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The Cradle of Aviation supports STEM Workforce Development through Job Shadowing partnerships, an annual STEM Career Expo, Guidance counselor enrichment and our many competitions.

STEM Career Expo 2023

Since 2012, the museum has held its Annual STEM Career Expo, open to all Long Island schools; the purpose of which is to expose as many 10th and 11th-grade students to the various careers and applications in STEM disciplines especially here on Long Island. Exhibitors, professionals, and local colleges feature their careers, conduct hands-on demonstrations, and showcase real-world applications of STEM. We have industry representatives from companies like Brookhaven National Lab, East West Industries, GSE Dynamics, and Jet Blue along with local colleges including Farmingdale State College and Dowling College. A sampling of Long Island career sectors represented are Healthcare, Aerospace, Engineering, Renewable Energy, Manufacturing, Homeland Security, Information Technology and Communications, and Aviation.

"The STEM Career Expo at the Cradle of Aviation Museum is a pivotal step towards securing a skilled and motivated workforce that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of our community," said Catherine Gonzalez, Deputy Director of the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Event Details:

Date: Monday, October 30th, 2023, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Location: Cradle of Aviation Museum, 1 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Admission: FREE* (Students are encouraged to bring a bagged lunch)

* Schools must register to attend. Teachers, please contact Deputy Director Catherine Gonzalez at or  Assistant Education Director Ines Jijon at to register.

For businesses interested in registering as presenters, please contact Catherine Gonzalez at 516-572-4028 or

Altice - Jeff Rosenking, Program Manager, Kathy Ziet, Process Engineer, and Miriam Donath, UX Researcher.

AUSCO Inc - Elizabeth Denlea, Director of Human Resources

East/West Industries - Teresa Ferraro, President, and Joseph Spinosa, Vice-President

FAA - Lorna Christian, Senior Advisor

LIRR - Dan Marcy, Deputy Outreach Manager Elizabeth Paredes, Field Engineer Paul Wilson, Field Engineer Eva Chan-Hu, Risk Manager Alex Baranov, Project Manager Colleen Hoffman, Deputy Commercial Manager Emil Kincel, Electrician Frank McCabe, Electrician Tara Foster, Project Manager Luiz Almeida, Field Engineer John Mastera, Civil Technical Lead

Northwell Health - Dora SantaMaria-Yao, Director Organizational Change Management

Job Shadow Program

Job Shadow
For sometime now, residents and company owners have complained of the “brain drain” on Long Island. Masses of young adults are leaving the island to go to college and seek employment else where, uninformed of the opportunities the island holds. For business on the island to grow, it needs a plentiful, skilled, and educated workforce. Students need to know what opportunities are available for them here on Long Island. The reality is that most students are unaware of the career pathways and opportunities on Long Island.

The Cradle of Aviation job shadowing component seeks to address these issues by retaining students on the island and better prepare them for the careers of tomorrow by establishing partnerships between the academic and business communities to develop a workforce with the 21st century skills and education needed for success. Long Island needs to invest in our students, our future workforce, and to inspire students to remain on Long Island to pursue their career passions.

This initiative helps students gain real-world skills and hands on learning experiences while making early connections to the breadth of employment available to them via job shadowing.

The museum’s Job shadowing is a work experience option where students learn about a job by walking through the work day as a shadow to a competent worker. The job shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the student. The hope is that by providing job shadow experiences it will expose students to a larger variety of career choices which in turn could lead to more meaningful internships. During the job shadowing students will witness firsthand the work environment, employability and occupational skills in practice, the value of professional training and potential career options. The job shadowing is designed to increase career awareness, help model student behavior through examples and reinforce in the student the link between classroom learning and work requirements. Currently the museum has established over 30 industry partners who are willing to assist in providing these job shadow opportunities. Among them are Curtiss Wright, National Grid and Northrop Grumman

STEM Guidance Day

Guidance counselors are vital stakeholders influencing the future of education in the U.S and they are a primary source of career information for students. The museum hosts an annual Guidance Day open to all secondary Long Island guidance counselors. The goal is to prepare guidance counselors with both a big picture view of the economic imperative to produce more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates. Additionally, the event provides them with specific examples and strategies that illustrate pathways for students to participate in STEM careers especially as it relates to Long Island. Featured speakers for the 2011 Guidance Day were LI Workforce Update-Michael K. Crowell, Senior Economist NY State Dept. of Labor, Cradle to Career- Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, Hofstra IDEAS Institute, From a Guiding Perspective -Barbara A. Donnellan, Ed.D., Regional Governor, Region 1 New York State School Counselor Association, Empire State STEM Learning Network -Cheryl Davidson, NSLIJ, College Prep Talk- John Russo, Newsday


We host many STEM-related competitions through-out the year such as the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, the KidWind Challenge, the Junior Solar Sprint competition, Brookhaven National Lab' MagLev competition, the Cyber Patriot cyber defense competition, and the Verizon Mobility Exploration Challenge. Visit our Competitions page for more details on these and other competitions.

For more information about these programs and events, you can contact the Education Department via the form below.

Education Contact Form
Additional Details