The best and the brightest of local high school students descended upon Raytheon Systems last Thursday for the 14th annual Engineering Games.
You might liken the scene to David vs. Goliath. Bishop Garcia Diego High School’s STEAM team faced off against Santa Barbara School district high schools Dos Pueblos, San Marcos, Santa Barbara and Alta Vista. Bishop Diego, with fewer than 300 students, would seem to be one of the underdogs, but it wasn’t size that won the battle.
Students were challenged to build a working model, a “Star Trekker,” that mimics the light-detection process used by many high end tracking devices. Contestants were posed with assembling a device that would track a moving light source. Their devices contained two sensors to gauge light rays, potentiometers to vary the sensitivity of the detectors, and a varying direction motor and circuit assembly.
Students were challenged to develop the optimal method for measuring light, finding the appropriate tension on the gear assembly, and most importantly, the gear ratios to produce a rotational speed that would best track a moving light source.
Seniors Trevor Taimuty, Mitchell Oleson and Dave Breuer brought home the victory for Bishop Diego.
Bishop Diego’s dean of science, Brianna Adam, was proud of the effort the students put into the competition this year.
“We went into the competition with some of our most talented and skilled students,” she said. “The real victory is seeing students excited about putting their knowledge to use in the field, being productive and creative. A trophy is just an added bonus.
“We have only participated in the Engineering Games the past four years and have won twice. This, to me, speaks volumes about our students and faculty.”
Bishop’s STEAM Academy is a rigorous course of study for students who wish to engage in science, technology, engineering, arts and math at the highest levels. The STEAM Academy allows students to concentrate in one of three areas: engineering, biosciences, or digital art and design. Many of the STEAM students are also part of the National Honors Society, California Scholarship Federation, and the Bishop Scholar’s Program, a unique program at BDHS which allows for enrollment in UCSB and SBCC classes, independent study and online coursework.
Founded in 1959, Bishop García Diego High School is an independent Catholic co-educational secondary school that welcomes students of all faiths and provides them with the spiritual, personal and intellectual knowledge to meet the enduring challenge of realizing their God-given potential in a multicultural society.
— Lori Willis is the director of advancement/admission for Bishop Garcia Diego High School.