The potential to make the impossible possible

Purdue Polytechnic High School prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow

During his sophomore year at Purdue Polytechnic High School, Adrian Martinez helped design a robotically controlled arm for amputees. The team created parts using a 3D printer and built a functional, low-cost prototype.

It’s that type of hands-on, project-based learning that motivated Martinez to enroll at PPHS. 

“I’ve always been interested in STEM,” he says. “Science, math, engineering, technology — I love all of it. But coming to Purdue Polytechnic High School focused my interests. I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but coming in to PPHS, I thought of engineering more broadly. Now, I’ve had opportunities to explore different engineering fields and think more specifically about what I can do.” 

Martinez credits his PPHS coaches for encouraging his persistent pursuit of engineering. The opportunity to learn from coaches experienced in manufacturing, aerospace and other industries helped him envision a future as an engineer. As part of the first graduating class at PPHS, Martinez plans to major in mechanical engineering technology at Purdue University. 

“We talk a lot about the potential to make the impossible possible,” Martinez says. “One thing our school focuses on is getting us ready for the jobs that don’t exist yet, getting us ready for the jobs of tomorrow.” 

Not only did PPHS prepare Martinez for the academic rigors of college coursework, the school built his confidence by establishing a foundation of self-advocacy by encouraging him to take charge of his education. 

“Students have a large voice here,” he says. “As a new school, we’re constantly evolving. My senior year looks far different from what my freshman year looked like. As the curriculum was developed, we were expected to tell teachers what worked for us and what didn’t work. Because of the way our school is structured, I’ve become much more confident in talking with others and communicating my ideas.

“PPHS isn’t structured in the same way as a traditional school,” Martinez adds. “For students who are self-driven and self-motivated to put in the work, you can learn everything you need to learn but also learn about things that you probably wouldn’t have been able to learn in a traditional school.” 

For more information on student registration, donations or business partnerships, and media requests, contact PPHS Network Office at info@pphs.purdue.edu.

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