Cool Schools: Springbrook Program Provides Real-World Knowledge, Paycheck

8:16 AM, Jan 21, 2011   |    comments
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SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA) -- Most students go to school to learn lessons. Teens at Springbrook High School brought the lesson to school.

By students, for students, that's how a conference on website design started. They book the speakers, promote the event, and the response has been amazing.

Teacher Zac Gordon says, "It's close to 500. We had to shut off registration, and we're really excited."

It's all part of a 4-year web design curriculum at Springbrook.

"You learn how to design these sites, make them look nice, then you learn how to make them work correctly," says Kyle Cotter, a junior.

It doesn't stop there.

Dan Philbin is a high school junior from Pennsylvania. He's speaking at the conference and his message: Dream Big. His small design business has some pretty impressive clients: Ripley's Believe It or Not and "we saw the name Jet Blue, we actually emailed them, and we've actually been doing some consulting work for them."

Perhaps the coolest thing about this, this goes way beyond the classroom, these guys are already in the real word making money now!

Through an internship program, students can build websites for local business owners in the community and get paid.

"We'll actually meet with the client, like a real world scenario. I'll get to see what they want," Cotter says. "We agree on a fair price. We actually get paid for this, and the school takes a small cut for the resources we get to use."

Principal Dr. Debra Mugge says, "We're always looking for that hook to keep kids in school, and this is one Springbrook has. Not only do we hook them in, they say, 'This could be my future.'"

Real world knowledge and a paycheck while they're still in school, now that's COOL!

If you have a COOL SCHOOL, email Mike at Check out our COOL SCHOOLS segment every Friday at 5:45 a.m. on 9NEWS NOW.

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