Last month Caronell and I were back at H.D. Woodson High School for a private tour of the wonderful new facilities. We received a warm welcome from Mr. Thomas Whittle, Woodson’s phenomenal principal. The new $102 million school includes two gymnasiums, natatorium, auditorium, open designed floor to ceiling glass administrative and classroom spaces, and wireless computer networks throughout the school.
The best part of the day was talking strategy for the mentorSTEM program with the head of Woodson’s STEM program, Mr. Pangilinan. Everybody calls him Mr. P.
Mr. P is one of the most energetic advocates for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education in the District that I have met. Along with Principal Whittle, he has designed a STEM curriculum that is a project based program, emphasizing hands on learning both in and out of the classroom. “Project based learning will focus on developing interesting and robust projects around STEM,” Mr P said. “When students are given hands-on projects they apply new skills from the classroom to a real-life situation. This helps them perform at a higher level.”
Of course, this ties in perfectly with the mentorSTEM’s focus on building practical college preparatory skills such as presentation, writing, math and information technology. We are looking forward a trip to National Airport the mentorSTEM students from HD Woodson later this October!