On Wednesday, March 16, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy will be hosting a book signing at Chaucer’s Book Store in Loreto Plaza (next to Harry’s) from 4 to 7 p.m. in celebration of New York Times Bestselling Author Neal Bascomb’s latest release, The New Cool. Bascomb, the author of Hunting Eichmann and The Perfect Mile, followed the DPEA robotics team, Team 1717, in 2009–the team’s most challenging year. His book begins with the January release of the competition, and continues through to the world championship. Written as “a sports saga for the 21st century,” The New Cool chronicles the group’s struggle, both with their robot and their own team, highlighting personal stories and weaving them into the tale of an international competition.

Though written before Mr. Amir Abo-Shaeer, the DPEA Director, teacher, and robotics coach, became the first high school teacher to win a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, the book offers a glimpse into his early efforts in educational reform, as well as the institutional challenges he overcame simply to get his program started.

Members of the 2009 Team 1717, along with Shaeer, will be at Chaucer’s, signing books and showing off their competition robot. Current team members will be on hand to talk about their recent experience at the FIRST Regional Competition in San Diego. Please plan to bring a friend and consider purchasing a copy of The New Cool to donate to a local school or public library.

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. http://www.dpengineering.org

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 www.dpeaf.org

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: http://www.dpeaf.org/gearingup.php


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