By Connie and Lynn Baer
For 95 years, Grossmont High School has offered classes preparing students for life after high school. One aspect of that preparation has been a focus on business. In 1920, Grossmont offered its first Commercial class and its first Mechanical Drawing class. However, as society has changed, so have the courses offered to Foothillers.
Today, one of the Career Pathways at Grossmont is Information and Communication Technologies. From 10th to 12th grade, students can take Web Design, AP Computer Programming, and Global IT Management. Each of these courses is linked with a core class. Web Design is linked with World History; AP Computer Programming with U.S. History; Global IT Management with English for Business. Currently, there are 70 students in Web Design, 23 in global IT Management, and 76 in AP Computer Programming. Next year, two sections of each course will be offered.
Pathway Coordinator and English for Business teacher Nicole Thren believes that “linking the CTE pathway classes with academic core classes allows students and teachers to connect content across the disciplines and deepen student understanding and to make learning more relevant, exciting, and enjoyable, leading to greater student success. Students learn how technology and business can be used in English and Social Science while also seeing how English and Social Science are relevant and necessary in the business world.”
In fall of 2015, Grossmont Web Design students won the La Mesa Urban Trails Design Competition. The students were asked to redesign University Avenue in La Mesa from Troy Street to La Mesa Boulevard. AP teacher Pat Giovengo created seven design teams including students from ninth to 12th grades; each team created its design using Sketchup, a 3D modeling and design application for drawings,
The students had four weeks to complete their designs, which were displayed at the La Mesa Block Party. Out of the final nine submissions from Grossmont High School and Helix High School, Foothillers Jacob Ennis and Jack Curtin won the overall contest with their design of a dry creek bed with designated bicycle and pedestrian paths, which created a more natural area to walk and to ride.
Pathway students also competed recently in a Cal State San Marcos-sponsored Women’s Hackathon. The 12-hour event was open to all female high school and college students who work collaboratively to design a website, game, or mobile app that addresses a selected world challenge.
“My team and I addressed the problem of getting foster kids to college,” said student Baylie Jensen. “We made an app and a website. Many foster children do not believe they are good enough or have the qualities it takes to get to college. Therefore, we wanted to make sure that the foster children have the information and support they need through our website and app. The website we created was also accessible through mobile, just in case a child did not have access to a computer.”
Grossmont High School students won awards for Creativity as well as Originality and Impact, awards that were presented at a special dinner presentation at the Sony headquarters in Rancho Bernardo.
To learn more about the wonderful real life experiences GHS students are having in the Information and Communication Technologies Pathway at Grossmont, please contact Pat Giovengo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum hours: noon–4 p.m. April 6, or other Wednesdays by appointment.