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Thirteen Students Join Inaugural Class of Providence Engineering Academy

For the first time, Providence offers a unique engineering focus for thirteen high school students.
For the first time, Providence offers a unique engineering focus for thirteen high school students. (Providence photo)

After a great deal of anticipation, planning and preparation, the Providence Engineering Academy officially launched at the beginning of this school year, led by Rodney Meadth, an aerospace engineer. 

Nine boys and four girls from Grades 9–12 at Providence, A Santa Barbara Christian School were accepted to the inaugural year after applying and being interviewed last spring.

These students collectively bring a diverse range of experiences and interests to the group, with several already intending to use this program as a springboard to go on and study engineering or other technical fields at a university level.

The students started the year with a two-day discussion of the role of technology in our lives, considering the ideas of C.S. Lewis, Arthur C. Clarke and others, asking the question of what it means for Christians to use technology responsibly and for humanitarian good. 

From there, the students have begun to learn the fundamentals of computer-aided design (CAD) using the publicly available Trimble SketchUp, a program used by professional architects and designers worldwide. 

Some selected student works are being produced on the Academy's 3D printer, a piece of equipment granted through the generosity of the Toshiba America Foundation. 

Dylan, a sophomore, neatly summarized the process: "Being able to use math to make actual things is pretty cool!"

In the coming months, students will explore an architectural theme, study local and international buildings, and eventually design their own structures in teams in response to assigned design briefs. 

Several guest speakers will share their experience and knowledge in the field.

To request information, donate equipment or connect as a guest speaker or mentor, please contact Rodney Meadth at [email protected].

To learn more about the Providence Engineering Academy, please visit www.providencesb.org/engineering.

— Elaine Rottman is the associate director of advancement at Providence.


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