Regional program congratulates 58 High School Seniors upon completion of rigorous program
BALLSTON SPA — The Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School (Clean Tech ECHS) recently celebrated the Class of 2015 Graduation and Annual Junior and Senior Capstone Project Exhibition. Students engaged with over 300 attendees and discussed the technology used to engineer their products after participating in a graduation celebration.
The regional program serves almost 300 students from 25 school districts in 10 counties. It was developed by the Ballston Spa Central School District in partnership with Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). There are now over 50 partners from business and industry, higher education, and non-profit and government agencies, including the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and local Chambers of Commerce.
This year’s graduating seniors earned up to 24 college credits from HVCC in the ECHS model that was established in 2011. Clean Tech ECHS was awarded a NYS Pathways in Technology Early College High School (NYS P-TECH) grant by Governor Cuomo in 2013 and expanded opportunities for students in the program to take college coursework in one of four career pathways: Clean Energy, Computer Science & Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Innovation, and Nanotechnology/Mechatronics.
Graduation speakers included Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner of the 113th NYS Assembly District; Marilyn Smith, Economic Development Liaison for Congressman Paul Tonko; Jill Lansing, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Education Pipeline at the State University of New York (SUNY); and Emily Reilly, Senior Director of Human Resources at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
The event also featured an announcement by David Horan of JPMorgan Chase& Co. for a $230,000 grant to Hudson Valley Community College to equip a new Mechatronics laboratory in the college’s Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies (TEC-SMART) in Malta. The lab and newly purchased state-of-the-art equipment will be used by Hudson Valley and Clean Tech ECHS students.
Following the JPMorgan Chase announcement, Astria Solutions Group Vice Presidents Greg Laird and Jeffrey Frankel presented their first annual STEM scholarship to Clean Tech ECHS senior Jacob Fortin. One $4,000 scholarship will be awarded each spring to a Clean Tech ECHS graduating senior who is pursuing college coursework and a career in a STEM field.
The event concluded with the Junior and Senior Capstone Project Exhibition where students shared their innovative solutions to real word problems, describing their technology and business plans to partners. More information on the students’ innovative projects and their future plans can be found on the website in the Graduation Program.
The Ballston Spa CSD has become a leader in the development of STEM learning in K-12 education, especially in the creation of partnerships with business and higher education via their Partnership for Innovation in Education program, through which the district has developed a variety of new courses, curricula and enrichment opportunities for students.