Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Seniors to Focus on Mechatronics

The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) continues to transform the educational experience. Long recognized for its cutting edge STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) program, DPEA has created a new senior capstone project that will provide students with innovative engineering opportunities. This new curriculum decision has been developed by DPEA with the full support of Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District, and Santa Barbara County Education Office. It will take DPEA to the next level.

This past year, the new senior capstone project, Mechatronics 2015, ran concurrently with the FIRST Team 1717 Robotics Program. The Mechatronics Project was created specifically as the culmination of the Art of Engineering curriculum and its educational outcomes reflect the unique mission of DPEA. After careful consideration, FIRST Team 1717 has been retired and, in the coming year, Mechatronics will be the single capstone project for seniors.

The 2015 Mechatronics Project—a rotating display of 15 student-created, one-of-a-kind sectors with science/physics themes—was named Carousel of Physics. The curriculum transforms the educational experience by providing new challenges for small-group collaboration and creativity. Carousel of Physics was exhibited at the Maker Faire Bay Area 2015, where it received numerous awards. Audiences of all ages continue to be fascinated and inspired. DPEA will continue to design and develop new and exciting exhibition-ready projects of this nature.

Since its inception in 2002, DPEA has expanded to serve more than 400 students. The Mechatronics Project provides an effective mechanism for equitable access to and participation in the creative process. Mechatronics will be a robust educational experience because:
· the new curriculum will focus on consistent rigor and relevance;
· every student will be responsible for creating—from scratch—one or more of the Mechatronics mechanisms;
· every student will work on all facets of the engineering process (design, prototype development, programming, manufacturing, assembly, and quality control);
· small teams will create new, integrated design projects over the full academic year, allowing time for reflection during the design process;
· DPEA educators will define the learning objectives; and
· the full capacity of the Elings Center will be utilized throughout the school year.

With Mechatronics, DPEA looks forward to providing an engaging, exciting, and effective learning opportunity for our students.


Barbara Keyani
Coordinator, Administrative Services and Communications
Santa Barbara Unified School District
720 Santa Barbara Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-4338, ext. 6206

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