Tonko, school to plug K-12 engineering

Friday, August 2, 2013
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— U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko will be at Ballston Spa High School on Monday to discuss legislation he’s proposed to have public schools put new emphasis on education in engineering.

Tonko will join education officials and the Ballston Spa High School robotics team to discuss the proposed Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act he has introduced.

Tonko’s proposal would add engineering education to federal laws that now emphasize math and science education, and require all states to develop plans for including engineering in K-12 curriculums.

Tonko, D-Amsterdam, is in the minority in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, making his legislation unlikely to pass.

On Monday, Tonko will be joined by Ballston Spa Central School District Superintendent Joseph P. Dragone and other school administrators.

“Engineering education helps all students understand the world around us and how things work,” Tonko said. “Exposing more students to engineering will prove to be a tremendous asset as we work to enhance the quality of education they receive.”

Tonko, an engineer by training, is a graduate of Clarkson University in Potsdam.

Ballston Spa schools have emphasized science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in recent years, at least partially in response to the arrival of the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant in Malta and the technology jobs it is creating. The high-school robotics team this year was a regional champion.

“The Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act will help integrate critical design and engineering skills as an important K-12 curricular component,” Dragone said. “Critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and innovation will be the driving factors of tomorrow’s workforce, and this bill will support and expand these opportunities for our students.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N,Y, has also introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Tonko will appear at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Ballston Spa High School.

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August 3, 2013
12:07 p.m.
grant18 says...

While it certainly is true that Congressman Tonko is in the minority in the House of Representatives, it seems rather presumptuous of this reporter to judge the prospects of passing a very good law strictly on that basis. Quite a few pundits are criticizing the press as just as guilty as the politicians in creating the current logjams in Congress & I think this is a small but significant example of that.

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