Eight members of the Philadelphia technology community visited the Philadelphia Sustainability Workshop school at the Navy Yard Thursday.
Cofounder of Defined Clarity Bruce Marable, founder of Little Giant Media Tayyib Smith, Manager of Civic Innovation and Participation in the Office of Philadelphia Mayor Jeff Friedman and two generations of Code for America fellows — Mjumbe Poe and Aaron Ogle from 2011 and Michelle Lee, Liz Hunt, and Alex Yule from 2012 — talked to the students about the paths they took to find careers in the tech world.
In 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 structure from three staff teachers.
[Full Disclosure: Technically Philly organized the event in partnering with the school.]
After a brief tour of the school, Marable, Smith, Poe, Ogle, Friedman, Lee, Hunt and Yule introduced themselves to the students.
Below is footage of the introductions.
After the students had a chance to ask questions, teacher and school co-founder Michael Clapper had the students break up into their project teams to discuss their projects with the visitors in smaller groups, a setting that is familiar to them because it is the method in which they are evaluated.
Hauger and Clapper were on Radio Times Friday, and briefly mentioned the event, with eight minutes left in the recording.
The Sustainability Workshop school is an experimental learning environment that brings students from South Philadelphia High School, West Philadelphia High School and Furness High School together to pursue the rest of their high school education through project-based learning. Working with the three teachers and a few mentors, all of the students sign up for projects every few weeks and are responsible for researching, planning and building whatever it is they choose to work on.
Some of the projects students are engaged in include an organic urban garden, a battery-powered go-kart, a public arts project and a water system management project.