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Extreme STEAM Science Kids Staff

stacey-newStacey Susinno, Science Director

Stacey inspires and motivates all of our Science Campers each day. She has taught Earth Science in the Port Washington school district for 7 years and has a Masters in Educational Technology. Stacey is currently involved in helping to revise and write new laboratory experiences for the Next Generation Science Standards. She looks forward to inspiring new makers with our rich STEAM curriculum!

Jess Zanco, Robotics Teacher

For the past 10 years Jess Zanco has been a 7th Grade Family and Consumer Science/Career and Technical Educator at Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management of Technology from SUNY Farmingdale and a Master’s Degree in FACS Education from Queens College.  This year, Jess was presented with the opportunity to start a VEX EDR Middle School Robotics team that reignited her passion for robotics and computer science.  She is looking forward to developing these skills further and is excited to be a part of the Extreme STEAM Science Kids program!

laylaLayla Maynard, Science Teacher

Layla Maynard comes to us from Half Hollow Hills High School, where she has been teaching science for ten years.  As a seasoned biology teacher, her courses have included marine, anatomy & physiology, genetics and advanced environmental science. She has a diverse background in the sciences, as her previous careers include a pharmaceutical and cosmetic chemist, as well as working for the City Parks Foundation educating inner city students the importance of the environmental conservation. She has studied in Tasmania, Australia and earned her degree in zoology. Layla was a zookeeper at Queens Zoo for over four years just before becoming an educator at Half Hollow Hills. She has a passion for science and her enthusiasm and knowledge will be sure to ignite that spark for our campers!


joyKristina Schaaf, Associate Director of Education/Coordinator of Digital Content, Heckscher Museum of Art

Kristina has worked in the Education Department since 2004 and became Associate Director of Education in 2007. She has a M.S. in Education from Queens College, City University of New York and a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art from Binghamton University.  During her years at the Museum, she has been instrumental in developing engaging educational activities for diverse audiences and integrating technology into the museum experience.  

Anurag-PurwarAnurag Purwar, Curriculum Advisor

Dr. Purwar received his Ph.D. from State University of New York at Stony Brook and his B. Tech from IIT Kanpur, both in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests are in machine design area with a focus on kinematic design of robots and mechanisms, CAD/CAM, and application of Computational Geometry, Virtual Reality (VR), Computer Graphics and Visualization in Design Engineering.

Dr. Purwar’s research work has been published in several international journals and conferences and he is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by Stony Brook University. His work on the interactive dimensional synthesis of planar 6R mechanisms won him a best paper award at the 2009 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC). He was one of the eight presenters invited from around the world to give a lecture on the topic of Quaternions and Clifford Algebras at the Kinematics Summer School for PhD students and early career faculty and organized by the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Committee in Buffalo, NY, 2014.

He has been twice elected as a member of the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics committee and served as the Program Chair for the 2014 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, as the Conference Chair for the 2015 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference and has served as symposium and session chairs for many ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. He is the general Conference Co-Chair for the 2016 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC/CIE).

Dr. Purwar is also the department’s representative to the NY state-funded Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) program. As the SPIR representative, he identifies and coordinates projects between the department and Long Island based industries. SPIR projects include joint proposals for federal funding, manufacturing and quality assurance improvements, research and development, and testing and evaluation.

He won a SUNY Research Foundation Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) award, which enabled him to develop a multifunctional Sit-to-Stand-Walker assistive device for people afflicted with neuromuscular degenerative diseases or disability. The technology and the patent behind the device has been licensed to Biodex Medical Systems for bringing the device to institutional market. In 2014, Dr. Purwar gave an invited TEDx talk on Machine Design Innovation through Technology and Education which focused on enabling democratization of design capabilities, much needed for invention and innovation of machines by uniting the teaching of scientific and engineering principles with the new tools of technology.