Alhambra Freshman Erick Padilla is All About Project-Based Learning

Posted by Communications on 2/14/2018

Freshman Erick Padilla is all about project-based learning, and is the perfect example of why Alhambra is developing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) program. 


Padilla decided three months ago to try and build a classic video game emulator console using a credit card sized computer called a raspberry pi Erick had little or no prior experience in these areas before undertaking this project.  


“This is not an easy task at all and has required months of persistent research and learning,” teacher Clayton Jones said.  “After months of persistence he has gotten his emulator up and running and it is creating quite the buzz amongst our students. It plays a variety of classic arcade games and has a unique design.”


Padilla utilized all his resources, including some great teachers.  He consulted with Ryan Adney (photography teacher and maker-extraordinaire) on hardware, button, wiring, and joystick issues.  He  figured out how to configure elements of the emulator software in collaboration with Trevor Butler (English teacher and electronics enthusiast.)  Padilla created his own console design to house all of the electronics and actually printed up the 3D printed body with the help of Tim Brink (librarian and technology) and he worked with Florin Postelnicu (math and coding) to learn the fundamental principles of software and game design.


“It was great to watch Erick each day show up and rush into the room to get his hands on tools and try new ideas.   He would get stuck and then design his way out of / around his obstacles.  Erick   wants to build even more ideas and shows no signs of slowing down.”