The mission of Tech Valley High School is to provide a unique and innovative student-centered educational opportunity, engage students in current emerging technologies and support the growth and economy of the region.
Tech Valley High School utilizes project-based
learning. Students meet graduation requirements through an education
based in authentic projects, teamwork and interaction with business and community
Students at Tech Valley High School will earn a Regents Diploma or an Advanced Regents Diploma, and the curriculum meets all New York state learning standards. Students can also earn college credits for their work at Tech Valley High.
Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical
thinking, creativity and communication to answer challenging
questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant in
this way, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills
and content concepts.
Students aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. This expands student learning by preparing them with work habits and character traits needed to succeed in life, college and careers.
Tech Valley High School partners with leaders from area businesses
and higher education. They were involved in shaping the school,
continue to be participants and collaborators in the educational
program and help develop the project-based learning experiences in
cooperation with educators.
The role of technology
TVHS has a one-to-one student to computer
ratio. A focus on emerging
technologies serves as a teaching tool and local technology experts
partner with teachers to create innovative projects.
Classes are integrated at TVHS. For example, Global Humanities is a course in freshman and sophomore years that integrates Global History and English. Students study Biology and Engineering in a course called Bioengineering. Sophomore English and American History are combined in a course called Inventing America.
Authentic opportunities in the field
Projects at Tech Valley High School integrate
real-world scenarios and information wherever possible.
For example, in Bioengineering class, students are as likely to be
found in the field gathering data, as they are in the classroom
Each year, students go to the Hudson River where they gather water samples to analyze against historic data collected by previous TVHS classes and other schools.
Students as the teachers
Tech Valley High’s education is centered on the
students, who drive their own learning. In many cases, projects put
students into the teacher’s role.
All students participate in the annual TVHS Design Expo held at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Zero Energy Nanotechnology Building. Students either create new projects or revise and polish projects they created earlier in the year.
All of the projects feature problems that were solved through the use of the engineering design process. Students present their work and explain the process to participants, including educators and members of the professional business community.
Workplace experience with experts
All students at TVHS undertake an annual I-term
project in February that allows them to study a potential career.
Freshmen and sophomores take on individual research projects that prepare them for their junior year, when they spend 15 to 25 hours working side-by-side with engineers, doctors, researchers, executives and other professionals.
I-term culminates with Senior Project, a long-term investigation into a career field in which they are interested. Seniors complete a two-week internship and create an authentic artifact and research paper.