Updated 01/27/2011 03:10 PM
Students get head start in innovation
Coming off the President's State of the Union address in which education was a major theme, Congressman Paul Tonko visited high schoolers in Colonie to see how they're leading the way into innovation. Our Sabina Kuriakose tells us why many of these students say they're prime examples of the President's message.
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COLONIE, N.Y. -- This is not your typical high school science class. In fact, it's more like a college course.
"I'm heading off to RIT for chemical engineering and electrical engineering with a focus on nanotechnology," said high school senior Christopher Desmond.
Congressman Paul Tonko toured a class of aspiring engineers at Colonie Central High School, just as President Obama called for greater investments in education and innovation in his State of the Union address.
"We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair," said the President.
"It's so encouraging to see a school system like Colonie so invested in project lead the way, where they're offering untold opportunities to so many students here to enter into the exploration of science and technology careers," said Tonko.
Project Lead the Way encourages hands-on experience in STEM curriculum: Science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Colonie was one of the first schools to get on board and now it's at over 3,000 schools in the nation.
"I come here and I learn things that I'm told kids in their second and third year of college are just learning this stuff and I'm like wow, couldn't get a better opportunity," said senior Michael FitzGibbons.
Tonko said it's curriculum like this that exemplifies the President's message of an emphasis on innovation in the classroom that can lead to the jobs of the future.
"If we're going to win this global race, we need to enter it with investments in human infrastructure, capital infrastructure, and physical infrastructure, and the way to begin with that is to really introduce it into the learning curve," he said.
For these students, that future is now.
Time Warner Cable is the parent company of YNN and we are committed to the Connect a Million Minds program, inspiring youth to develop science, technology, engineering and math skills. For more information on the initiative, go to connectamillionminds.com.