May – a time to celebrate the arts and learning – with STEM!

May 6, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

While science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning is an essential part of every child’s education, integrating arts education improves academic performance with bonus benefits, too. Exposure to the arts is proven to spur creativity, innovation, and critical thinking in kids and encourage a positive attitude toward problem solving. Arts education helps to make learning fun.

To raise awareness of the importance of STEM and STEAM (that’s STEM plus the arts), the WNY STEM Hub annually designates the month of May as WNY STEM/STEAM Month, and will participate in a variety of STEAM-centered community events.

WNY STEM Hub President Michelle Kavanaugh, Ed.D., says “A strong foundation of STEM studies, with a healthy dose of the arts, will inspire young people to become tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. STEM/STEAM Month programs throughout the region are designed to encourage tomorrow’s creative class – today’s students – to find joy in learning, creativity, and discovery.”  WNY STEM Hub’s partner organizations have collaborated to bring a variety of STEM and STEAM experiences to the community, which are listed at Most are free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. Featured events include:


Thursday, May 11- Celebrating STEAM, Salamanca City Central Jr./Sr. High School, 50 Iroquois Dr., Salamanca, 5pm-8pm. The community is invited to attend as students in grades 4-12 showcase STEAM projects, scientific thinking and problem solving skills. Community groups will participate with interactive displays. WNY STEM is a co-sponsor with the SUNY Fredonia Science & Technology Entry Program and Salamanca City Schools.

Saturday, May 13 – STEAM Ahead Career Day, New York Power Authority, 5777 Lewiston Rd., Lewiston, 10am-3pm.  Families and educators are invited to meet exhibitors, educators, businesses and professionals in STEM and STEAM fields, and enjoy interactive activities, presentations and workshops in the all-new state-of-the-art exhibits at the Niagara Power Vista. WNY STEM and NYPA are co-sponsors in cooperation with WNY Career Path Alliance and the Niagara County Community College Liberty Partnership Program. Free admission, parking, and trolley service to Niagara Falls from the Vista. Learn more at

Wednesday, May 17 – Girls Coding App Demo, SUNY Buffalo State Technology Building, Room 160, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 5:30-6:30pm.  Join Horizns Consultants and the Girls Coding Project for a demo of the new Childcare Resource App sponsored by the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.  See what girls have learned about app development in the year-long Girls Coding Project. The project was initiated by WNY STEM and AT&T in collaboration with SUNY Buffalo State and the Girl Scouts WNY.

Thursday, May 18 – WNY Brain Challenge, ECC South Campus, 4041 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park, 9am to 1pm. Remember those crazy contraptions that Rube Goldberg used to assemble from everyday objects? This first-time competition invites middle and high school student teams to design, build and present a Rube Goldberg-style device to roll a ball down a ramp using simple machines only, no hands allowed! WNY STEM is proud to collaborate with Computers For Children to present this event in coordinator with WNY Technology Education Association Tech Wars. Details at

Saturday, May 20 – Buffalo Prep Career Day, 18 Acheson Annex, UB South Campus, Buffalo, 9am to 3pm.  WNY STEM has collaborated with Siemens to provide a hands-on experience enabling students to experiment with green fuel sources in exploring sustainable transportation. WNY STEM applauds Buffalo Prep for showcasing STEM careers and Siemens for being a leader in promoting STEM learning.  Visit

Tuesday, May 23 – IMAGINE Lecture and Discussion Series, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Sq., Buffalo, Noon. Spend your lunch break in the Ring of Knowledge. After a half-hour video (“Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It: Challenging Mainstream Science from Within,”) WNY STEM Liaison Jim Guido and Dennis Galucki, Imagine Series Leader, will lead a follow up discussion. These weekly events are free, and WNY STEM is proud to be the co-sponsor of the STEM presentations held on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Thursday, May 25 – A 12-Step Approach to Quality STEM Learning, workshop for the After School Network of WNY.  Participants will gain a deeper understanding of 12 features of quality STEM learning, including structuring the learning environment facilitating activity and engagement, applying STEM knowledge and practices, and supporting youth development. Find details at

WNY STEM Hub launched in 2013 as part of the Empire State STEM Learning Network, and has now has more than 600 members representing all sectors and more than 250 organizations in our five-county region.  Its purpose is to advance STEM learning and careers in support of our region.  Visit                                                # # #


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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