Good clean learning

Ballston Spa High School and others to benefit from NYSERDA award

Clean energy through various hands-on applications is making its way to the Tec-SMART campus. Submitted photo.

Clean energy through various hands-on applications is making its way to the Tec-SMART campus. Submitted photo.

— Nearly 100 high school students participating in the CleanTechnologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School located at the Hudson Valley Community College Campus in Malta will have some more hands-on technology when the new school year starts up.

The opportunity is thanks to $46,600 NYSERDA grant awarded to Ballston Spa High School, which is using the money to buy “renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment” in support of the expansion of the clean high school.

“This is a wonderful partnership between NYSERDA and Ballston Spa and certainly Hudson Valley Community College to encourage the STEM curriculum,” said Kate Muller, NYSERDA director of communications.

The STEM, or Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, curriculum at Hudson Valley is open to juniors and seniors from 12 schools in five counties and allows them to earn up to 25 college credits while pursuing their high school diplomas. Students are chosen to participate through a selection process. Approximately 28 students from Ballston Spa will be in the program.

“This training equipment will allow high school students to gain hands-on experience with the same technology they would encounter in the field,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA, “Practical experience enhances classroom education, engages students in lab activities and helps participants to gain a competitive edge as they seek post-secondary education or internship opportunities.”

So far, Ballston Spa High School has bought thermal imaging cameras and blower door units to help students learn about conducting energy audits.

According to Ballston Spa High School’s science coordinator Diane Irwin, there are still a number of new technologies that have yet to be purchased, including solar and wind energy kits that will help students learn about solar panels and wind turbines.

“A rapid prototyping machine will also be purchased,” said Irwin. “The students currently take a college class in AutoCAD and will be able to use the rapid prototyping machine to create prototypes of their designs for their other classes.”

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