PWISTA in the News

Siemens and PWISTA Once Again Bring Science Education Event to Mahopac High School


Students offered hands-on experience to help spark further interest and awareness in the science and technology fields


Mahopac, N.Y., May 10, 2011– Today marks the second year in a row that the New York Metro Chapter of the Siemens Women’s Affinity Network (S.W.A.N.) and PWISTA (Putnam Westchester Industry and Science Teacher Alliance) are co-hosting a one-day science education program for Mahopac High School. The event once again gives Mahopac students a hands-on environment designed to promote further awareness of and interest in the science and technology fields by bringing together a leading clinical diagnostics company – globally headquartered in Tarrytown, N.Y. – and an educational organization.

Today’s activities include a tour of an 80-foot long Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics mobile demonstration vehicle. Inside, students will gain an understanding of the many clinical laboratory products Siemens develops that have a direct impact on patient diagnosis and treatment. Students will also participate in a question-and-answer session with Siemens professionals to acquire insight for future career paths in science.

Science Teachers Come to Tarrytown


On July 18-21, fifteen High School science teachers from Westchester and Putnam counties participated in a 4 day PWISTA (Putnam, Westchester, Industry and Science Teachers Alliance) program.  The BASF Tarrytown site hosted the first three days of the program, with the fourth day hosted by Siemens, also in Tarrytown.

During the three days at BASF, the teachers participated in lab activities including EVO (biodiesel synthesis and analysis via gas chromatography), EM (Pharma coatings and tablet making, hair care, hair gel, and color cosmetics using effect pigments),  EVP (weathering of plastics, color matching an processing additives and pigments including extrusion, injection molding and rotomolding), GK (thermo responsive polymers, and cell culture lab), NC/IA (introduction to the analytical initiatives and equipment), Effect Materials (structure, optics, manufacturing platforms and applications), and EHS (journey to excellence).

The program supports the PWISTA charter which brings science teachers and industry together, providing them with “real world” applications.  This enhances the education experience for their students, when they can bring what they experienced back to the classroom.

Mark Langella, President of PWISTA comments “A fundamental question students ask themselves every day “why do I need to know this”?  For years the ineffective teacher would answer because it is important.   The problem is for a teacher to reach mastery they must be able to give relevance to each topic they teach. The textbooks are not enough. The wealth of this knowledge lye in the modern research laboratories. BASF is aware of the issue and allows our teachers to enter into their world of application. Teachers are  to develop relative anticipatory settings for modern day science lessons for a new generation.  The exposure allows teachers with the necessary wealth of knowledge to develop better inquiry based lessons that could not be developed without the collaboration with the research scientist.”

Susan Vittorio, HR Tarrytown, says “the scientific community always steps up to the plate when it comes to science education initiatives, and were excited to talk about the chemistries they are performing.  Regardless if we are doing the Kids Lab for the elementary school, demo’s for the HS students, or participating in workshops for science teachers, it is a way of giving the gift of science, and a way of demonstrating BASF’s commitment to science education, and development in the local community.”   “I think that the PWISTA science teacher program is an excellent opportunity for high school chemistry teachers to encounter real-world applications of chemistry at a site that is scientifically diverse.  It allows the teachers to illustrate to their students that chemistry is involved in many commercial applications which will hopefully excite students about science”, commented Dr. Meaghan McGuire, Staff Scientist GVP/M.  Dr Eugene Scanlon, Principal Scientist EVO echoed the sentiment with, “the program gives the teachers a better understanding of what we do on a daily basis as a chemical company and helps them better relate what they teach in the classroom to the real world.  The program was a lot of fun and my hope is that together we can motivate the students of today to study math and science as these skills are essential for career success in the 21st century.”


White Plains Technical Center Sponsor Local Science Organization

At the end of August, as White Plains Technical Center (WTC) employees readied their building for closing, the Center donated glassware and lab equipment valued at over $100,000 to the Putnam-Westchester Industry and Science Teacher Alliance (PWISTA). PWISTA is an organization designed to increase scientific knowledge and enhance classroom instruction by exposing science teachers and their students to modern scientific technologies used in industrial laboratories.

“One of the organization’s goals is to facilitate the distribution of donated equipment from industry and business to school laboratories.” said Bill McDowell, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Data Management and Compliance. “This is a great program that directly provides assistance to area teachers and schools.”

The WTC, located in White Plains, NY, has had a long-standing relationship with PWISTA. Over the last five years, the facility’s employees provided a yearly educational tour to further the continuing education of participating science teachers.

“The only way education can survive is through partnership with industry and local companies. Diageo has been very pro-education and helped to train our members on modern laboratory techniques and equipment,” said Mark Langella, Coordinator for PWISTA located in Westchester, NY.

Siemens and PWISTA Bring Science Event to Mahopac High School

Event partners industry with school to educate students about science technologies and career opportunities

Mahopac, N.Y. – The New York Metro Chapter of Siemens Women’s Affinity Network (S.W.A.N.) and PWISTA (Putnam Westchester Industry and Science Teacher Alliance) staged a one-day science educational program to Mahopac High School on May 14, 2010. The event was designed to promote interest in science for women as well as to bring learning experiences to schools through partnering with companies in the industry.

Included in the activities was a tour of an 80-foot long Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics truck where students gain an understanding of the many clinical laboratory products Siemens develops that have a direct impact on patient diagnosis and treatment. Students also viewed a presentation on the steps involved in bringing a product to market and the variety of professions and educational degrees involved in that process. Over 550 students participated in the scheduled activities.

“This is a pilot program we are introducing where we bring an educational field trip to schools to enhance classroom instruction,” said Mark Langella, Advanced Placement Chemistry Instructor. “We feel this is an innovative approach to learning and Siemens is an ideal organization to partner with as an innovative leader in the healthcare industry.”

“We are pleased to be involved in this exciting event to help promote awareness and interest in science among women and students in general,” said Nancy McLean, a member of S.W.A.N. and Director of Product Health for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “We hope that the teachers and students of Mahopac High gain a better understanding of laboratory diagnostics and the important role healthcare professionals play in patient health.

“The Mahopac High School video class followed a group of students through the three stations. Please click on the link that follows to take a virtual tour with some of our students.