Solve the World's Grand Challenges
Solve real community problems through technology: design, engineering, manufacturing, and testing.
Make a positive, document-able impact in the community through our projects.
Grow students' technological abilities to a professional level before graduating from high school.
We launched a Kickstarter campaign in November 2015, and we were overwhelmed with community support! The campaign quickly more than doubled our $17,500 goal to cover the costs of a laser cutter, robotics components, 3D printers, and video production equipment...and just to clarify, "we" means students, families, and educators. We believe strongly in the importance of co-creating authentic experiences, and that's what this is!
Before opening our first full center, HackSchool ran small pilot programs to test assumptions around our Authenitic Education approach for several years. These smaller pilots have included very diverse programs: art & entrepreneurship, software development and computer hardware, academic philosophy, wilderness survival and environment, leadership, and international community-building & language acquisition in the United States, Brazil, and South Africa. These early pilots ranged from 25-80 students each and took place on either a daily or weekly basis for anywhere from 2 to 8 months at a time in communities historically underrepresented in higher education and across various fields.
After the crowdfunding campaign, our students started worked to create projects that help real people. Including a "smart" cane for blind people, smart free food pantries for the neighborhood, 3D designed and printed educational models for blind students in India, and more. We were quickly invited to meet with Senior Staff at the White House and our team (2/3 students) was the runner up in The Mind Trust's national School Design Competition. Then we got another call from the Obama White House when one of our students was even appointed to be one of President Obama's 11 Kid Science Advisors! Check out the video profile of her below!
We've learned so much about how to engage in interesting work that helps real people. These days, the adults involved in HackSchool are working hard to answer the questions, "what does it actually look like to track student mastery and growth (academic and non-academic/cognitive) in a rigorous way?" and "how do we prepare students to live powerfully and with purpose before and after graduating?". We're a weird mix of data+soul, and because we understand both, we're very excited with what the future holds.