ROTTERDAM – Sen. George Amedore took to the front of the classroom on Thursday to talk government and lobbying with students in the Capital Region BOCES Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) West Campus.
During a nearly hour-long talk with the high school freshmen, Amedore spoke about his decision to enter the world of politics 12 years ago after building a successful construction company, his job as a senator and his job when he was in the assembly, as well as what area he represents and why it’s important for constituents to communicate with elected officials.
“P-TECH programs are such a great opportunity for our students to get a three-dimensional learning experience that provides them with practical, real-world experience. I enjoyed my visit with 9th grade P-TECH students at Mohonasen’s CAT Center, where we had a lively and energetic discussion about the importance of our young people being involved in their community, and engaged with their elected officials,” Amedore said following the visit.
The students in the first-year Capital Region BOCES program will be sending letters to the elected officials as part of a wide-ranging project that examines everything from scientific issues – ocean pollution and plastics – to social justice topics, said Principal Makensie Bullinger.
Using advice Amedore gave, the students will make impassioned pleas to their elected officials about their individual topics. The students are also creating TED Talks on similar topics as part of the project and will post them to the internet.
“I feel that it is important to spread awareness about things that people might not usually think about.” “You need to know how to address higher officials because if you can contact these officials then you can address these important issues that you care about,” said Liz Hess, a P-TECH student from Schalmont.
P-TECH is a four- to six-year program (grades 9-14) offered to students throughout the region through a consortium that includes Capital Region BOCES, the Capital Region Chamber, Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Schenectady County Community College.
The program’s two campuses – East Campus is at Watervliet High School, West Campus at the Center for Advanced Technology at Mohonasen – provides pathways for students to earn free college degrees in Computer Science, Computer Information Systems and Cybersecurity.
The P-TECH curriculum focuses on engaging students in hands-on, project-based learning – such as coding – to be successful in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and providing students with workplace skills that will ensure success, no matter the career path they are applied to. Through the program, business partners provide students access to cutting-edge technologies and innovations that allow them to see the real-world application of the knowledge they are gaining at P-TECH.