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Nov. 7, 2011 12:55 pm

Workshop School: project learning school follows HybridX program [VIDEO]

This fall, the Hybrid X group, started by West Philly High teacher Simon Hauger, has launched the Workshop School, which embodies the science-driven, hands-on learning of the after school program but expands it to a full school day.

Simon Hauger, one of the lead organizers of the Workshop School, an alternative high school experience launched this academic year at the Navy Yard.

Four years ago, Stefon Gonzalez was a freshman at West Philly High School.

Like others interested in working with his hands at the school since the late 1990s, Gonzalez joined the Hybrid X Team, an after school program that grew national fame for building electric and bio-diesel cars that outperformed college-level teams. Now Gonzalez is finishing his high school career at an experimental, project-based program at the Navy Yard.

This fall, the Hybrid X group, started by West Philly High teacher Simon Hauger, has launched the Workshop School, which embodies the science-driven, hands-on learning of the after school program but expands it to a full school day. Featuring 29 seniors from three different public high schools, Hauger’s effort is housed in a Victorian building overlooking hulking ships at the Navy Yard.

When Technically Philly visited on a cool, bright November morning, the students were in a half dozen groups, working through different assignments as part of a project to build a solar-powered workshop on the building’s front lawn. One team was charged with financing its construction, another with design and building materials, another with site planning, another with permitting. The school, which was also developed by Hauger’s former West Philly High colleagues Michael Clapper, C. Aiden Downey and Matthew Riggan, and has been a concept in their minds for more than a decade.

Discussions and projects drive the curriculum, and hands-on action trumps much else.

The school is funded in part by a grant from the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster and endorsed by the School District, which is administering the school’s lunch program, said board member Ann Cohen.

Below, watch a short video documentary.

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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Comments

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    [...] its first year, the experimental school, founded in part by former West Philly High School teacher Simon Hauger as Technically Philly has reported, is project based, allowing its 29 first students to follow a field of their own choosing, with [...]

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    [...] &#1110t&#1109 first year, th&#1077 experimental school, founded &#1110n &#1088&#1072rt b&#1091 former West Philly High School teacher Simon Hauger &#1072&#1109 Technically Philly h&#1072&…, &#1110&#1109 project based, allowing &#1110t&#1109 29 first students t&#959 follow a field &#959f [...]

  3. Navy Yard’s charter school Sustainability Workshop to be featured on CNN [VIDEO] — Technically Philly / June 29, 2012

    [...] a year after Simon Hauger co-founded the Sustainability Workshop, the alternative senior year charter school program is already getting national [...]

  4. ‘Fast Times at West Philly High’: Frontline features local Hybrid X team on WHYY TONIGHT — Technically Philly / July 17, 2012

    [...] team to even compete. The team, which is silly with national recognition and has spun off into an experimental school at the Navy Yard, also received honors at last year’s Ignite Philly. This isn’t the first time this [...]

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