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Niskayuna school board sees fruits of project

Some of the reasons for the increase include rising costs of contractual salaries and benefits, utilities, fuel and an increase in staffing levels in order for the district to accommodate students.

Proposed staff additions include added teaching positions in the elementary schools due to an enrollment increase of 30 students, a health teacher to focus on alcohol and substance abuse prevention in fifth-through-ninth grade, additional counseling staff, an assistant middle school principal, and a director of English language arts.

Also proposed are additional hours for existing technology staff at the high school to continue the Project Lead the Way pre-engineering curriculum.

In 2008-09 school officials will introduce digital electronics, a fourth course to the project.

No one from the public had any questions or comments on the proposed budget. The public will vote on the budget Tuesday, May 20.

The final major activity of the evening was a tour of three classrooms where students and their science teachers have set up displays of engineering projects that are part of the Project Lead the Way curriculum.

The three rooms represented work in design and drawing for production for engineering, principles of engineering, and computer integrated manufacturing.

Student Mike Rowe demonstrated a robot doing actual manufacturing work on a part being driven by a computer program. Sam Lagasse showed his pneumatic-powered mobile chassis that is self-propelled by air compressors that activate its wheels. Zack Webber also demonstrated a robot he constructed. Rebecca Aidala showed the truss bridge on her computer screen that she designed using basic principals of physics. A model of the bridge was built and tested to see how much load the bridge could withstand before failing.

Another group demonstrated a prototype device that can scan simulated recyclable materials such as glass and separate it by color.""

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