After much anticipation, students at Dos Pueblos High School as well as members of the FIRST Robotics community eagerly await the coming of New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Bascomb’s book, The New Cool. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 that aims to encourage student interest in scientific and technical fields. Each year, teams of students have six weeks to design and manufacture a robot to compete in an international competition held by FIRST. In 2009, Bascomb followed the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy’s (DPEA) Team 1717 through its FIRST Robotics Season and chronicled its hectic journey from sleepless nights in the classroom to the final competitions at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The New Cool

The New Cool isn’t your ordinary diary of a FIRST Robotics team. It is the view of the FIRST Robotics Competition from the fifty-yard line, emphasizing the teamwork and competitive nature of the program. Due to The New Cool release, DPEA Director Mr. Amir Abo-Shaeer has been invited to attend various speaking engagements to discuss his engineering program and particularly to spread his vision of more project-based learning in schools. A professor at University of Chicago describing The New Cool states, “Neal Bascomb distills a scientific quest into an adventure that reads with all the thrill, passion, and human drama behind a storied run for the Super Bowl.”

The New Cool will be available in stores and online on March 1, 2011.

The New Cool Trailer

Buy the book:

Visit Neal Bascomb Online

Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy:

Dos Pueblos High School (DPHS), in collaboration with Santa Barbara County Education Office Regional Occupation Program (ROP), determined that our community would benefit from the presence of an engineering program designed for students at the secondary level. The DPEA offered its initial course during the 2002-2003 academic school year with the introduction of Engineering 1 and Computer Science 1. During the 2005-2006 school year, the capstone senior-level ROP Robotics course was added, supported by the Santa Barbara County Education Office .The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy has a broad base of community support, including UCSB, Santa Barbara City College, and local industry partners. The DPEA is a public school program, operating on campus at Dos Pueblos High School. Dos Pueblos High School is located at 7266 Alameda, Goleta, CA.

The DPEA Foundation:

The DPEA Foundation was established by Engineering Academy parents in Fall 2007 to support the Engineering Academy and run the Capital Campaign to raise funds for a new facility. The DPEA Foundation mission is to enhance the quality of the DPEA learning experience and to facilitate the growth of the Academy. For more information on the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation, please see

Two years ago, Mr. Abo-Shaeer, the DPEA Director and Head Instructor, applied for and was awarded a $3 million state grant to expand the academy. To date, the Capital Campaign to raise $3 million to match the grant has secured $2,500,000.The Gearing Up! Capital Campaign will raise the remaining $500,000 to purchase state-of-the-art machinery and equipment for the laboratories and machine shops:


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