Last week, DTech students were given an opportunity that most high school students only dream about. We were surrounded by business professionals knowledgeable in everything from Aerospace Engineering, to Environmental Science, to Entrepreneurship. Thanks to Mrs. Duffy and Mr. Miller, Dynasty 1 and the Dtech founders had a phenomenal dinner, while learning about a variety of STEM fields. With college applications approaching the junior class quickly, it was a perfect way to start thinking about majors that are not only centered on the principles of DTech, but what all of us enjoy the most- the STEM fields. By sitting down and talking with these professionals, DTech students were able to improve their conversational skills that are critical in any interview, while preparing for the much anticipated college applications.
Written by: Annika Fedde
Some bridges rose to the challenge, while others literally crumbled.
1st Place: Super Novas 2 (led by Allison Sim): 25 textbooks
2nd Place: Prodigy 1 (led by Alex Dodos): 7 textbooks
3rd Place: Tie between Daksha 1 (led by Kelly More) & Link 1 (led by Kyeler Brant): 6 textbooks
I want to give you a snapshot of what DTech is like over a random set of three consecutive days. The only thing special planned during these days was the first DTech social on Veterans Day. The two other days in class were completely "normal."
The "Noble Houses of DTech" have been working at their learning stations. Each noble house is at a different location--3D printing, CNC + CAM, electronics, or laser cutting. My role is to help them with tough problems and check out the cool stuff they are making. The rest of learning happens in teams, by trial and error, or by looking at the guides I created online. Each student is trying to learn skills at each station so that they can get a higher rating on the apprenticeship skill chart (novice, journeyman, master).
When class is in session, the lab is buzzing with energy. The students don't need me to threaten them with points or grades--they learn because they want to learn. I love watching them create new things that I never imagined, such as laser cut skulls or interlocking 3D printed arms. This is only the beginning too--I can't wait to see what the students will produce when they go through all four stations and work on their final projects at the end of the year.
The DTech Cohort 2 Students had an amazing time at the 2017 Aviation Career Day at the Camarillo Airport. We started the day by riding in a large bus to the airport. Last year we took the same bus, but there were only 10 of us--mostly empty seats. This year 43 students went and the bus was full. What a difference a year makes.
The bus wasn't the only change from last year. There were way more booths, activities, competitions, and demonstrations for the students this time around. The DTech kids got to fly drones, see the P-51 Mustang fly, talk to veterans from WWII, crash in a virtual cockpit, and fly gliders. They walked away with all types of aviation swag.
Our next major field trip will be JPL in Pasedena--I hope we get to check out the new Mars 2020 rover. Enjoy the slideshow below.
The DTech Workshop is finally starting to feel like a true makerspace. Over the last month we have made some huge improvements to the facility, which is important both for the utility of the space and the culture related to it. The first addition that really made the workshop pop are the large "gladiator" adjustable workbenches (purchased on amazon). The workbenches are steel and solid wood. They give the workshop a whole new professional look--which shifts the perception of what happens in the space. Student groups (not just DTechers) gravitate toward the tables because they feel very un-school like. One student mentioned that we should add a barista station because it felt like a hip coffee shop (with tools apparently).
Another fun addition: shelves with 3D printed brackets. We didn't really have any space to display student work, so I drafted up the the brackets using OnShape. They work well and can support a suprising amount of weight. The shelves also help get rid of some of the clutter on the work spaces. I would imagine in the future we will have to build more shelves to display really cool work.
Whenever guests walk in to the workshop they are impressed. I tell them that it is just the beginning.
Two gentlemen from Raytheon recently spoke to DTech survey about all of the cool things they do as electrical engineers. One of their main projects is the development of infrared cameras in the battlefield and attached to satellites.
The students were so stoked to see the heat sensing cameras. Tom and Greg hooked the camera up to the projectors and the students got to see how the military technology is used. One of the coolest aspects of the presentation was when one of the students walked along the floor and the camera was pointed at his footsteps. The friction from his shoes caused the temperature to go up where he stepped. The camera picked up the temperature difference and could, as Greg put it, look back in time. You can imagine how useful this might be for tracking people.
Greg and Tom encouraged the students to continue working with Arduino because it helps them understand the principles of electronics.
Student in DTech
This week, Dtech is using our 3D printers to design sail-boats! These original Foothill creations will bring the thrill of sailing the Seven Seas to Foothill's campus, through ruthless, competitive races! The winning boat will recieve an all-included cruise through the Mediterranian and $250,000 dollars in a college scholarship! Of course, this is an outstanding lie. But what could be better than bragging rights and the heart of a champion? Innovation, creativity, and design is about to make its way across Foothill's campus!