A Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland
Catholic Voice Online Edition
Front Page In this Issue Around the Diocese Forum News in Brief Calendar Commentary
Mission Statement
Contact Us
Publication Dates
Back Issues

Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

Movie Reviews

Mass Times

Catholic Voice
articles list
placeholder Archbishop Romero
is a martyr, panel advises Vatican

Help for attendees
at Day of the Sick

Parishes offer
activities for Black
History Month

Looking forward to saying Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral

Catholic Schools
Week section

Catholic Schools
Week focuses
on faith, knowledge
and service

High schools
try harder to keep
alumni together

Hope means
doing extraordinary things for this
St. Bede pupil

Generations find
value in Catholic education and

Boxtops add up
for schools

offer help for
low-income families'

Pupils make
fowl discoveries
in Assumption
mummy project

HNU, Skyline
students collaborate
on mural

Salesian takes
fourth Division 5

partnership at Madeleine helps
pupils become

teacher, students honored for
community service

Mac and Cheese project collects
13,162 boxes

A campus forum
for teens to explore
their spirituality

St. Paul pupils
seek college degree

Keeping education accessible prime commitment for
De La Salle

Holy Names' Midsession
offers enriching,
non-course classes

St. Clement focused on 'Technology
for learning'

remembered at
Saint Mary's High

Catholic Schools Snaps: Number
of Schools

Catholic Schools Snaps: U.S.
Graduation Rates

placeholder January 19, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Catholic Schools Week

Pupils at the School of the Madeleine will be building computers.
Courtesy photo

Business partnership at Madeleine
helps pupils become engineers

A technology company is partnering with Berkeley's School of the Madeleine to bring engineering into the school's curriculum.

Piper, a start-up gaming company, is designing kits that allow students to assemble their working computers and begin their journey into creating lights, motors and do-it-yourself hardware.

Principal Kenneth Willers describes Piper this way, "Think: Erector-Set meets Minecraft. Where you build in the real world and create in the virtual."

Willers met the co-founders of Piper at an EdTech Summit, hosted by BrightBytes, a technology company that measures the impact of technology on learning and education, this fall in San Francisco.

When he saw the kits at the summit, Willers thought, "Our students would love this. So many of our students are doing Minecraft anyway, let's bring what they're doing at home into the learning that's happening at school."

Soon Piper and the School of the Madeleine formed an innovative partnership. "Where beta-tester and student engineer become one," Willers said. It is an opportunity for pupils to experience engineering while helping the developers create their product.

On Nov. 21, Piper's founders, Mark Pavlyukovskyy, 23, and Alex Stokes, 24, brought their "build-it-yourself" engineering kits to the Madeleine for beta testing. Eighteen Madeleine pupils, ranging from third to eighth grade, formed cohorts of three to a kit. Each cohort embarked on a collaborative and student-directed learning experience without any instructions or guidance from the founders.

"I was amazed at the engagement levels of the students," remarked Joseph Nagel, eighth grade teacher.

After the visit, Pavlyukovskyy, sent this e-mail, "Working with your kids at the Madeleine actually really inspired us. Your kids not only completed the entire game level we were testing with them, but gave us really valuable feedback that we are currently incorporating into our platform. We really enjoyed working with you and Ms. Lisa Anthony and your children are really blessed to have such enthusiastic mentors."

The Madeleine continues to partner with TechEd companies and Piper is the latest partnership to date. "If we want our students to thrive in the 21st Century, we have to provide them with opportunities of self-directed learning," Willers said. TechEd companies like Piper, inspire students to own and initiate their own learning while developing the critical thinking skills around engineering concepts.

The STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum at the Madeleine is literally out of the box teaching, Willers said.

"If these types of partnerships continue," Willers said, "I'm confident our students will be building computers as part of our curriculum — and that is really cool."

back to topup arrow


Copyright © 2015 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.