QUEENSBURY -- When a group of students from South Glens Falls High School got thirsty and needed a drink of water, they dispatched their robot to a nearby table, where a person put the bottle on the robot and it delivered it back to them.

Senior Evan Brooks said students used Vex robotic kit components, a battery pack and a software program called RobotC to program the two robots, which are operated by remote control.

The taller robot they named “Moose Knuckles” and the smaller one that brought the water is “Sizzle Lift.”

The students had a lot of fun creating these two machines in their computer-integrated manufacturing class, which is part of the Project Lead the Way engineering curriculum.

“Not many times you can build a robot,” said student Zach Gordon.

Their robots impressed those in attendance at a career and technical symposium held Tuesday at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Queensbury campus.

Stephen Danna, dean of the SUNY Plattsburgh satellite location, said a key component of the new Common Core curriculum is preparing students for future careers. This event was all about putting that on display.

“Showcase how schools are readying their students for success and help people understand the importance of being college and career ready,” he said.

Students from various area school districts excitedly talked about their projects. Deanna Mathewson, a 10th-grader at Queensbury High School, spoke about the different technology and business elective classes offered by the district, including desktop publishing, principles of engineering, communication essentials and sports marketing.

“It’s really helpful to explore a lot of different kinds of writing that you don’t do in your standard English class,” she said.

Fellow sophomore Clare O’Brien took a media arts class because she is considering going into broadcast journalism. In one of the assignments, the students had to take a newspaper story and turn it into a broadcast story.

“You had to learn how to convey the message in short sentences,” she said.

Some students can earn special certifications before they leave high school. Emilee Boddery of Greenwich, a student at SUNY Brockport, said she was the first person in the school to receive a career and technical education endorsement on her high school diploma in the field of business, which means she has mastered various subjects including general management, computer skills and health and safety.

Salem High School junior Shayla Pratt was explaining the work done in her forensics class including learning about collecting evidence and examining a crime scene.

“It’s very hands on. It’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Ten different programs were showcased at the symposium, which Danna said he hopes will become an annual event.

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