Who We Are

Our new program, the Innovation Design Institute, focuses on preparing students for the complex world. While engaging students in project-based learning, the program emphasizes teaching 21st century skills: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, and communication and collaboration.

Simply, IDI is a curricular space within a physical space, the CoLab, where core disciplines (science, math, engineering, and the arts) collide in a single hub. It puts cutting edge technol- ogy for design and construction into the hands of high school students.

After taking foundational courses offered on campus, students work collaboratively and individually innovating, designing and fabricating products and formulating solutions that improve people’s lives locally and globally.

IDI curriculum, facility, and community partnerships help students develop critical life and career skills, within a maker space called the CoLab.

The program’s curriculum teaches students flexibility, self-direction, communication skills, project management and leadership. Educators and community mentors will guide students through course work and activities that emphasize Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework for 21st Century Learning (see below). The CoLab’s curriculum will en- courage collaboration across disciplines using design thinking, a methodology for teaching and learning innovation skills that combine creative and analytical approaches. Design think- ing draws on methods from engineering and design, and combines them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from business and industry.

After foundational coursework, students will work side-by-side in the CoLab with teachers, other students, and industry experts in small groups and ultimately manage their own projects focused on social and STEM innovation. The school’s facility provides a place where students can work side by side with community experts and mentors using traditional and technologically advanced tools to create.

The community provides hands-on opportunities for students in their area of interest including: internships, employment opportunities and/or apprenticeships, field trips, job shadowing and volunteer work. Students will also have the opportunity to take specialized classes in computer programming , robotics and digital fabrication. Where applicable, students can engage in micro certification, dual credit and certification courses available online, through local universities and colleges and the county’s regional occupation program.

Our faculty:

Jsidell web

Jason Sidell – CoLab Director, Robotics, Game Design, Maker Course, Computer Programming/AP Computer Programming Teacher

Jason Sidell has been teaching for the last 13 years in Humboldt County. He began his teaching career running an after-school program CyberTribe, which focused on building youth technology skills. He then joined the Humboldt County Regional Occupational Program (HROP) as a Career Technical Education (CTE) instructor teaching classes related to technology/computer science. Jason has created and implemented three original high school courses: a Maker course, Robotics, and Video Game Development which he currently teaches. In addition to these courses Jason teaches computer programming at the Secondary level, and video game development and interactive media at the college level. Jason has a BS in Biology, MA in Education, and a California Occupational Education teaching credential. You’re most likely to run into Jason on the Hammond Trail or in the Arcata Community Forest when he’s not in the classroom.

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