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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 3:54 pm | Mostly Cloudy 57º


DP Engineering Academy Impresses at Maker Faire

The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) was awarded five Editor’s Choice Awards and two Best in Class Awards at the Bay Area Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, May 20-21, at the San Mateo Event Center.

Seventy-five seniors, along with teachers and a team of parent volunteers, traveled to San Mateo to set up more than 20 interactive exhibits that represent Senior Mechatronics Projects from the class of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

All the exhibits, including the Carousel of Physics, the Physics Arcade, and a half-dozen new exhibits, caused a sensation among visitors.

Visitors were impressed to learn high school students had designed, manufactured, assembled and programmed every component of each exhibit.

Mechatronics was introduced in 2014-15 when DPEA’s senior class grew from 32 to 100 students.

Mechatronics represents the culmination of students’ engineering education where they are able to integrate the skills that they have learned in computer aided design, physics, art, machining and programming to create their projects.

This year’s seniors refined, reimagined and expanded on the Carousel of Physics and Physics Arcade, as well as developed myriad stand-alone exhibits.

Examples include: an interactive spirograph, an infinity mirror, a zoetrope, a harmonograph, and an automated sand table.

The projects, designed to both delight and educate, when finished are meant to go into the community to inspire others to explore STEAM fields.

Visitors to the DPEA tent were struck by the depth and complexity of the students’ knowledge and skills, as well as by their professionalism as ambassadors for the DPEA.

Senior Anais Crespo Pena enjoyed interacting with the visitors: "I think the most satisfying part of presenting at the Maker Faire was seeing that people really enjoyed what we created and had fun interacting with it," Crespo Pena said.

"I also liked that the adults appreciated the science behind the projects and wanted to know all about it. The best part was seeing the kids get excited and then explaining to them how things work, and trying to show them how interesting science can be," she said.

Amir Abo-Shaeer, DPEA founder and director said he takes pride in his students and their work at the senior level:

"We are proud of the breadth of the senior capstone experience that we have developed in recent years through the Mechatronics program," Abo-Shaeer said.

"Our students are working in an apprenticeship model of education. They are being mentored by engineers as they bring designs to life starting from conceptualization and ending with museum-quality installations they manufacture in our facility," he said.

"It's tremendous to see their growth over four years, and to see the culmination at the senior level," he said.

For more information about the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy and the Senior Capstone Mechatronics Program, visit www.dpengineering.org.

— Rebecca Summers for Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy.


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