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A Look Into New Technology High School

January 13, 2011, 6:05 PM by Katie Janssen

A Look Into New Technology High School
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A new school in Sioux Falls is beginning its second semester, and we're finally getting a look inside. New Technology High School uses project-based learning, and since the concept is new to this area, our cameras weren't allowed in until now.

At New Tech High, there are no algebra or biology classes. All the courses are combined and have unique names, like APS for Algebra and Physical Science, or Spanissues for Spanish and Global Issues. This class is Comm Studies and students learn how to communicate effectively. They're now working on a project for Black History Month.

"We are researching different African Americans dealing with poetry and art and literature and we're going to put together a display for Barnes and Noble," student Elana Hicks said.

Hicks is one of 110 freshmen who opened the school this fall. Their work is centered on projects, and students must work together. Half the school is in this room, and Heidi Jorgenson is one of two teachers.

"It never feels like 50 kids; it's more like 12 teams,” Jorgenson said.

Jorgenson says one of the best things about the school is the progress she's seen in students. Some who started the year very shy are now quite outgoing.

"Kids who had a hard time shaking our hands and introducing themselves to us are standing in front of local community partners saying, this is our idea, this is why you should back it, this is what the research shows," she said.

Students are learning in a more hands-on way, and say their work is more meaningful that way.

"These things, they actually impact the community and they impact us," Hicks said.

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