The Watervliet City School District was honored to welcome Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) for the National Engineer Week.
Tonko is an advocate of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and National Engineer Week gave students an opportunity to take part in activities and discussions about careers in the STEM field. The program is especially focused on individuals from lower incomes and women.
Tonko, who holds degrees in engineering, spoke about the importance of such opportunities.
"My education in engineering didn't go away when I received my diploma – I employ the philosophies of a strong STEM education every day of my life," he said.
Watervliet was an ideal spot to hold the event, as many of the individuals in the area suffer from poverty and lack options. With the need for professionals in the STEM areas growing, it is imperative that individuals of every income level have access to education in these areas.
"The interaction with college students and the hands-on activities our students experience will help encourage or ignite an interest in science, engineering, and technology, especially among students who may not otherwise think the pursuit of STEM education is possible," Watervliet Superintendent Lori Caplan said.