Staff hits the ground running to ensure students are engaged with the curriculum.
By Alyson Rocco, Principal Madera Technical Exploration Center (MaderaTEC)
MADERA TECHNICAL EXPLORATION Center (AKA MadTEC) was excited to welcome their first class of students in August. MadTEC emphasizes project-based learning through a career technical education lens. The curriculum engages students’ intellectual curiosity by personalizing learning through choice and a hands-on environment where lessons become relevant to the real world. During the 2019-2020 school year teachers collaborated and designed curriculum to build foundational Career Technical Education (CTE) knowledge utilizing eight grade content standards and CTE standards. In addition to content standards students are to learn employability and high leverage skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and adaptation. It’s a place where students are empowered to learn by doing. The team has a commitment to keep equity and evidence of student learning at the heart of their decision making.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions in California teachers had to shift and modify project plans to work in a distance learning environment and find ways to build a collaborative culture in an online model. After a year with no students teachers have truly enjoyed getting to know their students over the last four months. They are hard at work trying to bring MadTEC’s mission, vision, and core values to life. The team is committed to providing the following:
- Designing authentic, innovative and creative projects
- Fostering collaboration
- Modeling integrity, empathy and respect
- Establishing effective communication with all stakeholders
Inspiring perseverance in the pursuit of excellence.
The team has enjoyed their time at Matilda Torres but is looking forward to moving into their permanent facility on Sunrise and Tozer sometime this month. Even more importantly, they look forward to the day they can be face-to-face with students and allow them to experience the state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and technology the community of Madera has provided through Measure M.
In the meantime, here is a quick update on learning over the fall semester. All six labs have completed their first project. The Marketing Lab wrapped up their “Vacant Lot” project, and are currently on their second project, inventions! The Agriculture lab named their FFA discovery officers; Abraham Avina, Alyssa Brown, Amari Perez, Eduardo Hernandez, Jada Chamblin, Kayla Macedo, Teanna Gutierrez.
Wendy Luis Santos. Current officers interviewed against 30 applicants! Their first project, “Franken-critters vs Killer Tomatoes”, focused on genetically modified organisms. The Media/Performing Arts Lab completed their Unit 1 Project where students wrote short stories on identity and created artwork for their title page. Several outstanding stories will be published into a collection of short stories. They will be printed and placed in the Madera County Library for any Madera resident to check out and read! The Health lab finished their “Health Careers” project, and is embarking on an exciting project where students are creating public service announcements for common health conditions in Madera County. They are doing this in conjunction with Camarena Health, one of our community partners. The Public Safety lab focused on human rights during election season and law enforcement. Students researched different items on the ballot and took a stance on how they would encourage voters to vote. Manufacturing/Engineering students experienced an exciting 3D modeling program. They have been learning how to work with blueprints which contributed to their “cardboard” project.
Madera Technical Exploration Center has been four years in the making. It’s hard to believe the school is finally here. It’s a dream that has become a reality!