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NYPA continues 'Sensational Science Saturdays' with coding program at Niagara Power Vista

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Wed, Mar 20th 2019 11:30 am

The New York Power Authority, in collaboration with WNY Stem Hub Inc. and MISSION: IGNITE Powered by Computers For Children, will launch a series of computer coding classes geared toward young people at the Niagara Power Vista, 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.

The free “Sensational Science Saturdays” program in March and April will introduce children to coding and other computer programs through a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects.

“ ‘Sensational Science Saturdays’ make learning fun and introduce youngsters to practical skills that may inspire them to pursue options in the future they otherwise may never have considered,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “Last year’s class filled up so quickly that we have committed to offering similar STEM-related programming on a regular basis.”

Classes are suitable for children in grades 5 to 8 and are limited to 15 students in each session. Children outside the suggested grades are considered as space is available. Reservations for classes can be made by emailing [email protected] or by calling 716-286-6661.

Children can take one class or enjoy the entire series. All classes will be held in the Power Vista classroom starting at 1 p.m. The class schedule is as follows:

  • March 23: “Discover Your DNA with Mark Gallo”
  • March 30: “Pixel Art with Anne Izdorczak”
  • April 6: “Microbits with Ann Izdorczak”

“Young people develop confidence in STEM academics when they participate in small groups doing hands-on experiences outside the classroom,” said Dr. Michelle Kavanaugh, president emeritus of WNY STEM. “They begin to see themselves as coders, engineers and scientists. That's our reason for partnering with NYPA in programs such as ‘Sensational Science Saturdays.’ "

John Brown, managing director of MISSION: IGNITE Powered by Computers For Children, said these type of programs foster creativity in children: “We believe that access to and regular connections with technology can ignite wonder and fuel a passion in a child’s heart, opening them up to a future of success. Often, a child’s eyes are glued to a world created by another. With the proper guidance and access to tools, they can become a creator of their own.”

Guests are also invited to enjoy the Power Vista’s state-of-the-art exhibits by taking a seat in the 4-D simulated ride, creating a transmission distribution system on a one-of-a-kind transmission grid table, building a dam or simulating the coordination of power across the state.

Admission and parking are free. For more information on this or other events at the Niagara Power Vista, call 716-286-6661.

The Niagara Power Vista is a free, hands-on science playground at the Niagara Power Project with more than 50 state-of-the-art interactive exhibits. Operated by the New York Power Authority, the visitor center is designed for inquisitive minds of all ages with special emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts and careers. Visitors can experience a virtual rollercoaster, build a dam, operate a power plant, run the state grid, watch digital portraits of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison debate the benefits of alternating and direct current, and enjoy 350-foot-high views from an observation deck above the Niagara River.

The Power Vista is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, excluding some holidays, with free parking. It is located at 5777 Lewiston Road (Route 104) in Lewiston. For more information, call 716-286-6661 or visit www.nypa.gov/niagarapowervista.

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