Albuquerque breaks ground on hi-tech school

The Albuquerque Public Schools District kicked off construction of a new school Friday.

Officials said the "Nex+gen Academy" is the school of the future, using innovation and technology to help students succeed.

A year from now, the new magnet school -- just east of Del Norte High School -- will welcome more than 200 ninth and 10th graders, helping them learn in a whole new way.

"The classes are going to be taught in a very different way called 'project-based learning,' which means they're going to start the day or unit with a question or problem that as a group they'll need to figure out how to solve," said Dr. Michael Stanton, principal of the new school.

Students will use technology, including their own computers, to break away from textbooks and investigate topics relevant to their lives.

"We all know how to work a computer and when we go out into the career world, most likely everything is going to be digital so if we get one step ahead of the game, we could have a good career life," said Brooke Jorgensen of the school's advisory board.

It's a formula many leaders hope they'll see more of in the future.

"I hope not only that this high school will be a great success, but I hope what they learn here can be replicated throughout the Albuquerque Public Schools, said Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

The school is scheduled to open to freshmen and sophomores next August and will eventually house about 450 students. They'll be selected through a lottery system.

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