SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The Rise High Program, offering STEM education to Schenectady middle schoolers on Saturday mornings, will relocate to SUNY Schenectady’s Center City location starting this Saturday, January 25.  More than 60 students participate in the program.

The Rise High program was started in 2017 by  Dr. Mark Little, retired GE Global Research Center (GRC) Executive; his wife Terri Little, a former teacher and community volunteer; and Dr. Omayra Padilla De Jesús, who was a Senior Scientist at GRC.  Other partners include Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Schenectady City School District.   With the move to SUNY Schenectady’s Center City location, Rise High now has a central location that can accommodate the growing program.

“Rise High is a transformational program that can spark a lifelong passion for science in Schenectady’s middle school and high school students, and we are so honored to facilitate this learning by providing a new home  in downtown Schenectady for the High Rise Program,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. “Knowing that every Saturday High Rise students will be at our Center City site discovering how science shapes their world, and how they can become involved in STEM careers in the future, is very special to all of us at SUNY Schenectady.”

Rise High classes will begin at the SUNY Schenectady Center City location on Saturday, January 25th.  From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from Central Park Middle School, Mont Pleasant Middle School, Oneida Middle School and Solid Ground Christian Academy, will join program leaders and mentors.  Students will explore a different area of science and technology each session throughout the school year, and are presented with a challenge each time to help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Experts from industry and academia are invited to speak to students showing them real-world applications followed by hands-on activities in areas including robotics, weather and climate, nutrition, the science behind music, and much more.

“We are thrilled with the development of Rise High,” Dr. Little said. “The community of students, parents, teachers, mentors, advisors, and university partners is fantastic. We are especially grateful to SUNY Schenectady for providing a wonderful space to offer Rise High to even more Schenectady youth.”

“SUNY Schenectady’s Center City location is the perfect place to host Rise High, which gives Schenectady’s students an opportunity to expand their access to STEM-related learning and other skills training that will help them succeed today and in the future,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “Dr. Moono and the team at SUNY Schenectady have done a great job partnering with other groups and institutions to benefit students and the community.”

Students are selected for Rise High based on an application and a letter of recommendation. The program is funded by the Little Family Foundation and is free for students.


About SUNY Schenectady

Founded in 1969, SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY Schenectady is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Through transferable degree and certificate programs, affordable tuition, strong student support services and a personalized approach to learning, SUNY Schenectady provides students with a regionally-acclaimed education that empowers them to take the next step in their lives. SUNY Schenectady offers degree and certificate programs through the:

  • School of Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism
  • School of Music
  • Division of Business, Criminal Justice, and Law
  • Division of Liberal Arts
  • Division of Math, Science, Technology, and Health

SUNY Schenectady also offers an array of Workforce Development and Community Education services and non-credit courses.  Learn more by visiting:


Share This