Business Partnerships at Schodack CSD
Schodack CSD believes strongly in partnering with businesses to create opportunities for students. Whether it's our Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP) or Business Incubator Program, we welcome opportunities to work with businesses to help prepare our students for 21st century jobs.
Career Exploration Internship Program
Maple Hill High School is starting a new Career Exploration Internship Program in 2016-17, creating opportunities for juniors and seniors to learn in unpaid internships.
The high school is currently identifying businesses interested in providing internships. If you or someone you know may be interested in providing an internship, please email teacher Christopher VanDerbeck. A brocure with more information is available here.
Business Incubator Program
The goal of Schodack CSD's Business Incubator program is to take advantage of unused school building space and allow businesses - particularly startup tech companies - to use the space in exchange for creating real world opportunities for our students.
The program started in 2013 when the school cleaned out its Middle School basement to provide office space for MICROrganics Technology to build its business. In exchange, the company works with teachers to help devise meaningful learning opportunities for students. Employees also visit classrooms and work hands-on with students.
The Business Incubator program has grown to five companies occupying space in unused school space.
With the school district's enrollment declining, Schodack CSD is moving students out of the Middle School in fall 2017. Instead of closing the building, the district is looking to offer building space to business and community uses.
If you have any questions about the program or would like a tour, please call Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Matt LaClair at 732-4982.
Business Incubator Companies at Schodack CSD
- MICROrganic Technologies – The district’s first startup business set up offices in the basement of Maple Hill Middle School. They have since moved to the school’s first floor. The technology company is focused on developing applications for wastewater treatment plants that create energy out of wastewater. Brent Solina, an RPI graduate, provides numerous opportunities for students including explaining his research to science students, holding a mock press conference for journalism students, participating in STEM Day, and reading to elementary students.
- Open Source Initiative – A global non-profit organization that supports and promotes the open source movement – to provide freely used and shared software to anyone. Patrick Masson, a Board member of Open Source Initiative who worked in higher education technology for 20 years, organized a Computer Club for Maple Hill Middle School students where he teaches students how to take apart and put back together old computers. Students now often help in class when there’s a basic computer problem. Mr. Masson also taught students HTML code at STEM Day.
- O'Malley's Oven – Using the district's Middle School cafeteria kitchen during afterschool hours, baker Melanie O'Malley is developing her bakery business, O'Malley's Oven. Diagnosed with celiac disease, Ms. O'Malley specializes in creating gluten-free cakes and other desserts. Ms. O'Malley will work with students in Family and Consumer Science class and potentially provide internship opportunities for High School students interested in culinary arts.
- Food Therapy by Peak Performance Nutrition – Using the district's High School cafeteria kitchen during afterschool hours, owner Adam Davis provides healthy pre-portioned meals for individuals looking to eat clean and take care of their nutrition.
Former Business Incubator Companies at Schodack CSD
- Solar Sal Project – Founded by retired RPI professor David Borton, the Solar Sal Project involved building a 40-foot solar powered boat in the back of the school district’s bus garage. The goal is to show how solar powered boat transportation is a realistic option. Students have helped build the boat and Dr. Borton has used the boat to explain physics, photovoltaics, the Industrial Revolution, the history of the Hudson River and other topics to students. View a photo slideshow.
- SmartKids NY – Founded by Peg Zokowski, SmartKids NY is an in-school program that connects 3rd and 4th graders to STEM using hands-on demos, experiments and presentations led by entrepreneurs and innovators. Castleton Elementary School students benefit from the program at no cost.
- Tumalow Energy Research – A technology startup business created by RPI graduate Will Gathright that is developing software that allows commercial buildings to reduce energy costs by reducing the amount of energy purchased from a utility company during peak hours when the rates are highest. Mr. Gathright has shared his research with students.