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EYP - TVHS form partnership


EYP's John Tobin addresses the crowd

Tech Valley High School in conjunction with EYP architecture and engineering unveiled a partnership in March, 2012 that will serve as a model for schools across the state.

Through this partnership, EYP will enhance its support of TVHS by providing funding for the school's new Fab Lab. The Fab Lab, to be known as the EYP Fab Lab, brings to culmination the development of a full “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum that will fully engage students in engineering and technology learning experiences, said TVHS Principal Dan Liebert.

The vision of the school, Liebert said, is to “not layer on more technology and engineering coursework, but rather integrate the acquisition of technology literacy throughout the
curriculum of the school.” That's where the design lab "brings it all together."

A YNN TV news camera captures work in the new Fab Lab

In the lab, students and teachers will work with TVHS math teachers and engineers, Jason Irwin and Diane Weldon, as well as art teacher and designer Ed Coolidge, to design, build, model test, revise and repair solutions to difficult problems they are presented in their classes and must confront in their projects.

For example, students would design and build small sensors utilizing NXT Robots and deploy them in the Hudson River to collect basic environmental data which is then analyzed and conclusions about the health of the Hudson River reported. This will be done in conjunction with the Beacon Institute’s “Sense It” Project.

But the new EYP Fab Lab does more than just benefit TVHS students.

Questar III District Superintendent James Baldwin said the lab will benefit students of schools through the Questar III and Capital Region BOCES. As students at Tech Valley High gain knowledge, so do their teachers who in turn share their experiences and knowledge with teachers across the region, country and even world through professional development classes.

In 2011, more than 500 area educators and business leaders took part in professional development offerings at the school.

"EYP’s support is not only shaping the education of students at Tech Valley High, it’s
shaping the growth and education of students from all over. Thank you EYP for being
such visionaries," Baldwin stated.

The new Fab Lab

EYP's John Tobin, LEED AP and director of architecture for the international firm, said the support is "a real ‘win-win’ for EYP and educators."

He also noted there "are strong advantages for the businesses to support education. For EYP, this lab presents two important advantages ... to create a richer academic experience for local students so they can contribute to a world-class workforce right here in our bustling Tech Valley region; and we want to help instill in our students what we call the Power of Making. There is so much deep learning that happens when you actually go to make something, as opposed to just thinking about it and leaving it at the paper stage which materials? which tools? Did it work?"


Jim Baldwin talks with students about their project in the Fab Lab"With this lab it’s our intent that TVHS students are ahead of the curve in knowing not only how to think, but also how to turn their ideas into reality with real materials. It’s our hope that they also can use cutting edge tools for their work and this lab provides them with that opportunity," said Tobin.

Baldwin noted that EYP a member of the school's Business Alliance has been a longtime supporter of TVHS. 

"The relationship between EYP and Tech Valley High School is the perfect example of, and the realization of, our vision for the future of the business-education collaboration. Over the years, EYP has offered Tech Valley High School advice on how to implement the STEM curriculum Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, financial support and personnel who have co-taught, co-evaluated and co-designed the projects we challenge Tech Valley High Schools students with every day," Baldwin said.

Kayla Delano

As schools look to meet the challenge of education reform and deal with the realities of education funding, partnerships like the one announced Wednesday offer a prime example of what can be accomplished with foresight and an open mind, said Liebert.

Tobin said the partnership and TVHS is an example others should follow.

"We believe TVHS is a model for education nationally in how project-based learning can spearhead an approach to secondary education," he said.

In the top photo, EYP's John Tobin addresses the crowd as Questar IIII District Superintendent Dr. Jim Baldwin looks on.

In the second photo, a YNN TV news camera captures work in the new Fab Lab.

KAte BErdan

The third photo shows the new EYP Fab Lab.

In the fourth photo, Jim Baldwin talks with students about their project in the Fab Lab.

In the fifth photo, Kayla Delano uses the new Fab Lab.

In the sixth photo, Kate Berdan, of Schoharie, works on a project in the Fab Lab.