GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Greenburgh students and community members alike will have the chance to hear from a world-renowned inventor and physicist at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night — for free.
James Wynne, an IBM physicist, will be the first speaker in a new lecture series at Solomon Schechter of Westchester's Upper School, 555 W. Hartsdale Ave. The free series was put together by school faculty in hopes to encourage the local community to get interested in the STEM field — science, technology, engineering and math.
"We're really interested in broadening the scope in schools' interest of STEM education," said Danny Aviv, a Solomon Schechter school curricular developer and Sci-TECH program teacher. "We think that everybody needs to know about this.
"Education is lacking in STEM areas. We want to take it a step further. I think for it to really impact kids, they have to see real live people succeeding."
Aviv hopes the lecture series will grow among the schools and community. Solomon Schechter already has scheduled Paul Hertz, who is the director of the astrophysics division at NASA, as its second speaker in February.
The school also will provide a free dinner with the lecture, encouraging anyone who still may be without power to continue the school's services as a shelter as it has been the past week.
Wynne is a Mount Kisco resident and Harvard graduate who helped develop the excimer laser used in laser eye surgery in 1981. The National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee said jobs in science areas will increase as more industries implement technology into their products.
"Everything is going to be made smarter beyond the engineering infrastructure. Cars, bridges, tunnels, roads, train systems," Wynne said. "Everything is connected to everywhere. This entire network we have is all about information technology."
Wynne also founded a program at the IBM Watson Research Center in Hawthorne called Family Science Saturdays, which invites local students to experience hands-on science. Jobs in computer science and technology are the future, Wynne said, and it starts with learning basic math and science skills in grade school.
"They need to know that it's exciting and that it helps people," he said. "In today's world, you need to be tech-literate."