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Year in Review:
Students learn about innovation & business in Tech Valley   



Editors note: This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the 2011-12 school year.


Exploding balloonEverything from a super-heated balloon exploding to flow charts were used by business and innovation leaders from across the Tech Valley as they showcased their products and businesses to inquisitive students in October.

Representatives of eight businesses detailed what their companies do and why during the October 5 Tech Valley High School Exposium - an event that is designed to expose students to opportunities in the Tech Valley so they can learn about cool things happening in local businesses.

"Our goal is to inspire students to pursue careers in our region," said Denise Zieske, business partnership coordinator at Tech Valley High School. "By all accounts, we were successful today with this large variety of presenters and topics discussed."

In a presentation by Robert Hirsch, of H2Pump, students were shown the impact of heating a hydrogen-filled balloon as Lewis explained how difficult it is to contain particles and gasses. In another presentation, students learned how the use of crystals can alter
Explaining planesthe view of objects. And in yet another presentation, students learned how the media is evolving thanks to the exploding popularity of online and social websites.

Throughout the event, Tech Valley High School students moved from classroom to classroom for 20-minute sessions on topics they chose to learn more about.

"It was really cool," said one freshmen. "The discussion by Mr. Hirsch was very interesting."

Renee Nichols, of Solid Sealing Technology, said the exposure to the opportunities that await the students is an important aspect of the students' education.

"It's really important for high school students to be exposed to the opportunities that await them based on what they are doing here at school," she said. "The students here (at Tech Valley High School) have great skill sets and different interests and likes that those interests can be applied in and it is a great opportunity for them to learn just what awaits them."

Those taking part in the Exposium were Lewis, of H2Pump, Nichols, of Solid Seal Technology, Michael DiAcetis and Kathy Seymour, of National Grid, Michael Hendricks and Robin Cooper, of the Albany Business Review, Dennis O'Leary, of Micro-Optical Methods, Marie Schnitzer, of AWS Truepower, Phil Spoor, of Chart Industries, and Sarah Halliday, of M&T Bank.

"Our students today were exposed to some of the premiere businesses in the Tech Valley," said TVHS Principal Dan Liebert. "This interaction provides them with a better understanding of all that awaits them in the future and allows them to have a better understanding of how what they are learning at Tech Valley is used in the business world."Studentys look through a filter

 In the top photo, Robert Hirsch, of H2Pump, demonstrates what can happen when a hydrogen-filled balloon is overheated. He was not hurt in the demonstration, though Hirsch said he did lose some hairs.

 In the second photo, Marie Schnitzer, of AWS Truepower, discusses the design of an airplane.

In the third photo, freshman Leah Clifford, of Ichabod Crane, peers through a lens to see the impact of a filter, that is being applied by Jesse Fawcett, of Green Island. Looking on is Dennis O'Leary, of Micro-Optical Methods.