It’s no surprise that Palisades Charter High School (Palisades) is leading the way to integrate technology and engineering in high school in unique ways as it has been named one of America’s Best High Schools by Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report in 2015 and based on its API score is the second highest performing comprehensive high school in Los Angeles. Palisades recognizes that the public school system falls short when it comes to preparing students for careers in STEM fields, which account for roughly 2 million job openings in the United States.
The STEAM shop (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) allows students to engage in hands-on innovation to promote access to STEM career paths. It provides digital technologies along with traditional shop tools in innovation labs and includes robotics, rocketry, Arduino, introduction to coding, iOs app development, auto shop, unity game design, and 3D printing. New programs to be added this year include the tinkering studio, open lab, and community membership.
Donna Mandosa, the technology supervisor at Palisades states, “Spaces like the Pali STEAM shop are essential to education and schools. In the shop, students decide what projects to do.” The shop gets students involved in engineering that otherwise may not consider careers in these fields and promotes student driven learning and entrepreneurship.