Future Choices

Future Choices

KidsTek’s high school programs are in full swing for the new spring semester. The programs include both Denver and Aurora school districts.

This semester, Denver North High School students are beginning to learn one of the most ubiquitous and useful programs in the modern workplace: Microsoft Excel. “Our class has worked with students from the CU Boulder Leeds School of Business in the past, and those students are always impressed that the high schoolers are learning Excel,” said KidsTek Senior Instructor Emily Tow. “Students from North will be one step ahead as they pursue their post-high school lives.”

KidsTek also offers this Excel course at Florence Crittenton High School in Denver. In addition, we are launching a new course at Florence Crittenton this semester.  This class will be focused on teaching practical life skills through a technology lens. Students will engage in project-based learning and utilize technology and computer skills to better understand the day-to-day skills they’ll need to become independent and successful adults. This new class, officially called “Future Choices,” but referred to as “Adulting 101” to those in the know, will include topics such as financial literacy, home economics, and even a CPR class. Because Florence Crittenton’s students are mothers or soon-to-be mothers, a main focus of the curriculum is on tangible, practical skills.

Students in Future Choices will learn these skills through a project-based curriculum designed to be responsive to the individual needs of those students. The topics covered in class were drawn from multiple surveys of Florence Crittenton students, teachers, and other support professionals at the school. For their first assignment, students were asked to set learning goals for this semester. Many students set their sights on goals like improving their attendance, turning in every assignment, and having a positive attitude each day.

At Hinkley High School in Aurora, KidsTek Instructor Michelle Lim began her semester of “Intro to Programming” earlier this month. Though she previously taught coding with Python at Hinkley, Lim decided to switch things up this year to focus the course on JavaScript. This gives Lim more flexibility to design creative projects that not only engage students, but provide real-world applications of their learning. Lim says, “The students have hit the ground running — drawing with basic commands, creating their own functions, using parameters, and implementing top-down design in their programs. Their strong interest and determination to work through problems is really exciting, and has allowed us to move quickly. Soon they will be programming their very own apps to share with the world!”

KidsTek’s high school programs continue to grow and evolve each year. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to develop new curricula that are more engaging, tangible, and directly applicable to students’ lives,” said Tow.

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