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Chula Vista elementary schools working to give students hands-on engineering skills

Innovation Station
Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 20:25:01-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Several Chula Vista elementary schools are working to give students hands-on engineering experience the district says they can take into the job market.

On August 1, 2016, a new type of learning burst into being with the start of the Innovation and Energy Station in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. The station helps teach students STEM.

The station serves sixth grade students as well as serving as a community lab. In 2018, the lab grew again to include the Energy Station at Saburo Muraoka Elementary School. In August of this year, the program grew yet again to include the Hydro Station, which teaches students about the water industry.

The lab begins by helping students identify which careers align with their interests while highlighting jobs in San Diego’s priority sectors.

“It was designed to give students the opportunity to learn about their own strengths," Michael Bruder, District engineering teacher told 10News.

“The students’ eyes light up when they see the lab space. You get the ‘Wow’ effect. You literally hear the students say ‘Wow!’ as they enter,” Bruder continued.

At the Energy Station, students use Minecraft to create an energy efficient home and/or landscape.

Students exploring other themes could be testing wind turbines or building circuits.

The program also offers students a connection with local employers, giving them the chance to connect their hands-on experience and the region’s in-demand skills.

Qualcomm, Microsoft, SDG&E, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association all partner with the program.

“I want employers to realize that career education must start before high school,” says Matthew Tessier, assistant superintendent of innovation and instruction at CVESD. “We’d love to partner with more people and expand to every single priority sector.”

Click here to learn more about the program.