people raising their hands in the class are male, that they can feel comfortable raising their hand. Empowerment from within is something they have to keep moving at. And I think that is where it intersects with STEM. Also feeling comfortable asking for help. When you have a space to talk about stuff that you can't talk about at home or school, then it leaves more space to get more out of school. They can unburden themselves, and concentrate more on school and applications and other stuff.

How has hosting empowerment groups changed you?

Ayinde: I always wanted to create a space for young men to talk about what it means to be young men and what that means for them specifically, not what they have observed, what they've been told, but internally. But beyond really being able to do that in a concrete way, it has been seeing what that impact means: what it is now. To see a group of young men who are open in various different ways. These weren't boys who I was ever worried about them expressing themselves or having emotions, but how much that has evolved in terms of how they talk about things with each other, and how much they talk about their issues, and what they are going through, and how much they trust each other with that and to some extent me as well, to share these kinds of things with each other. The idea of brotherhood and what that looks like in its most ideal form has been something that I have thought about for quite some time and it has really been a dream to kinda see that form in this group.

BEAM staff, Sylvia and Elyse, with the Young Women’s Empowerment group on a field trip to see Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, in conversation with Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC.

BEAM staff, Sylvia and Elyse, with the Young Women’s Empowerment group on a field trip to see Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, in conversation with Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC.

Sylvia: I think I finally have found my niche at BEAM. I have always helped with this and that, and was very passionate about helping co-direct a BEAM site. But in this I think I have found my baby. Because I can go up to a funder or a donor and say that this is what I am doing and why it is important. I think being able to impact the girls the way I do is really great and really powerful, knowing that they know they have a mentor in me and that they look up to me.

Can you tell me about a moment that was particularly beautiful or meaningful that happened because of these groups?

Sylvia: There was one silly moment, they girls had left and I overheard them saying “oh, this is actually really cool!” I have gotten text messages from students saying thank you. There was a particular group that got pretty emotional. The girls were digging deep into feelings that they maybe hadn't been able to to share in other spaces. It was really good to see them being strong and willing to share these feelings. I think every group has its own special moment, but that in particular was really special.

Ayinde: Similarly, there are a lot of moments. One that I particularly think about was a little bit early on. In the beginning the men's group didn't have a lot of people who were consistently coming. One week, it was just myself and two students and I was worried that everybody felt like they didn't really feel the purpose of coming. That was the first time that one of the students asked a question, saying: can we talk about this thing? It led to a really beautiful conversation about identity, and at the end of it the student told me that he was really happy and it meant a lot to him that he was able to talk about it. So even though it was a small amount of people at that time, it was important and it mattered.

Ayinde works with Teo (BEAM ‘14), Jahleel (BEAM ‘15), and Zyan (BEAM ‘15) at the Young Men’s Empowerment Group. Photo taken by Peter Dressel.

Ayinde works with Teo (BEAM ‘14), Jahleel (BEAM ‘15), and Zyan (BEAM ‘15) at the Young Men’s Empowerment Group. Photo taken by Peter Dressel.

Congratulations, 8th Graders!

This month, BEAM students found out where they will be attending high school.  We are pleased to announce that, so far, 51% of our 8th graders will be attending Tier One high schools and 56% will be attending either Tier One or Tier Two high schools. At this point, 67% will be attending "trusted" schools, which meet BEAM's minimum standards for college preparation. We say "at this point" because every year a few students are under-matched in the process. We are currently working with students who were not admitted to high schools that meet our standards to make sure that they can navigate the appeals process and find a good fit for the next four years.

BEAM students were admitted to: 

  • Bard High School Early College (15)

  • The Beacon School (4)

  • Brooklyn Latin (4)

  • Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (4)

  • Manhattan/Hunter Science High School (4)

  • Brooklyn Tech (3)

  • The Laboratory School for Finance and Technology (3)

  • NEST+m (3)

  • University Heights High School (3)

  • Benjamin Banneker Academy (2)

  • Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (2)

  • Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science (2)

  • Millennium Brooklyn High School (2)

  • NYC Museum School (2)

  • Baccalaureate School for Global Education

  • Bronx Science

  • Midwood High School

  • Millennium High School

  • NYC iSchool

  • NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies

  • Stuyvesant

  • Central Park East High School

  • East Side Community School

  • Bedford Academy

  • Collegiate Institute For Math And Science

  • High School for Health Professions and Human Services

  • Urban Assembly NY Harbor School

Aamirah, Brooklyn Tech

Aamirah, Brooklyn Tech

Ahmed, University Heights

Ahmed, University Heights

Kathy, Brooklyn Latin

Kathy, Brooklyn Latin

Ethan, Bard High School Early College

Ethan, Bard High School Early College

“At first I was overwhelmed and confused but BEAM gave me good advice and I ended up getting into my first choice school!”
— Ethan, 8th Grade

These 79 8th graders join 300+ BEAM students already in high school. We're so proud of you all!

