Think BIG

Think BIG!
United Technologies and the Innovators of Tomorrow
Build Networks – Inspire Innovation – Generate a Global Workforce

United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and the New York Academy of Sciences (the Academy) are launching an exciting new program to transform the lives of kids, teachers, and mentors around the world with opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Through the Think BIG program, we will:

  • Build a global network of STEM innovators, including high school students, teachers, and STEM professionals, with a specific focus in Cork, Ireland; Hyderabad and Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; San Diego, California; Connecticut; Palm Beach, Florida; and Rockford, Illinois.

  • Provide an opportunity for high school students to work on real world open innovation challenges and have a one-to-one mentor.

  • Through formal and informal settings, give teachers curricular materials to help them facilitate open innovation challenges, hackathons, and key soft skill development, such as leadership, critical thinking, and preparing for college.

  • Increase opportunities for professionals in STEM industries to mentor students.

Think BIG comprises three core programs:

UTC STEM Scholars Program: Mentoring the high-achieving STEM workforce of tomorrow

The Academy will create a customized virtual STEM mentoring program, designed to engage high-achieving, STEM-interested, high school students (ages 13-19) from around the world. Each student will receive customized, year-long mentorship from a STEM professional, online coursework to help further their ambitions, and a community of peers from around the world.

The UTC Innovation Challenge

In the fall of 2017, the Academy will launch a customized open “UTC Innovation Challenge” to reach high school students, university students, and teachers around the world. It will provide engagement opportunities though open educational resources available to teachers and afterschool programs and through an open challenge on the Academy’s virtual collaborative learning platform, Launchpad. There will be two Stages:

  1. Individual students, teachers and their classes, and afterschool clubs will participate in the challenge. They will have access to curriculum materials, teacher resources, and virtual content. Participants can interact directly and submit deliverables via Launchpad.
  2. Winners and finalists of Stage 1 will be offered entry into Stage 2, in which they will receive intensive mentoring and access to The Junior Academy.

UTC STEM U: Online Coursework and Community for High School Students and Teachers

The UTC STEM U program will provide high school teachers and students with access to challenging online coursework and, for teachers, a community of peers. UTC STEM U courses will include college readiness, leadership, critical thinking, and communication. Teachers will have access to lesson plans, teacher guides, and a virtual community of other educators and STEM professionals from across the New York Academy of Sciences programs.