Students to attend state Technology Showcase

Four San Marcos High School students will attend the 2014 California Student Technology Showcase in Palm Springs on March 22.

Luke Andersen, Kevin Gillett, Richard Troon-Salas, and Cody Krueger will be accompanied by teacher Russell Granger after their electric motorcycle project was chosen as this year’s representative for Santa Barbara County. The content focus of the project is using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and knowledge to design and build a plug-in electric motorcycle.

The annual showcase is a joint effort of the California Department of Education, the California Technology Assistance Project, and Computer-Using Educators (CUE). Technology Resources Specialist Shelley Takeuchi of the Santa Barbara County Education Office coordinates the participants locally.

The San Marcos students in Granger’s Regional Occupational Program (ROP) course chose to convert a 1992 Yamaha model XJ 600, which was donated by William Haack. Local businessman Paul Waters also donated $3,500 that was needed to buy electronics and batteries.

The students will design every aspect of the electric motorcycle, from battery trays and their locations to controller and inverter mounting, wiring locations and routing, and even seat design. All components are exposed and viewable, which makes designing more difficult because function is not the only consideration; aesthetics play an important role as well, Granger noted.

The project is also made possible by a partnership with Rich Polaco at Santa Barbara Technology, who has offered to donate all the machining and fabrication of the parts that the students design. The students will then install them on the motorcycle and ultimately create a finished product that can be used to showcase their ROP program and its projects. They will present the converted motorcycle and their previously completed electric car at events in Santa Barbara County, such as Earth Day and Wheels and Waves, as well as at the CUE Conference in Palm Springs, to name just a few.

The state Student Technology Showcase offers innovative ideas on how integrating technology into the curriculum can improve student learning and engagement.

The website for the showcase,, includes short videos about many of the projects. It can be searched by subject, grade level, or type of technology used.

The Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Regional Occupational Program provides classes for about 3,800 high school students per year in the Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Santa Maria, Orcutt, Lompoc, and Santa Ynez high school districts.

For more information about the Student Technology Showcase, call Takeuchi at the Santa Barbara County Education Office, 964-4710, ext. 5248.


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