Shenendehowa unveils STEM Center at High School East

Written by on March 24, 2021


Shenendehowa unveils STEM Center at High School East 

Modernization of facility highlights interactive and collaborative space with a greater emphasis on innovative learning

Video recording of today’s event can be found here

Photos from today’s event can be found here

(CLIFTON PARK, NEW YORK – March 24, 2021) The Shenendehowa Central School District held a dedication ceremony today, marking the opening of the new STEM Center at High School East. The STEM Center, part of a 2017 capital improvement project approved by voters, completes the modernization of the former High School Technology wing.

The space has been completely remodeled to provide students the ability to compete and thrive in a knowledge-driven global community, marked by rapid technological advancements with a heightened sense of accountability for performance. The 31,910 square foot STEM Center responds to the changing workforce landscape, providing a state-of-the-art facility to prepare Shenendehowa students for futures in cybersecurity, software development, artificial intelligence, automotive and construction technologies, manufacturing and other STEM related fields.

“Shen and specifically, Shen technology, has a longstanding reputation of being on the cutting edge,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. L. Oliver Robinson stated during his remarks. “Being on the cutting edge requires a steadfast focus on evolving as a learning community, which means the modernization to cultivate self-directed learning and support leading edge pedagogical practices.” 

Shenendehowa has a long history of innovative firsts in the fields of technology and robotics. As early as 1987, the Shenendehowa Technology Advisory Council began implementing the groundbreaking pre-engineering program, Project Lead the Way®, making Shen the first district in the country with such a program. Just two years later in 1989, Shenendehowa’s Robotics team, Team 20, became a founding team in FIRST® Robotics.

A special guest joined the dedication ceremony today, Mr. Paul Kane, who taught technology at Shen from 1971-2011. Mr. Kane was the leading figure and trailblazer for both Project Lead the Way® and FIRST Robotics®. Today he was honored with a special recognition plaque that is now displayed in the catalyst collaboration space.

“The transformation of this facility is truly remarkable,” said Mr. Kane. “There was always a lack of integration between technology and science in the physical classroom space. That is all changed now. The hands-on experience that students will now have here is all about applied learning from math and science all the way through the technology courses.”

The new center includes: 10 science room upgrades, one new Physics room, six new classrooms, one new multi-use space, one new Automotive Tech space, one new Constructuction Tech space with a dedicated outside work area, one new Machining Lab, and one new office. With all of these new classrooms and updates, one feature that rings true is the ability for students to expand beyond a classroom experience with a true overlap in learning.

“Being able to see what the other classes are working on as you’re in your classroom is going to be really impactful,” exclaims High School senior Bailey Walencik. “Even as you walk by and see projects in the display cases, I think it will influence future students to look into STEM and be able to see what the class is all about and what we’re actually working on.”

Today’s dedication ceremony included student leaders, District and High School level administrators, members of the Board of Education, project architects, community partners and state and local politicians. Classes are scheduled to begin in the new Center this upcoming Monday, March 29.

Click to view the video recording and see photos of today’s event. 

Click to view Introduction to STEM Center video featuring our students and teachers.

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