Technology & Design at the High School for Community Leadership

Have you ever taken apart something that was broken and figured out how to fix it?  Have you ever studied how one thing was built so that you could build your own?  Have you ever had an idea to build something and then actually followed through and did it? Then you have the tinkerer’s spirit.

Technology has advanced at an astounding pace over the past 20 years thanks in large part to computers and the expanding wealth of knowledge that is added to and shared online every day.  People are becoming less and less reliant on professionals for their needs because in many cases we can  go online and get the information we need to repair the brakes on a bicycle, create a website, or replace the hard drive in a computer.  So while it has become easier for people to take on the kind of work typically resigned to service professionals, most people still are unable to create their own goods.  Well now the barriers to manufacturing – which include tools, design, years of training, and funding – have been dissolving as well.  Machines such as 3D printers and laser cutters have dropped dramatically in cost.This has helped cultivate a growing community of inventors, tinkerers, and hackers who are building products that are remarkable in their build quality and complexity.  Just as it was before the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing is being placed back into the hands of the people.

The goal of the Technology & Design program at HSCL is to learn about design, innovation, and manufacturing by doing it.    

Academics at the High School for Community Leadership

    We’re creating a new community and a new way of learning at our school.  It’s an exciting time to be a student at the High School for Community Leadership!  

During the Technology and Design program at HSCL students learn about the modern technological world through the use of Chromebooks, circuits, 3-D printers, and laser cutters in our new 3-D Modeling program.

During the course students complete design challenges where they must use their critical thinking skills to complete tasks that allow them to see the world through the eyes of a designer. Students learn to utilize technology to create their original ideas learning how to make their ideas a reality. Students use texts such as  “Getting Started with Makerbot”, “Make: 3D Printing: The Essential Guide to 3D Printers” and “SketchUp 2013 Hands-On Student Coursebook” to learn how to operate these exciting innovative tools which make design possible.

Lets see whats happening at HSCL during our 3D Modeling & Manufacture class!!

For this design challenge, we had 7 real world objects – an apple core, tape dispenser, scissors, and more.  Kids had 35 minutes to put everything they had learned about modeling with primitives to use.  No tutorials, no instructions, just an object, ingenuity and a ticking clock to keep kids thinking fast.  The results?  See for yourselves!



Taquee and Chika provide insight into their strategy for modeling the scissors.  Fantastic attention to detail!