Tech students acquire knowledge through Project Based Learning which allows students to obtain a greater depth of understanding of concepts, broader knowledge base, improved communication and interpersonal social skills, enhanced leadership skills, increased creativity, and improved writing skills. They apply what they know to solve authentic problems and produce results that matter. They take advantage of digital tools to produce high quality, collaborative products. Project Based Learning refocuses education on the student, not the curriculum but a shift mandated by the 21st century skills needed in our world which rewards intangible assets such as drive, passion, creativity, empathy, and resiliency. These cannot be taught out of a textbook, but must be activated through experience. A final product is created by the student, such artifacts may include a variety of media such as writing, art, drawing, three-dimensional representations , videos, photography or technology based presentations. The students present their learning through four public exhibitions a year by showcasing their final product.
Service Learning Fridays are a strategic way to show significant positive effects on academic performance (GPA, writing skills, critical thinking skills), values (commitment to activism and oneself), self-efficacy, leadership (leadership activities, self-rated leadership ability, interpersonal skills), choice of a service career, and plans to participate in service after college. The experience learning in the “real world” develops critical thinking, civic responsibility, social and personal development, leadership skills, time management skills and soft skills. Most importantly service learning makes students more marketable to large companies and help with admission to 4-year colleges and scholarship support. Tech students are assigned a service learning site through their advisory. The sites include: elementary schools, community centers, food pantries, community and Albuquerque initiatives.
Support Your Community
Explorations are a fundamental of a student’s education. Explorations spark a passion or curiosity and push the student to take their learning into their own hands. When students leave the classroom, they see the connections between what is happening at school and in the ‘real-world’. They begin to see that what they learn within the walls of the classroom can help them solve the problems they see in the world around them and will have a direct impact on who they become as people. Students are able to access tools and environments that are not available at school. Our communities are rich learning laboratories. Explorations make it possible to take students to see an underwater ecosystem at an aquarium, participate in citizen science in a river, see and touch historical artifacts in person and present on a public stage among hundreds of other things. Each experience solidifies learning and supports important academic concepts.