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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: ANDRO’s Project Fibonacci STEAM Youth Conference, 30 July – 5 August 2017
“Project Fibonacci” is the brainchild of ANDRO Computational Solutions, LLC. ANDRO is a small scientific research company located in Rome, NY (www.androcs.com). In cooperation with local secondary schools, regional colleges/universities and Upstate NY city/state government stakeholders, ANDRO is launching a pilot project to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) in a new and refreshing way. Project Fibonacci is coined after the renowned Middle Ages mathematician Leonardo Bonacci who during the 13th Century “discovered” a branch of mathematics that neatly describes physical properties we often encounter in science, engineering, nature, art, music and elsewhere throughout the cosmos. Nicknamed "Fibonacci" by his contemporaries and historians alike, his contributions to the field of mathematics have evoked the “golden ratio” of Da Vinci’s famed Vitruvian man to describing the beautiful spiral patterns we see in seashells to weaving designs and so on. This is as profound as the ubiquitous nature of the transcendental number observed throughout the cosmos.
Because of the many applications to science, nature and art, the "Fibonacci" moniker was adopted for the present purpose. A plan is afoot to establish an expansive 100+ acre Fibonacci Scientific Research and Technical Arts & Sciences Campus in Rome, NY, within the next two years that will exhibit an Ivy League style and "village‐like" feel. This will readily appeal to young people and will serve to catalyze pursuit of specialized, collaborative STEAM education and experiences whereby student interns would work alongside industry and academic professionals, further carving out a successful career path for themselves. This initiative is being led by a coalition of small businesses spearheaded by ANDRO working in partnership with academic and city/state government stakeholders. As a prelude to breaking ground on this front, ANDRO and its partners are inaugurating the first annual Project Fibonacci STEAM Youth Conference between 31 July and 6 August 2016 at The Beeches Conference Center in Rome, NY, situated on 55+ acres of country club property that includes a business incubator.
This initiative is expected to have a positive impact nationwide and the word is being spread via feature stories for its exceptional public relations value. Feature stories are being pursued with NPR, CBS’ 60 Minutes and ABC’s 20/20 as well as multiple print media sources. Our plan is to tightly blend science and art themes through a series of all‐encompassing Fibonacci STEAM tracks held during that summer week.
The target demographic includes high school juniors to college seniors. The goals are to: (i) stimulate interest and broad appreciation of relevant STEAM topics; (ii) expand awareness of the importance of STEAM to better equip youth to deal with the world around them (i.e., teach them to view the world in a whole new light); (iii) provide for a different well‐rounded experience i.e., one that cannot necessarily be obtained within the traditional class setting and that complements or even exceeds the conventional “academic experience”; and (iv) support workforce development to enable the next generations of scientists and artists. Our ultimate goal is to help produce the next waves of scholars, scientists, artists and productive citizens by positively motivating and enlightening them in a way that will enable our youth to deal more effectively with the challenges of an ever‐increasingly complex and diverse world.
The Project Fibonacci STEAM Youth Conference is modeled somewhat after the highly successful Envision Global and National Youth Leadership Conferences (G/NYLC) sponsored by George Mason University. That event is held every summer between late June and mid-July in NYC and Washington, DC as well as throughout cities in Europe and Asia. Over 2,000 students participate annually by invitation only. The G/NYLC focuses on developing leadership skills where tracks center on geo‐political science, governance, negotiations and the art of the deal and socio‐economic themes. The scope of ANDRO’s Project Fibonacci STEAM Youth Conference will be on the following (Note: keynote speakers listed are those desired):
(Day 1) Fibonacci in Cosmology and the Universe (Keynote: Dr. Alex Filippenko);
(Day 2) Fibonacci in Medicine and the Physiology of the Human Body; (Keynote: Dr. David Eagleman)
(Day 3) Fibonacci in Art, Graphics, Photography and Nature (Keynote Astronaut Alan Bean; Keynote Alan Alda);
(Day 4) Fibonacci Through Music and the Science of Sound; (Keynote Astronaut Chris Hadfield)
(Day 5) Fibonacci in Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Our World (Keynote: PBS host and author Dr. Brian Greene).
Each day would include a complement of local/regionalexperts, instructors and authoritative sources presenting topics on general science, astronomy, music, art, photography, graphics, nature andother areas. Breakout sessions would be conducted to discuss important themes of the day. Tours would be arranged during the week to a local art museum, the Air Force Research Lab, and a local music production studio. Students would also be selected by invitation only by a mentor or an educator at their respective learning institution. We plan to invite approximately 600 students from around the nation at a fixed registration cost. Multiple universities (SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Mohawk Valley Community College) along with the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) are our non‐profit partners to accept and process registrations as well as issue college credits to students in future iterations of the conference. Securing the keynotes will help ensure high visibility and draw to reach the goal of 600 students (indeed, much of the work of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and his new Cosmos series was the inspiration behind this initiative!). Our conference is scheduled to not conflict with the G/NYLC events and will nicely coincide with Rome’s annual Honor America Days celebration, which draws in many people to the area each year and provides for an exciting tourism opportunity for students’ families who may wish to accompany their son/daughter for the week.
Our fundamental strategy is to foster scientific pursuits in conjunction with artistic ones to assure the well‐rounded experience. ANDRO isworking with the local schools to arrange for educational certifications, accreditation and credits toward highly specialized degrees in work areas we excel in and are known for (e.g., cutting‐edge research in nanotech, unmanned aerial systems, cyber security, RF spectrum and communications, etc.). The artistic element will contribute to arts and tourism growth in the area for enhanced quality of life across multipledemographic segments.
In a larger sense for the future Project Fibonacci Campus plan, ANDRO is promoting a MURI (Multi‐UniversityResearch Initiative) where several local/regional institutions (MVCC, SUNY Poly, etc.) would participate as partners under this unified plan. ANDRO’s project has the potential to provide many opportunities for local and regional universities, small businesses and professional organizations to reap benefits. ANDRO’s comprehensive and fresh approach to addressing the area’s current andfuture educational and employment challenges will serve as a template for growth and sustainability within our region and beyond.
This will be an annual event leading to the larger campus project in two years. It is an exceptional ground floor opportunity that will lead to many exciting things in the future and will make a highly positive difference to communities nationwide as it catches fire!