Designing Education

This is a past event

50 people went

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Remember high school? For many of us, it was regimented, rote, and devoid of real-world context and meaning. In the San Diego region, High Tech High is leading a wave of innovation in education rooted in design thinking. Students gather in engaged, small sessions in open-walled spaces that resemble brainstorm discussions more than traditional classrooms. Prototypes and finished work are everywhere. You can even play video games for hours; that is, of course, if you code them yourself. Welcome to High Tech High, the public charter school with the energy, spirit, and sense of exploration of a tech startup.

This month, we have the fortunate opportunity to hear about High Tech High from its founder, Larry Rosenstock, a noted innovator in education. Come learn about the design behind the school, teachers as designers, and teaching students a design thinking approach to projects.


6:30 Networking/Socializing (Light food provided)

7:00 Tour by Student Ambassadors

7:30 Larry Rosenstock Presentation

8:15 Q&A

8:30 Wrap up


Best place to park is Lot E1 as indicated below.

Larry Rosenstock

Larry Rosenstock is the founder and CEO of High Tech High, a network of public charter schools focused on project-based learning.

Larry taught carpentry in urban high schools for eleven years before working as staff attorney at the Harvard Center for Law and Education. Returning to public schools, he served as Director of the Rindge School of Technical Arts and then Principal of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Mr. Rosenstock directed the New Urban High School Project of the U.S. Department of Education. He has served as a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Visiting Associate Professor at UC Berkeley School of Education.

Larry is the recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship and the McGraw Prize in Education, and serves as an advisor to numerous commissions and boards nationally and internationally. He holds a JD from Boston University Law School, an M.Ed from Cambridge College, a BA from Brandeis University and a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa from Cambridge College.

High Tech High Learning now comprises twelve K-12 schools, a teacher-credentialing program, and a graduate school of education.

About High Tech High


High Tech High was originally conceived by a group of about 40 civic and high tech industry leaders in San Diego, assembled by the Economic Development Corporation and the Business Roundtable, who met regularly from 1996 - 1998 to discuss the challenge of finding qualified individuals for the high-tech work force. In particular, members were concerned about the “digital divide” that resulted in low numbers of women and ethnic minority groups entering the fields of math, science, and engineering. Gary Jacobs, Director of Education Programs at Qualcomm, and Kay Davis, Director of the Business Roundtable, were key participants in these discussions.

In late 1998 the group voted to start a charter school and engaged Larry Rosenstock, then President of Price Charities in San Diego, as the founding principal. The founding group was clear about its intent: to create a school where students would be passionate about learning and would acquire the basic skills of work and citizenship. Rosenstock, a former carpentry teacher, lawyer, and high school principal who had recently directed the U.S. Department of Education’s New Urban High School (NUHS) project, brought a vision and a sense of the design principles by which this mission might be accomplished.

Design Principles

High Tech High has distilled the six NUHS design principles to four: personalization, adult world connection, common intellectual mission, and teacher as designer. Responding directly to the needs of students, all four principles connect to the broad mission of preparation for the adult world. Moreover, all four call for structures and practices that schools do not now routinely employ. The design principles permeate every aspect of life at High Tech High: the small size of the school, the openness of the facilities, the personalization through advisory, the emphasis on integrated, project-based learning and student exhibitions, the requirement that all students complete internships in the community, and the provision of ample planning time for teacher teams during the work day.

For more information about High Tech High, please visit: