Founded in 2015, The Eagle Center for Creativity and Innovation (TECCI)® at Alta Loma Christian School focuses on providing unique opportunities for student creativity and innovation, all in the context of a Christian worldview. This includes applied science, technology, engineering, mathematics, fine arts, visual arts, performing arts, and entrepreneurship.
TECCI is an incubator for conceiving and growing new and emerging arts and sciences programs at ALCS, each designed to equip our students with unique 21st century learning opportunities. One of the first programs to come under TECCI’s wing in 2015-2016 was the Meet the Masters art education program, followed by music education, worship, and performance.
In 2016-2017, TECCI was the umbrella for our new STEM program. We started with space science and engineering for grades 1 through 8, and call it SpaceEagles. For STEM students in grades 4-8, we are one of only 11 schools in the nation participating in a cutting-edge STEM program based in the Silicon Valley called the Quest for Space Beta International Space Station Program. Program partners include The Quest Institute for Quality Education, LEGO® Education, Microsoft®, Nanoracks®, and NASA. The Quest for Space Beta ISS program at ALCS is comprised of two teams: Level 1 for grades 4-5, and Level 2 for grades 6-8. These two ISS teams have robotic engineering projects and programming as a major part of their program. All STEM offerings at ALCS have components of the NextGen Science Standards (NGSS). On Friday, April 28, 2017, our first ALCS Tech Fair debuted, featuring ALCS student creations in animation, digital gaming, video production, graphic design, digital photography, graphic 3D modeling, and productivity design.
In 2017-2018, in addition to sustaining all of the foregoing programs (including the second ALCS Tech Fair) and continuing to have student STEM/STEAM experiments taken to the International Space Station as a Quest for Space partner for a second historic year, TECCI added additional performing arts with the introduction of dance, including sacred dance. TECCI also supported fundraising efforts and educational technology expansion to secure and implement curricular use of the school’s first 3D printer.
In 2018-2019, a third STEM/STEAM strand—Eagle Beta Pi—was added, focusing on applied computing utilizing Raspberry Pi devices. In addition, the SpaceEagles STEM Rocketry program (grades 1-3) expanded its capacity for the number of students participating, and the SpaceEaglesSTEM ISS space science and engineering team (grades 4-8) joined a historic Alpha project challenge with Quest for Space, aimed at performing student experiments attached to the exterior of the ISS. TECCI also became the home of the new Spanish Explorers program.
ALCS envisions further expansion of TECCI programs with offerings in fine arts, visual arts, and performing arts, and opportunities for entrepreneurship. For example, dependent upon (1) student interest and (2) resources, this could include such possibilities as: STEM Meteorology (ThunderBirds®) with the WeatherBug National Meteorological Program and Los Angeles CBS affiliate Channel 2; expanding the robotics component of SpaceEagles® into a STEM robotic engineering program called EagleBOTS®; Screen arts and video/film production named EAGLEWORKS, PICTURES®; Broadcast journalism/TV/radio modeled after ABC affiliate Channel 7, called EAGLE7 EYEWITNESS NEWS®; a student authors club that would publish their own book of student created writings and illustrations, entitled ImagineEagles,®; digital graphic design; graphic 3D modeling; digital photography; 3D printing; expanded instrumental music; productivity design; entrepreneurial business projects/components; and similar opportunities under TECCI.
Note: TECCI includes curricular and co-curricular programs and teaching elements common to STEM, STEAM, and business and entrepreneurship education. It is our constant intent to remain relentlessly at the forefront of applied learning, so that our students benefit from a leading edge 21st century education at ALCS. TECCI was founded in 2015 by ALCS head of school and USC Innovation Scholar, Dr. Vance Nichols. ALCS; TECCI; our SpaceEagles STEM program; our STEM students, mentor-teachers, and team administrators; our director of innovation (Mrs. Laura Deck); and our school-wide computer coding program have recently been honored for excellence and outstanding achievement and innovation by the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and the City of Rancho Cucamonga.