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Bishop Alemany students learn about engineering in new program

Posted: November 15, 2015 10:07 a.m.
Updated: November 15, 2015 10:07 a.m.
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STEM education — the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — has been ramped up to new levels at Bishop Alemany High School this school year with a curriculum offering students a chance to build robots in class and even intern at local engineering firms, its principal said.

“We wanted a program that would be fun while students were learning,” said Dave Chambers, principal of the Mission Hills Catholic school. “It’s a wonderful curriculum, well developed.”

Students in the program learn about several engineering disciplines, including aerospace and robotics, that will “help kids solve complex problems by setting up real-world issues,” Chambers said.

The program, which serves as an elective, teaches students, in a nutshell, how to be an engineer, he said. It incorporates several aspects of engineering and was created last year by the program’s supervisor and teacher, Maclyn Eick.

Because the program is new, current upperclassmen were offered an opportunity to register for a standard day class or a hybrid after-school class, Chambers said.

Upcoming students in the four-year program will ideally start their freshman year with an introductory course, he said.

Students in their junior year will be offered a chance to complete internships at local engineering firms. The internships would help students gain valuable skills from industry professionals and increase their chances of being accepted to a college engineering program.

The program has been well-received by students and parents. In fact, feedback has been “unbelievable,” Chambers said.

“Students are really thirsty to create. Once you give kids the opportunity, boy, they just jump on it.”

Because of the early success with its new program, school officials are working on adding some sort of biomedical-focused program, Chambers said.

For information about the program, visit www.alemany.org.

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