During the 2016 fall semester Citizen Schools California (CSC) started a pilot project at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy (EPAPA) using a new apprenticeship only, or AppEx, style of programming. This new project, made possible through the HP Foundation, aimed to design a scalable model of apprenticeships that combined in-person and virtual mentoring for students. Approximately 30 students enrolled in the two apprenticeships offered during the fall semester; Photography/Photojournalism, where students learned how to take quality photographs as well as how to tell a story through pictures, and Shark Tank, where students were encouraged to think like entrepreneurs as they designed and marketed their own products.
In addition to the apprenticeships that took place once a week for 90 minutes throughout the 10-week semester, the students were able to participate in an ‘Hour of Code’ event, where a group of employees from HP visited the school to run activities and lessons about coding in a way that made the potentially difficult subject accessible and engaging for the students.
Through another generous donation from the HP Foundation, CSC has received two Sprout machines for future apprenticeships, which will be used at the apprenticeships in EPAPA this spring. Sprout Machines are fully integrated 3D-scanning desktop computers with an assortment of unique features that will be used to elevate the programming being offered to the students. Staff members from the CSC regional office have been working with HP and EPAPA to plan new ways of using the machines to teach 21st century skills and engage students.
Although classes don’t start for weeks, CSC staff members are already beginning to show their excitement to use these machines this next semester, as explained by External Engagement VISTA Schuyler Stockman: “After working to make our new pilot project a success at this new campus, it is great to see HP’s continuous commitment to supporting our mission by donating these Sprout machines. After learning about these machines, I believe that they can really help us to continue providing high quality apprenticeships to our students. This will allow us to create an entirely new approach to teaching using 3D scanning and interactive imaging.”
If you are interested in getting involved on our East Palo Alto Campus or any of our other schools in San Jose and Oakland please contact Zoe Pilla, Civic Engagement Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.