March 10, 2006

They are Building Big Things at Crawford!

Crawford’s Invention and Design Educational Academy (IDEA) is preparing students to be the engineers of the future. IDEA held its first “Engineering Week” to showcase the work of students who are interesting in the fields of engineering, construction, architecture, and web design. Each day of the week included a variety of different industry guest speakers, displays and exhibitions demonstrating everything from hydrodynamics and aerodynamics to structural engineering.

One of the guest speakers, Marcus Hopkins, was a star running back at Lincoln High School who played for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With his master’s degree in mathematics from Northern Arizona University, Marcus is now an engineer at Raytheon in San Diego.

Crawford students check out a flight simulator.

Engineering Week not only benefited high school students, but younger students as well. IDEA students made presentations to science classes at Horace Mann Middle, the feeder school for Crawford. “My 8th grade students were very impressed with the hands-on projects. Now they can’t wait to graduate!” proclaimed a Mann science teacher. Higher education was involved as well. Students from San Diego State brought a model rocket to demonstrate the principles of flight.

“This is a great opportunity for all of our students. Our students are proud to show their work and to have it evaluated by real architects and engineers” said John Spiegel, Principal of IDEA. “In a small school like IDEA, we are able to focus more on personalized activities that help students make the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and how they can apply those skills in the ‘real world’.”

IDEA is one of the four small schools at Crawford Educational Complex, formerly Craw-ford High School, in the mid-city area. Last year was the first year of the district’s High School Renewal Initiative which converted Crawford, Kearney, and San Diego High Schools from three large comprehensive high schools to 14 smaller schools where personalization is the key to student success. In addition to the core academic curriculum, each small school has a theme designed to tap into the individual interest of the student. In most cases, students are given a choice of the small school they would like to attend.

For more information on IDEA or Crawford’s small schools, call (619) 583-2500.

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