BEAM Thoughts on the College Admission Scandal

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Today, we have a guest post from Ayinde Alleyne, BEAM’s College Support Coordinator. Ayinde wrote the message below and sent it to all our students currently enrolled in college. His perspective is clear and powerful so we wanted to share it with you.

By now, I believe most of you have heard of the College Admission Scandal that made the news last week. For those who haven't, the Justice Department has charged 50 people with participating in a multi million-dollar bribery scheme to get affluent, connected students into highly competitive colleges.

We have a lot of thoughts about this at BEAM, and I'm sure that many similar discussions are happening at your colleges. I did want to share a specific thought I had with all of you.

From the moment I was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, I dealt with many versions of the idea that I didn't earn my admission. Some of those ideas came from others: hearing many factually incorrect comments about affirmative action, constantly being questioned about my grades. Some came from myself: withdrawing from an intro chemistry course my first semester, getting two Ds the next semester.

The exposure of a scandal like this makes me think about the hours you all work and sacrifices you and your families have made. Things like this provide proof that there are people who did not earn their place in college, and if anyone ever asks, use this to remind them that those people are not you.

I wanted to leave you all with an article I felt captured the culture of pressure that has been created around one version of success.

The Atlantic: “Kids Are the Victims of the Elite-College Obsession

BEAM students and families: please reach out if you want to talk about any aspect of this.

Ayinde was recently named as a 2019 PASEsetter, a champion of afterschool education. At the awards banquet, Ayinde shared his story, which you can watch here.

Ayinde advises rising college first year Aisha on prepping for college.

Ayinde advises rising college first year Aisha on prepping for college.

Infinities, Graph Theory, Game Theory, and Traveling Circuses: What Mathematicians Talk About When They Visit BEAM

This winter, BEAM is busy! We are busy hiring summer faculty, summer counselors, and other summer staff and even a few full time staff. But those aren’t the only positions we are looking to fill. Every summer we invite guest speakers to BEAM Summer Away and BEAM Discovery sites. Our invited speakers are talented mathematicians from around the world, and their talks are a window into the work of professional mathematicians, giving students an opportunity to learn new ideas from the wide world of mathematics. Some past speakers have focused on complex mathematical topics, while others share their day to day life as career mathematicians. As we line up further intriguing talks for this summer, now is a great moment to reflect on some of the lovely talks and mind-bending math our guest speakers shared with us last summer.

This past summer our guests included Dr. Edray H. Goins, Dr. Susan Loepp, Tai-Danae Bradley, and Darleen Perez-Lavin. They each presented a unique take on a mathematical topic and BEAM students got a kick out of what they had to share.

Edray confronted a complicated topic: infinities and cardinality. Though this topic is deep and challenging even for mathematics majors at top colleges and universities, Edray balanced the abstract ideas with concrete examples. He started with basic ideas and questions: What is a set? How can you count things in a set? How many subsets are there in a set with n elements? Then the talk got more abstract, and Edray lead students through a very enjoyable explanation of Cantor's famous theorem. Students had the chance to see how much there is to the mathematical world than just numbers, equations and geometry formulas.

BEAM values having guest talks that start out very friendly to students and then go off the deep end in mathematics a bit because they allow students to see just how serious and deep math can be!

Dr. Edray H. Goins is a Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College in Claremont, CA and president of the National Association of Mathematicians. Edray presented at BEAM Discovery Los Angeles.

Dr. Edray H. Goins is a Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College in Claremont, CA and president of the National Association of Mathematicians. Edray presented at BEAM Discovery Los Angeles.

Dr. Goins presents to the students at BEAM Summer Away during Vassar 2016. Edray has been a guest speaker at BEAM for three straight summers!

Dr. Goins presents to the students at BEAM Summer Away during Vassar 2016. Edray has been a guest speaker at BEAM for three straight summers!

