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Career Technical Education

CTE Handbook
Our mission is to provide meaningful learning experiences for our students that have lifelong impacts. We do this through a holistic approach that supports students through academics, career, skills, health, individual character development, community, and innovation. By providing every student with engaging, relevant, and unique learning experiences, we prepare them to thrive as global citizens in a rapidly changing world and adapt to the future economy.

BEAM - Business Entrepreneurship & Math
The BEAM Program is an entrepreneurial initiative in the district of Palo Alto, and it goes beyond any traditional educational experience by teaching business concepts in a revolutionary immersive model and allowing students to make real world impacts. Students design and develop self-driven, cross-curricular solutions to solve worldly problems while being mentored by industry professionals, and can launch their own startup upon completion of the course.

Criminal Law and Civil Law (grades 9-12)
CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW class will challenge your perspective of law and punishment. We explore controversial cases and discuss legal topics including types of crimes, punishments, sentencing and rehabilitation. Civil law portion of the class covers individual rights, torts and injunctions. Mostly freshmen and sophomores take this class. Students experience two mock trials, a debate, and a field trip to criminal court, GUEST SPEAKER: Palo Alto Police Officer.

Law 1 - Exclusive Criminal Law Class
We study criminal law only. There are NO prerequisites to this class. We have four Criminal mock trials, Field Trip, guest speakers, Ninth Circuit of Appeals Court visit. Students have projects, presentations and law related activities. Serial Killer project.


Automotive Technology
Courses: Auto 1, Auto 2 Advanced

Auto-1 fundamentals of Automotive technology covers how automobiles work, identification of the components in modern and older cars including EV and Hybrid Autos. Students learn basic automotive mechanical skills, such as changing a tire, battery maintenance, introductory mechanics, hand tool identification, and basic electrical. Auto-2 is offered to students who have completed Auto-1 and are interested in advanced topics like Fabrication, engine building, advanced maintenance, auto restoration, motorsports organization, auto tuning. They can learn these topics and get hands-on experience in our auto shop. 
The curriculum challenges students to participate in lectures, take notes, interact during lecture and demonstrations as well as spend time in the shop learning, and working on autos.  
Mr. Grim has a background in Aviation Management, Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, Professional Motorsports Mechanics, Composites Fabrication and Materials, as well as experience as a Technical Laboratory Manager in the semiconductor industry. 
Gunn High School is able to offer Project Lead The Way (PLTW) students real-world applications and ignite their imaginative spirit with a hands-on approach. As of January 2011, Gunn High is a Nationally Certified Engineering PLTW school.

The Gunn Robotics Team participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition as Team 192. The team is student-centered, students lead, and driven to excel. Each of our members have different skills, from machining and 3D design, to programming and animation. We are the only team to have won the national animation award three times, in 1997, 2006, and 2012. We have consistently been one of the strongest teams in FRC and we plan to keep it that way!

Broadcast Journalism - Titan Broadcast Network
The Titan Broadcast Network (TBN) is a student-run broadcasting organization. Visit our homepage to find out about morning announcements, and the latest in campus happenings.


  Video Production - Digital Filmmaking

Culinary Science
Culinary Science Introduction, International/US. Regional and Sports Nutrition are all courses that will help students develop an appreciation for a wide variety of foods and aspects of eating healthy. Emphasis is placed on healthy food selection, improving nutritional value through ingredient choices and cooking techniques that will enable students to create nutritionally balanced delicious dishes.


Interior Design and Fiber Arts Fashion Design
Interior Design and Fiber Arts Fashion Design courses involve students creating projects that develop their own sense of style. Interior Design examines student choices in choosing floor plans, selecting /arranging furniture, fabrics and accessories, plus involving architectural aspects of line, design, form, color and texture. Fiber Arts Fashion introduces students to different textiles and fiber application. A few that will be covered are: quilting, embroidery, fabric painting, machine applique, knitting and needlework. Learning how to operate a sewing and embroidery machine will enhance the fashion design projects in this course.

Biotech is a class that introduces students to the technical applications of Cell Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Immunology and the societal issues associated. This is a laboratory intensive class that involves theoretical information, lab safety, the scientific method, data analysis, and related computer skills.

Advanced Authentic Research (AAR)
The AAR Program provides a unique research opportunity for students in grades 10-12. This class is designed for students with interest, passion, curiosity, and perseverance to investigate an authentic topic of their choosing. Students are paired with mentors in the particular field of research who will support and facilitate each students' work, while students are supported in the classroom with process-oriented curriculum.

Check out AAR at our website:


Journalism (The Oracle) is a newspaper publication produced by and for the students of Gunn High School. The newspaper publishes nine issues annually, and also maintains an online website and social media presence. Students are in charge of content, design and publications, and become proficient in industry-standard programs like Adobe InDesign and other Creative Suite products. Student also learn about media ethics and conduct their reporting within these professional standards. Beginning Journalism, which is only offered fall semester, is a pre-requisite for joining staff. Seniors can also take an honors-level media leadership class if they have taken a full year of Advanced Journalism.

Check out The Oracle at


Work Study
Work Study is a program that combines classroom instruction with part-time student employment (paid). Juniors and senior are eligible to enroll in this program. Students develop work habits, self-confidence, job related skills, and a personal portfolio. This is an excellent opportunity to learn interviewing skills for college and employment as well as the necessary soft skills required by employers. Students attend class for 1 hour a week and work a minimum of 3 hours a week outside of class time and earn 5 units of credit that can be applied towards the graduation requirement for either Career Technical Education or Elective credits each semester.

  Exploratory Experience
Exploratory Experience is a program that combines classroom instruction with unpaid off-campus student internship/volunteer position. Students explore their specific career interests by direct observation and have a hands on experience. Professionals or individuals with established expertise serve as mentors in their specific fields for students in this program. Placement in this program is limited to experiences that are developed through the school district and excludes community organizations such as clubs, private lessons, and non-career focused services. Many community service opportunities qualify for Exploratory Experience credits and still receive service hours.