Students from the fledgling TST BOCES P-TECH Academy met with the program’s curriculum council to present progress made during the first months of the school year.
Members of the council present included community and business partners representing the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Tompkins County Area Development, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Sciencenter, Rev Ithaca Startup Works and others.
Students discussed a variety of topics including the collaborative process of developing a disciplinary approach and how the new program has made use of “flex time.” Involving students in P-TECH’s development encourages them to develop responsibility and helps them to engage directly with their education. Flex time allows individual students to pursue relevant projects of their choosing so they can focus on subjects that excite and interest them.
“I was blown away by the projects that the students shared at only five weeks into the program,” said P-TECH business partner Xanthe Matychak, a designer and tech startup mentor. “Not only were they exhibiting an inspired and creative drive for technology and technical problem-solving, but they were showing a sophisticated understanding of emotional intelligence, empathy and collaboration. These are the social skills that are so necessary in the workplace and in life. The dynamic learning environment that the P-TECH teaching team is creating for these students is what 21st-century technology education needs to be.”
Other projects that P-TECH students reported on included their progress in developing online e-portfolios, learning how to create content using the Adobe Suite, coding and 3D printing.