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Area 21 - XQ Project

Area 21:  Where Innovation and the Future Begins!

Area 21:  20,000 square foot, 2-story building with:

  • Solar panel field and drone pad on the roof, along with a roof garden that will collect rainwater for grey water usage.
  • Red Devil Productions studios and classroom on the second floor inside the "TV" and outdoor screening room below the "TV."
  • Maker Space for project based learning activities
  • Cybersecurity classroom and Wireless/Fiber Networks classroom on the second floor.
  • Large meeting space for 100 seated at tables/chairs or 200 seated in rows; small breakout meeting rooms.
  • Huddle/collaborative spaces throughout with soft seating/whiteboards, etc...for all areas of academia.



Area 21: Where Innovation and the Future Begin, aims to develop a high school that focuses on the renovation of our existing high schools with a combined 1,780 students and the construction of a two-story 1,600 foot building with a functional rooftop called Area 21.More information about Area 21

  • Area 21 will be a separate building/area named for our millennial, 21st Century students connecting both campuses which are neighbors.

  • Our Mission Statement will be to provide a dynamic education for all students preparing them to meet the changing challenges of the 21st Century.

  • Our Impact Statement will provide a collaborative and innovative learning environment rich in relevant, creative, problem-solving opportunities for students to become college and career ready for the future.

  • We plan to change the culture and pedagogy of our high schools to increase hands-on, minds-on learning through real-world project-based learning (PBL) projects. The XQ team proposes to increase the collaborative focus simply by changing furniture to a style that is both collaborative and technology friendly; to give students educational experiences outside the classroom walls by utilizing community networks and partnerships that have been propagated since the project’s inception; to place a stronger focus on the arts by transforming Red Devil TV to Red Devil Productions; and to give the Career Tech facility a facelift by transforming into a Makerspace environment.

  • Our teaching and learning must embrace the lead by corporate America to engulf students in real world problem solving and interdisciplinary pedagogy using an increased volume of nonfiction reading/technical material that challenges critical thinking and creativity. It is important for learning to be relevant and for students to find their passion through inquiry and discovery based learning.

  • Transformation to an educational culture that minimizes teacher-directed instruction and maximizes student-led learning based on interest, discovery, inquiry, and collaboration. Teachers will become facilitators guiding students in creative problem-solving through relevant Project Based Learning (PBL). The benefit of this change in pedagogy will result in successful college or career ready young adults.

  • Our student agency brings our XQ student team voices to the forefront of our focus. Our students have been significant throughout our XQ journey as the XQ Student Team has attended many of our “Go See-Get Inspired” visits to various educational and community sites for research. Our approach to the renovations of the existing high schools extend directly from the voices of our students.

  • Our current Red Devil TV hosts school podcasts each morning and two musical productions a year designed by our drama teacher. Many of our students have voiced a wish for upgrading to Red Devil Productions in order to include creative and artistic opportunities that are not currently available at our high school. This could encompass improvisational music and dance, broadcast journalism, weather, a culinary arts inspired cooking show, fashion design, graphic design, and photography.

  • The Network and Partnership visits through the Discovery and Design Modules have shown us the need for national and global focus on the inclusion of cybersecurity as a career path. As a result of our research and network connections, we plan to specialize as a regional school for cybersecurity, telematics, advanced coding, computer repair. We desire to become a feeder high school for admittance into several universities with cybersecurity programs. Many of them are connected to the CIA and NSA and offer scholarships to graduating high school seniors to enter this field. Auburn University in Auburn, AL, Tuskegee University, Tuskeegee, AL, Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA, and Clemson University in South Carolina are a few that we have visited and plan for future connections. We also have a partnership with the Scientific Research Corporation in Huntsville, AL, also connected to the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA. In addition, our town, Phenix City, AL is also located within 7-10 miles of the largest infantry base, Ft. Benning, GA. There is a heavy military demographic in our schools, bi-state and bi-city community.  Cybersecurity is the protection of information systems from theft or damage to the hardware, the software, and to the information on them, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. Telematics is a general term that refers to any device which merges telecommunications and infomatics. Telematics includes anything from GPS systems to navigation systems. It is responsible for many features in vehicles from OnStar to hands free mobile calling. The roof top area will function as a third floor and will host a drone area, drone pad, telescope area, and STEM event area. 

  • During an XQ meeting with KIA, who has founded their own charter school in LaGrange to meet the ever-growing needs for well-trained technicians, our Superintendent, Randy Wilkes, discussed the need for employees trained in cybersecurity and telematics. As the number of connected devices explodes — from roughly 2 billion in 2010 to an estimated 25 billion by 20201 — security researchers have repeatedly shown that most online devices can be hacked, including vehicles. Among the most vivid examples came recently, when security researchers demonstrated that they could hijack a vehicle over the Internet, without any dealership-installed device to ease access. By hacking into a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the researchers were able to turn the steering wheel, briefly disable the brakes and shut down the engine.1 Phenix City Schools hopes to provide a foundation for those interested in pursuing these types of technological jobs that will curtail cyber-community issues of the future. Interested students will complete an application process including. Through our visits and communications with these post-secondary institutions, we have discovered that a psychological evaluation may be necessary for students working in some sections of Area 21 due to the sensitive nature of the type training involved with cybersecurity and telematics. Part of the second floor of the proposed addition of Area 21 will house these classrooms and will be cyber-secure.

  • Our XQ Team has identified a national security need in cybersecurity and telematics. This career option for our high school students will be meaningful and help globally in our 21st Century world. One of our administrators has retired and gone to work with our network partner, Scientific Research Corporation (SRC). Once our STEM cybersecurity and telematics focus is more fully implemented, our goal is for Central High School as a pilot for forming a non-profit organization with our partners at SRC, and present our cybersecurity model to high schools around the country. Cybersecurity is a continuous threat to our national security and global security. High schools are in an optimum arena to create feeder schools to post-secondary institutions for this career choice. It will help solve a real world, 21st Century problem and we are very excited about all of the possibilities associated with our new alliances and plan.

Visit XQ: The Super School Project's website for more details!


1212 9th Avenue | Phenix City, AL 36868-0460 | (334) 298-0534