In the June 18, 2008 edition of the Daily Gazette, NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira writes:
Our children grow and flourish when they are presented with real-world opportunities in school, created by collaboration among educators, corporate citizens and community leaders. Together, we can make possibilities available so students can build the technology skills needed for the jobs that are helping the Capital Region evolve into Tech Valley.
One such creative partnership is now getting off the ground in this area. The SEMI High Tech U is an industry-quality math- and science-based career exploration program for middle school and high school teachers, presented by industry professionals, using the latest research-based curriculum. It's co-sponsored by NYSUT, General Electric, the Air Products Foundation, the SEMI Foundation and the Workforce Consortium for Emerging Technologies. This July, at the initiative of those principal sponsors and many supporters, this innovative effort will be offered at NYSUT's Latham headquarters, at no cost to educators or school districts.
This is a program that can help shape our region's future. Classroom educators will have the unique chance to experience hands-on learning about microelectronics and the renewable energy industry, a particularly vital topic now.
Our hope is to integrate this free program into a year-round partnership among school districts, higher education institutions and regional and global industry leaders. Several local school districts - including Albany, Shenendehowa, East Greenbush, Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, North and South Colonie, Schoharie and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - have signed on to pilot this program. We're excited about the benefits that our area will gain from this ground-breaking collaboration that will ensure our region's economic viability.
The writer is vice president of NYSUT.