DPEA Curriculum

To provide an overview of the DPEA classes, here is a brief outline of past years’ curriculum. All projects are subject to change, so please consider this a rough guide only.

Course Weighting and UC Requirements

Note that all DPEA courses (except Service Learning) are honors courses with weighted grades. These courses satisfy the University of California “a-g requirements” as follows:

  • 9th Engineering Technology  
  • 10th Engineering Sculpture and Design
  • 11th Engineering Physics 
  • 12th Advanced Engineering Physics
  • 12th Mechatronics 1
  • 12th Mechatronics 2

Together, the three 9th-11th grade courses count as three subject credits one each of: “d” (lab science), “f” (visual & performing arts), and “g” (elective). All three years must be completed to earn any of these subject credits.

The three 12th grade courses each count as a “d” (lab science) course.

Safety First

Student safety comes first at the DPEA. Freshmen begin their DPEA experience with safety training. Students and mentors always wear safety glasses in the machine shops. The safety plan includes regular training, inspection, and behavior observation. Minor injuries, near misses, and hazardous conditions are logged. Student and mentor emergency contacts are immediately available.

9th grade: Engineering Technology (H)

Students learn safety and skills working with the machines in the Engineering Academy. Classes are subdivided into groups of 25 students, which rotate between Art, Computer, Machine Shop and Physics. Students are expected to produce several high quality projects throughout the year while learning in each rotation, using the machines, meeting the staff, and getting to know classmates. Projects may include: machining a die and necklace, an introduction to computer aided design and programming, abstract and geometric painting, and starting the mobile that will be finished in 10th grade. In addition, the college and career planning material covered in the Freshman Seminar class taken by non-DPEA students is covered in the 9th grade DPEA class.

10th grade: Engineering Sculpture and Design (H)

Students are expected to produce high-quality projects from scratch that take months to finish. These projects build on all the skills students learned the previous year. Students will calculate, drill, wire, program, attach, and dream their project to life. Projects most likely include finishing the mobile and creating a light box sculpture.

11th grade: Engineering Physics (H)

Students are expected to produce a high quality project that will take most of the year to complete. The project is most likely a Moire kinetic light sculpture that allows students to gain skills in all fields of engineering provided at the academy. These skills include (but are not limited to): machining, computer aided design, computer programming, engineering physics, and design-based art.

12th grade: Advanced Engineering Physics (H) and Mechatronics 1 & 2 (H)

Senior students’ schedule includes 3 engineering classes. Students participate in the Mechatronics capstone project. Advanced Engineering Physics is currently taught during 1st period for the senior project. The times vary for the Mechatronics classes taken by seniors. Be aware that travel is required. Late afternoon classes are likely for Mechatronics team members. Prior to 2015 the DPEA senior capstone project was FIRST Robotics Team 1717.