42 is now Moonshots in Education Certified!
We are proud to announce that 42 Silicon Valley has been granted MoonShots in Education Certification today! The creator of Moonshots, Esther Wojcicki, and Moonshot’s creative director, Freedom Cheteni, presented a plaque today to 42 Silicon Valley’s co-founder and managing director, Kwame Yamgnane and COO Brittany Bir. To qualify for Moonshots Certification, 42 Silicon Valley had to meet the qualities as outlined in the acronym TRICK (Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration and Kindness). We believe these qualities are at the core of what makes the 42 community such a great place to learn and is important to our peer-learning and project-based pedagogy.
More about Moonshots
So what is Moonshots in Education? It was started 49 years ago by revolutionary educator Esther Wojcicki. She created a new model of teaching that was outlined in her book, “Moonshots in Education. Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom.” Her model focuses on making education more accessible, more equitable and more personalized. This educational framework, now recognized as Moonshots in Education: The Woj Way, has been implemented around the world.
As shared on Moonshot’s website, “When educators adopt a powerful, new mindset, anything is truly possible. We believe that every child deserves to be taught in a way that enriches their minds, that unlocks their true potential, and provides them with lifelong skills to really flourish in today’s world.” 42 Silicon Valley is committed to not only helping students build the skills they need to code, but also the skills they need to be confident in their ability to make a positive change.
A Resource for All Project-Based Learning
We are excited to be a Moonshots certified school, especially since Moonshots fosters collaboration and wants to be a resource for all project-based learning. Freedom Cheteni shared more about Esther Wojcicki, also known as “Dr. Woj.” Dr. Woj has spent 30 years building the largest high school journalism program at Palo Alto High School. Freedom stated, “Dr. Woj is considered the most influential educator of her time. For those of you who have used Google before, it was founded and started in Esther’s garage. Dr. Woj understands what a moonshot is because she knew Google before it became Google.”
Cheteni noted today how when you look at education reform throughout history, there are very few women. He continued, “So what we have over here (with Dr. Woj) is perhaps the greatest educational reformer of our time. When you are looking at all of the educational reformers, we discovered something uniquely surprising, that they were almost all men. And in fact, even the creators of peer-based learning, yes, that is a great way of learning, but they initially thought women shouldn’t be part of that. The only other notable woman educational reformer was Maria Montessori, but they have not embraced technology.”
Innovation doesn’t happen during a lecture, it happens with diversity of thought. 42 appreciates how Moonshots wants everyone to know the value of peer-based and project-based learning, and how embracing technology is crucial when it comes to shaping the future of education.
“This is the Perfect School, The Perfect Education Model”
During the certification ceremony today, Dr. Wojcicki shared how 42 has the same values as Moonshots in Education. She hopes to see more copycat versions of this learning model, “I can’t tell you how wonderful this is. When I met Kwame in Paris I said, ‘OMG, we are doing exactly the same thing! I have been doing this for a long time and it is exciting to see this.’ Then Kwame told me they were coming to Fremont with a new school. It is wonderful to see all of you and have this opportunity to work with you and I think this is the school of the future.
Since we love you guys so much and what you guys are doing, we are going to give you this Certificate from Moonshots of Education. We would like to see a lot of copycats. And we would like to see more schools like this in the U.S. and around the world, this is the model we need. You guys are the future, you are wonderful. Make sure to share this with other people you know, this is the way to educate. This is the perfect school, the perfect education model.”
The First Self-Driving School on The Planet
Freedom Cheteni is passionate about 42’s mission and has even written about it in Medium. Cheteni also joined a piscine to learn more about our learning method and was not let down. He shared, “When I came here to check out 42 I discovered a personal transformation in the piscine. 42 is a moonshot and there is nothing like it. Why not use technology to augment how we learn? Let’s put it in the classroom so we enhance our learning practice.
Esther is the first person to create a framework to inspire schools to implement this technology. And what is inspiring about that is that 42 is the first institution on the planet to actually implement trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness. More students spend more time learning in the piscine than in a traditional setting. And you are a different person after participating in the piscine. We have to collaborate, we have to be kind and be consistent with trust and respect for humanity. I want to congratulate 42 for being the world’s first self-driving school on the planet.”
An Exciting New Collaboration: The Value Is in Our Students
42 is excited to collaborate further with Dr. Woj and the Moonshots team. Corporate Relations Manager at 42, Jamie Parenteau, who is known as “mom” within the 42 community of students, emphasized that we can’t do this without our students, “We have a lot of partnerships with different companies and organizations, but we can’t do this alone. Beyond your technical capabilities is that you are a good human being. And when they follow up with your good technical skills, you are all set. I have a team of 30 student ambassadors. You find people you want to work with and you bring them back to me. Thank you for your support, and do me a favor. Turn to the left and turn to the right and give some hugs and say thank you to your peers.”
42 Students Make the School a Success
Kwame also acknowledged how it is the students who make 42 such a success, “Thank you for everything. It is quite special to be here in the U.S. We started in 1998 with the first school in France. The work that we did, especially by the students, reminds you of the value of the students and how they know the best way to learn. You have a huge network here. Basically, we have a lot of people who hire you who are super proud of the work you do. You bring the value to the school…we try to prepare you for the work of tomorrow, it is a really big challenge.”
Brittany recalled how she was once part of the piscine as well, and how important it is to make education more accessible, “It was in 2013 that 42 started in Paris. I was in your shoes and came out here to start 42 Silicon Valley in 2016. We are disrupting engineering education and people don’t have to have the academic or financial background. It is our mission to open access to education. We want to give people the freedom to come up with their own solutions and be creative. With that, we opened 42 Silicon Valley and with the very first piscine we have been growing. We are so happy to have you guys here.”
Knowing the value of your students, making education more accessible, embracing technology and transforming education through peer and project-based pedagogy is something that 42 shoots for. These shared values make us proud to be recognized as a Moonshot in Education certified school.