Technical, Technology, STEM Education, June 2018

 
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In this issue

  • Silicon Valley Encouraging Local Students to Aspire for High-Tech Jobs
  • FIRST Championship About Way More Than Robotics
  • Innovation Lab Program Emerged from International Baccalaureate Authorization
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Silicon Valley Encouraging Local Students to Aspire for High-Tech Jobs

Internships, contests and engineering coursework give teen's from the area's majority-Latino high schools an entree to STEM careers.

Most students at the high school, on San Jose's East Side in the southern end of Silicon Valley, are from Mexican immigrant families. Nearly all will be the first in their families to go to college; some will be the first to complete high school. The kids who grow up in Silicon Valley's Latino neighborhoods, the children of groundskeepers, janitors, cooks and construction workers, rarely get a shot at high-paying, high-tech jobs. Just 4.7 percent of the Valley's tech professionals are Latino and 2.2 percent are African-American, according to 2015 data from the American Community Survey. By contrast, 57 percent are foreign born, with many of them coming from India and China, a local industry group estimates. 

 

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 Mastercam        American Technical Publishers

 

 

FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP ABOUT WAY MORE THAN ROBOTICS 

It's about the lessons it teaches its students, the empowerment it creates for its teachers, and the love of learning it fosters among all involved. FIRST Championship is the shining example of everything FIRST values: teamwork within and between teams; learning and on-the-fly problem solving; "Coopertition(R)," which is what we like to call displays of unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition; and "Gracious Professionalism(R)," which encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and shows respect for everyone.

FIRST Championship is an incredible experience with many lessons, but there are three that can be applied to every classroom.

1. It's not about winning - it's about the journey. 

 

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Snap Auto  

 
 

Innovation Lab Program Emerged from International Baccalaureate Authorization

As part of that effort, we introduced a design thinking course in our middle school and hired a part-time design thinking faculty member.

Andrew Katz, our Director of Academic Affairs, joined the school in mid-2017, bringing with him experience in design and building innovation labs at two previous independent schools. Once we created our vision for the program, we were fortunate enough to receive a donation from an alumni parent, which enabled us to turn our vision into reality. We then quickly turned our focus to hiring an experienced director of the lab, and together - along with our science team, librarian, and educational technology team - began concentrating on developing a robust curriculum, designing the space, and focusing on interdisciplinary integration across the school. 

Our team also visited and initiated  relationships with community maker spaces, such as the Maker Depot in Totowa, NJ., which have offered advice regarding 3D printing, and demonstrated potential tools that will further inspire our design courses.

 

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