In 1983, Mathew M. Mandery’61 became the first alumnus to be appointed principal of Brooklyn Tech. It was clear that Tech’s curriculum and facility had to be brought into the 21st Century. His vision was to create partnerships to help move Tech forward. Matt, then Assistant Principal Micheal A. Weiss ’57 and Achilles Perry ‘58 with the help of others, established an association that would eventually become the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation. Now, our Foundation is the leading public school alumni group in America!
We started with homecomings, teachers’ grants, publishing a newsletter and restoring our magnificent WPA auditorium lobby mural. We then reupholstered the auditorium’s 3,000 seats, preserving the Art Deco curved wooden back. An early record of accomplishment, but we were just beginning! Tech’s corps of over 200 teachers represents the critically important human element in our school’s continuing record of excellence. Without these highly motivated professionals, ours would not be the educational powerhouse it is today. We award teacher grants through our Jeffrey M. Haitkin Faculty Grant Program, to support programs beyond what public funding will cover. We have expanded the reference resources in the William L. Mack ’57 Library and sent scores of teachers to important conferences and professional development seminars.
CARETECH (The Commitment to Assess and Revise the Education of TECH), the name given to the partnership among the administration, faculty, and its alumni, was originally supported by a pledge of $10 million from the Alumni Foundation. CARETECH created a modernization plan that was aimed at ensuring Brooklyn Tech’s place as the leader among the Nation’s high schools for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while preparing young people for leadership in a technology dominated world.For generations of Tech “Engineers”, the football season was always a grueling schedule of “away” games. Thanks to Charles B. Wang ’62, the Alumni Foundation and Take The Field, Tech has its own athletic field which not only is home to our football team but to our Lacrosse, Cricket, and Soccer teams. The Alumni Foundation over the years has helped in other ways. The Fiber Optic Backbone: Project Connect involved building the school’s network. We had to overcome extensive hurdles caused by the huge footprint and the 1932 construction technology of the building. It took 28 miles of cable to bring wireless and hard wired high speed internet access to every classroom, laboratory and office. The Con Edison Environmental Science and Engineering Laboratory enables Tech students to conduct scientific investigations in soil, water, and air quality using professional grade equipment and EPA standard methods that mirror the activities they can expect to perform as environmental professionals. The Fred DeMatteis ’35 Architecture Laboratory is a 21st Century technology enriched Architecture Laboratory that has had a total electrical/data and computer upgrades needed to support the most current architecture and engineering software. It also gives teachers different tools that include and interactive whiteboard, advanced printing/plotting capabilities and a separate drawing/design area.
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classrooms include the conversion of several classic classrooms into technology enriched classrooms with advanced PCs that support the PLTW curriculum/software requirements In addition, more than thirteen antiquated science/physics classrooms are now connected to the world via a high speed fiber optic Internet connection, interactive whiteboards that incorporate an attached overhead projection system and advanced laptop to support multimedia, new curricular and course management software.
Mayor Bloomberg honored the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation, saying, “Nothing underscores a deep commitment to public education more than the $10 Million Campaign for Tech you successfully completed. It was an unprecedented fundraising achievement in the history of the Nation’s premier public school system.” The campaign was launched in 1998 by a dedicated group of Brooklyn Tech alumni under the leadership of Len Riggio ’58. “Our goal is not just to support Brooklyn Tech, but to send an important message about the value of public education in New York City and beyond,” said Mr. Riggio. He added “Widespread access to quality public education is the first responsibility of a truly democratic society.”
Internship Program: Our summer Internship Program that was created with a grant from alumnus Lee Rizzuto ’56 provides internships, apprenticeships, mentorships and volunteer experiences for over 250 Brooklyn Tech students each year. A centerpiece of the program is the model program that was created with Con Edison in which over 130 Brooklyn Tech students have participated in since its beginning in the summer of 2000. These internships are truly transformational learning experiences.
The Weston Research Scholars Program (WRSP) was created with a grant from Josh Weston ’47 and his wife Judy. It provides selected Brooklyn Tech students with a three-year opportunity to participate in the creation of new knowledge. The program begins with a summer orientation between the 9th and 10th grades. The summer program targets scientific reasoning and inquiry skills known to be of value to research groups in the New York City area. In the summer between the 10th and 11th grade students join research groups and begin investigations that continue through the 12th grade. During these two years of research, students produce work that can be submitted to STEM competitions such as Intel, Siemen’s and Google. The cornerstone of the program is the scholastic empowerment of Brooklyn Tech students that enables them to master the art and craft of scientific investigation at graduate and post graduate levels. They will be transformed from apprentices of scientific investigation to highly creative scholars of the pure and applied sciences equipped to be the next generation of STEM leaders.
Middle School STEM Pipeline Program: The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation in collaboration with Brooklyn Technical High School and National Grid launched this program in July 2013 to introduce Middle School students to the exciting world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program is designed to develop the next generation of STEM leaders by opening the world of science and technology to middle school students and prepare them for the challenge facing them in high school, college and careers. Students in the program experience a variety of project-based projects including design and modeling, automation and robotics, energy and the environment. The classes are taught by Brooklyn Tech faculty and current Brooklyn Tech students serve as assistants. Students are expected to take the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). Preparation for the SHSAT is incorporated into the program. Upon graduating from middle school, students who are admitted to Brooklyn Tech will continue in the program having the opportunity to study at one of the nation’s premier specialized STEM high schools. While at Brooklyn Tech, pipeline students will be supported by a mentor from National Grid.This is a true pipeline experience as it reaches out to middle school students, nurtures them through middle school and shepherds them through high school, college and into an engineering/technology career possibly at National Grid.
The Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to enable the Foundation and Brooklyn Tech to recognize those graduates who achieved distinction in the respective fields, hoping that their examples will inspire new generations of students to appreciate the STEM education they received at Brooklyn Tech. To date there have been 39 inductees to the Hall of Fame including the founder and first principal of the school, Dr. Albert I. Colston.
In 2011, the Foundation started an annual celebration where we would recognize alumni, retired faculty, and friends of Brooklyn Tech. Awards are given to multiple candidates in each field including: Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Younger Alumni, Faculty Emeritus, Most Valuable Alumnus in Sports, and the Blue and White Service Award.
In 2010 alumnae Sue Mayham ’76 helped established the Ruby Engineers as an extension to Career Day. Each year following, the Foundation has sponsored a stand- alone event to commemorate Women in History Month, where Brooklyn Tech seniors are nominated by faculty and recognized for various achievements. In 2014, we established a Ruby Engineers Club whose purpose is to celebrate young women of Tech and connect them to Tech alumna through a series of events and activities. Short Range Goals include networking, collaboration between Technites and alumni, to create mentorships and present internship opportunities; Leadership development, college and career preparation including exploration of colleges and programs; teaching career development tools including public speaking, resume writing, etc. and advocacy for young women in Tech.
An annual event sponsored by the Foundation. Alums and non-alums who are established in their careers, come to Tech, are scheduled to speak in classes throughout the school day to share both their educational and business acumen with the students.
Our record of accomplishment is one all of us can read with pride. But the job is not finished. With the necessary alumni support, the Tech Alumni Foundation will continue our effort…fulfill our responsibility…to provide Tech students with the best possible high school education.
Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn NY 11217 718.797.2285
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