La Salle Prep photo by Katie Allen
Ryan Warrick, a La Salle freshman, works in the robotics lab.
La Salle Prep photo by Katie Allen
Ryan Warrick, a La Salle freshman, works in the robotics lab.
MILWAUKIE — La Salle Catholic College Preparatory launched four engineering and technology offerings this fall as part of the school’s new science, technology, engineering and math academy. The program’s design, shaped by indicators of the need for future science and tech workers, includes advanced placement computer science, robotics, game design and programming, and web and multimedia development.

“Innovative 21st century leaders must be fluent in scientific inquiry, collaborative problem-solving and critical thinking," says Denise Jones, president of La Salle Prep. "No longer can we afford students who simply chase a score on an achievement test.”

La Salle purchased a Mac lab and top-grade robotics kits. Students plan to compete in robotics competitions.

The U.S. Labor Department says the fastest growing occupations by 2014 will require mathematics and science preparation. The government also says U.S. students lag in those fields.

Jones says the new academy is a response.

Jones, along with director of technology David Heineck and librarian Colette Cassinelli, discussed the program at a Christian Brothers’ schools national conference in Ohio in November .

Next fall, La Salle plans a program for students with diagnosed learning differences who currently cannot attend a Catholic high school. The Signum Fidei (“Signs of Faith”) Program, with small student/teacher ratios and special instruction, will provide a Catholic educational option for students with mild to moderate learning differences.