Del Oro workshop hosts college and high school instructors

By: Staff Report
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College and high school career technical education instructors spent Saturday together at Del Oro High School learning from each other. Instructors learned how their classes might use the free Google SketchUp 3D modeling program combined with the sketchyphysics plug in that animates designs. The Sierra STEM Collaborative at Sierra College, dedicated to promoting science, technology, engineering and math careers, organized the event. Instructors from Sierra College, Placer, Woodcreek and Del Oro high schools also shared best practices and toured Del Oro’s tech essentials, welding and wood labs to see equipment and student projects. According to participants, sharing ideas with other career technical education teachers is one of the best forms of professional development. Participants said what they learned was relevant, they could see their classes importing sketches and CAD drawings into SketchUp and that sharing concepts, projects and teaching tools was very valuable. Tom Stargaard, Del Oro tech essentials teacher, demonstrated SketchUp, explained how he integrated it into the Tech Essentials class required for freshmen and then helped participants try it themselves. Teachers then discussed assignments using the career cruising program supplied to the schools through the Sierra STEM Collaborative to help students identify careers and the education path to get there. Sierra College’s goal is to attract students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers explained Carol-Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College CACT director, who administers the Sierra STEM Collaborative. “College and high school instructors told us that they want to see labs, share projects and find out about other teaching tools,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “When college and high school instructors collaborate, many students benefit and it contributes to a smoother transition to college.” The California Community College Chancellor’s Office awarded grants to Sierra College to create a pipeline of students prepared to fill the need for skilled technical employees. For information, go to, or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, at or 660-7517.