SUCH SPLENDID PURPOSE
New High School Set to Explore New Technologies
by Denise Sullivan
HURLEYVILLE, August 2021– When the ribbon is cut on August 13 at the new Homestead Collaborative College High School at the former Technology Hub and Incubator (THINC) building at 202 Main Street in Hurleyville, plans will be in place for students to use technology in the building to learn about their new environment.
Robert Osterhoudt, a teacher on the new faculty team at the school, will be leading young adolescents to develop both a sense of place and a sense of self by examining and exploring their new surroundings. That goal, he says, is the first part of a new course in regenerative planetary studies that will include deep dives into ecological practices that improve or sustain the environment, such as the permaculture movement.
Students will begin with mapping and modeling the environment around them, using technology that is integrated into the curriculum. Geography, land surveying, and topography of the land around them will naturally require kids to apply math and science that they have studied in their last few years at the Homestead school in Glen Spey, integrated with new concepts related to their projects. In order to make a map and build a scale model of their surroundings, they will need to rely on basic concepts as well as new, deeper learning.
Mr. Osterhoudt seems to be the perfect guide for the new ninth graders as they embark on the learning journey. With a background in engineering and aircraft maintenance and manufacturing, he has taught at the college level and also worked at Schatz Bearing Corporation, a Hudson Valley business that makes custom bearings that are currently in use on a Mars Rover in the space program. A Sullivan County native and Tri Valley graduate, Osterhoudt learned to fly at the airport in Wurtsboro, where he currently resides.
Students from the Homestead School were regular visitors to their new building at 202 Main Street when it was the Hurleyville Maker’s Lab (HML). Eighth graders at the school were required to do a Micro Business project, taking a useful product from prototyping and development through production and sales. Since the school hadn’t yet acquired a laser cutter, students traveled to the lab after school in order to complete their creations.
The new school will provide students with access to the tech tools used in the design / build sector – 3D printers, computers with design software, and a CNC router. But they will also be immersed in the full range of making – using hand tools, woodworking, ceramics and metalworking, with a big focus on safety, of course. The tools they use will be driven by their projects. And the THINC team, now located in Rock Hill, will able to consult with students, if needed.
This integrated approach to learning and making in a technology-rich environment is a dream come true for kids who like to learn by doing, as well as for parents who want their kids to be prepared and excited for future careers. It will be exciting for everyone to see what this group of learners will achieve.
While seventh, eighth and ninth graders will be schooled here in Hurleyville this year, tenth grade will be added in the next school year, with an additional grade added in each of the succeeding two years until the senior high school includes all four grades, nine thru 12.