La Salle Academy STEM Days

Several Cooper engineering students returned to class earlier than expected – as teachers – this past winter break. Members of Pi Tau Sigma (PTS), the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, served as instructors during two STEM days for high school students on January 13 and 14. George Delagrammatikas, associate professor of mechanical engineering and STEM Outreach Program Director, organized the program with PTS.

Catherine Go, Aman Grewal and Jackie Le, all ME’16, with Kristiana Kavo ChemE’17 and Reina Kim ME’17 led an assortment of hands-on activities to illustrate fundamental scientific concepts, like material properties and energy efficiency, while Professor Delagrammatikas highlighted the different engineering fields to nearly 60 La Salle Academy juniors. The East Village-based La Salle is one of the oldest all-boys Catholic schools in New York City and has a history of educating young men of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Teaching and mentorship reinforce our students’ true understanding of a subject,” Professor Delagrammatikas says. “You really have to know something before you can teach it well. Plus, these activities are such a natural way for our students to serve our community.

Activities included building an electric motor from scratch and running an internal combustion engine. See some of the Cooper students and La Salle students learning together in the following slide show. 

This June, students from the STEM Days program wrote about their Rube Goldberg machines for The Tablet, the newspaper for the Brooklyn and Queens Roman Catholic Diocese.

Photos by Marget Long.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.