By day, Lawrence Perretto is a science teacher at Mamaroneck Hommocks Middle School. But after the last bell, he’s leading a county revolution in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education—for students and teachers. His STEM Leadership Center, a nonprofit launched in 2013, runs STEM-themed after-school programs for urban youths in places like Mount Vernon, and a goal is to provide science teachers with real-world science experience they can bring back to the classroom.
His STEM Teaching Fellowship circumvents the tired, bureaucratic teacher development programs offered by public schools by partnering with organizations like Tarrytown’s Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Teachers College, Columbia University. Science teachers are brought into Regeneron labs, where they shadow real scientists, and they’re enrolled in college-level science courses to stay fresh on the latest advancements in the field.