By Bret Piatt
Feb 13, 2018
This past Saturday, February 10, episode 72 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Melissa Alcala, principal at CAST Tech High School to discuss education innovation and CAST Tech High School.
In case you are not familiar, CAST Tech is a career-themed charter high school focused on coding, cyber security, gaming, entrepreneurship and business. The school works hand-in-hand with industry partners to prepare students for careers in technology and business, where the demand is high for talented workers. The school opened in the Fall of 2017 with 150 9th graders, half of the students in district and half out of district. We talk with Principal Alcala about the difference between magnet and charter school programs. How does an application process work for charter programs? It is an open lottery. As far as the structure of the high school, the district has given CAST Tech administration and teachers a lot of autonomy in developing the school and curriculum. CAST Tech has created a mentorship program as well as networking events to allow the community to see the school and get involved.
In the second half of the show, we talk through innovation in education. Principal Alcala highlights some of the out-of-the-box programs and curriculum that they are doing at the school to promote real-world experiences for the students and focus on teamwork and technology to build skills in entrepreneurism, project management and problem-solving. CAST Tech has four teams participating in the CyberPatriot competition this year including an all girls team! One major component of the school’s curriculum is project-based learning. Last semester, the digital media students did a project with the Children’s Hospital creating and designing coloring books for parents and kids. The students were able to personally deliver and present the books to the hospital’s crisis center. Principal Alcala mentioned that the next project is designing a fiesta medal! In San Antonio, we love anything Fiesta related! Where is CAST Tech headed in the future? Learn more about CAST Tech’s future from Principal Alcala in the full episode replay available here!**
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