lighthouse community charter school

Lighthouse Charter School: A Beacon for Making

In spite of its gritty industrial location near the Oakland International Airport, Lighthouse Community Charter School is one of the most in-demand schools in Oakland. The high walls and black security fences keep unwanted visitors out, but the popularity of the school makes it hard for prospective students to get in, too. Last year there were 700 applicants for just 60 open seats. The school holds a lottery to see who attends. And for good reason. Ninety five percent of the school’s graduates leave ready for college—90 percent of whom are the first members of their family to go college.

That may come as a surprise in a school where 85 percent of students are low-income and 50 percent come from families living below the poverty line.

Starting next year Lighthouse will soon have another distinction: this fall it will become one of the the first public schools in the U.S. to make making part of a campus-wide curriculum.

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Aaron Vanderwerff Named “Inspirational Teacher of the Year”

Oakland’s Lighthouse Community Charter School is turning out some great young makers. If you attended Maker Faire this past week you might have run into Lighthouse students displaying a solar-powered scooter. (It started out as a go kart, but someone stole the chassis) and an EV truck project. The school’s teachers are no slouches either. This week one of the students’ instructors, Aaron Vanderwerff, was named “inspirational teacher of the year”

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Oakland High Schoolers Need Your Power!

Tony, Carlos, and Raul, students at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, have taken on an ambitious senior project they plan to exhibit at Maker Faire: converting a gas-powered truck to electric power. They’ve been working afterschool and weekends and already gave up at least one holiday to work on the conversion. These young men exemplify the self-motivation we see in so many maker projects.

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