Dr. Susan Loepp, Chair and Professor of Mathematics, Williams College. Susan presented at BEAM Summer Away at Union College.

Dr. Susan Loepp, Chair and Professor of Mathematics, Williams College. Susan presented at BEAM Summer Away at Union College.

Susan introduced a team game that involved wearing hats. It costs money to play, but if you win, you get the cost doubled back.  Will you win or lose money in the long run? Susan gave student volunteers a chance to play the game (not with real money) and think about optimal strategies. After a lot of trial and error (and some inadvertent cheating), students claimed to Susan that they could win 50% of the time. But she said they could do better! The rest of the talk focused on independent and dependent probability and how those concepts impact game theory. Students found the session fun and silly, yet thought provoking. Many were still talking about it the next day!

Tai-Danae came into the room with lots of brightly colored cubes. The purpose? The Instant Insanity puzzle. Everyone got four cubes with each face colored in one of four different colors. The question: can you make a stack four cubes tall so that each side of the stack has one face of each color? With over 80,000 possible configurations, this is a big challenge, but using the tools of graph theory you can solve it quickly! If you're curious, Tai-Danae also presented it on PBS Infinite Series and you can take a look and try it yourself.

Tai-Danae Bradley is a PhD candidate in mathematics at the CUNY Graduate Center, and creator of the intriguing math blog:    https://www.math3ma.com/   . Tai-Danae presented at BEAM Discovery NYC Uptown.

Tai-Danae Bradley is a PhD candidate in mathematics at the CUNY Graduate Center, and creator of the intriguing math blog: https://www.math3ma.com/. Tai-Danae presented at BEAM Discovery NYC Uptown.

Darleen Perez-Lavin is a SMART fellow and graduate student at the University of Kentucky. Her talk was based on quantum computing research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Darleen presented at BEAM Summer Away at Union College.

Darleen Perez-Lavin is a SMART fellow and graduate student at the University of Kentucky. Her talk was based on quantum computing research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Darleen presented at BEAM Summer Away at Union College.

Darleen gave a presentation on the Traveling Circus Problem, a more general version of the well-known and very difficult Traveling Salesman Problem (so well known and difficult that the University of Waterloo has a whole website devoted to it). Darleen presented new research on how this problem is related to quantum physics. Her talk gave a glimpse into how pure mathematics can have applied applications. The ideas jumped from Euler's solution to the Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem to talking about modern physics! Students interested in applied mathematics were especially fascinated.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing talks that this upcoming summer has in store. And if you enjoy cool math (and aren’t quite as busy as BEAM is at the moment), we encourage you explore the topics touched on in the talks above.

BEAM students play a game during Dr. Susan Loepp’s math talk at BEAM 2018.

BEAM students play a game during Dr. Susan Loepp’s math talk at BEAM 2018.

BEAM Students Make Summer Plans

BEAM students and families gather for the summer program presentation.

BEAM students and families gather for the summer program presentation.

After spending two summers at BEAM, what do BEAM students do next? They might want a summer break, staying home or traveling with their family for vacation. But many students want another productive thing to do with their time! Each winter, we encourage our alumni to apply for summer programs to help broaden their knowledge, explore enriching learning experiences, and spend their break in a meaningful way. This is especially part of BEAM’s mission to prepare under-served students for future STEM careers. We aim to support students by helping them to applying to various STEM orientated summer programs, and our unscientific surveys of STEM professionals prove what the BEAM audience already knows: summer preparation in middle school and high school opens the door to STEM success in college and beyond.

BEAM alumni Teo and Jennora share their experience from summer programs they have attended.

BEAM alumni Teo and Jennora share their experience from summer programs they have attended.

On January 26th, BEAM students gathered at NYU’s Courant Institute for the annual Summer Program Information Session. This event’s main focus was to start the process of selecting summer programs and preparing summer applications. The information session began with a presentation highlighting the importance of applying to summer programs and how to go about the application process. We also had a panel of four BEAM alumni who answered questions and discussed their experience in different types of summer programs. After hearing about the different options, students broke out into groups by grade in order to review a list of their personalized summer program recommendations. As the beginning of the year goes by, we encourage our students to start their applications as soon as possible in order to give themselves the best opportunities. Overall, the information session pushed students to start thinking about their pathways towards STEM careers in addition to giving students the chance to hang out with the BEAM family.

BEAM students: it’s not too late to apply to amazing opportunities for summer 2019! Contact your year leader to learn more.