D O S   P U E B L O S   H I G H   S C H O O L
Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy
:: Business Oriented :: Team Based :: Engaging

Industry Sectors: Engineering and Architecture
Manufacturing and Product Development

Combo Icon



Pathway Description

The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) at Dos Pueblos High School offers students the opportunity to explore careers and skills in STEAM fields including engineering, art and design, computer programming, manufacturing, and product development. This program is unique because it is all project-based learning, which means that students work on making something every day. Students have four different teachers during the same class because they rotate through different spaces in the facility depending on the part of the project they are working on. The DPEA facility has a variety of specialized spaces and students take turns learning in the computer lab, the machine shop, the art & design classroom, and the physics lab. This video gives an overview of the program and shows what students do in the different classrooms.

DP Engineering Website

Skills Acquired

In the DPEA, some of the things that students will learn include:

  • Art & Design
    • Elements and principles of design:  line, shape, texture, form, space, color and value, the principles of design are balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity/variety.

    • Color theory

    • Conceptual design process

    • Soldering

    • Wire bending

    • Product aesthetics

    • Assembly processes for the acrylic light sculpture

  • Physics
    • Dimensional Analysis

    • Apply principles of:

      • Forces and Torque

      • Polar Coordinates

      • Light and Color

      • Electromagnetism

      • Motors

      • Transmissions

      • D.C. Circuits

    • Build circuits with a breadboard, arduino, and electronic components

    • Technical Writing

    • Data Analysis using Spreadsheets

  • Computer Technology
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD) using OnShape and SolidWorks

    • Product design

    • 9-11th graders program in C++ using Arduino

    • 12th graders program in Raspberry Pi and Python, and some design user interfaces with special attention given to the user experience

  • Manufacturing in the Machine Shop
    • Lathe machine skills

    • Milling machine skills

    • Laser cutter skills

    • Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

    • Creating a bill of materials and part drawings

    • Introduction to engineering materials 

    • Part fabrication

    • Tolerance

    • Assembly

  • Product Development
    • Complete product development cycle (particularly during 12th grade):

      • Ideation

      • Technical Presentation

      • Website Building 

      • Technical Writing

      • Research and Development

      • 3D Modeling (CAD)

      • Prototyping

      • Iterative design / re-design

      • Manufacturing documents creation

      • Manufacturing

      • Assembly

      • Testing and evaluation

      • Trouble-shooting

      • Quality assessment

      • Redesign

They will learn these skills through interdisciplinary projects including:

9th grade Mobile | 10th grade Light Sculpture | 11th grade Kinetic Sculpture | 12th grade Museum-quality Interactive Exhibit

At the end of the senior year, students have the option to focus on specialized Computer Aided Design skills to earn SolidWorks certifications.





Work Based Learning Activities

Work Based Learning is an essential part of Career Technical Education. It allows for students to make connections between the skills they are learning in class and career and training opportunities they could explore in the future. 

Work Based Learning can include listening to guest speakers, participating in job shadows, going on field trips, receiving mentorship through a project, or participating in an internship. Some of the work based learning activities that happen in the DPEA are:

  • Hosting various guest speakers, including professionals who work in engineering fields such as mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, as well as professionals who work in manufacturing or product development.

  • Working with soldering mentors from the community during class to solder circuit boards for the light sculpture and the kinetic sculpture.

  • Touring engineering and manufacturing companies and speaking with professionals in these environments about what “a day in the life” at work is like and their educational path to these careers.

  • Creating authentic products -- interactive exhibits -- that are placed in museums and enjoyed by patrons of all ages.

  • Applying for paid summer internships from various tech and manufacturing companies in town, and having authentic interviews and work experiences.



Student Leadership Group

Developing students who are leaders in their community and in their profession is crucial to Career Technical Education. In the DPEA, students are given the opportunity to participate in a student organization called DPEA Leadership. Student leaders work with staff to plan and participate in relevant community service that supports the program and meets community needs. Through this work, students build career connections and network with industry partners.


Some of the activities that they participate in include:

  • Planning and hosting DPEA Open Houses

  • Participating in the SBUSD Program Showcase as student representatives

  • Supporting recruitment and admissions efforts

  • Leading parent tours of the DPEA 

  • Connecting with Industry Partners through tours and field trips

  • Representing the DPEA in community events such as Her Festival

  • Presenting DPEA projects at local elementary school Science Nights

  • Hosting elementary school classes on educational field trips to the DPEA


Recently, these students have been developing content to share information with prospective applicants about the DPEA virtually due to the current Covid-19 conditions. Many of the student videos featured on this website and on the DPEA website were created by these students. They are also planning presentations and webinars for December 2020 to support 8th graders as they consider which programs they would like to pursue in high school.

Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Courses

Overview of Courses  Engineerging
Course Catalog
Course Catalog


There are currently 6 courses in the DPEA and two pathways: Engineering Technology and Product Innovation and Design. Students who are able to complete 5 or 6 of the courses with a grade of C- or higher, and who participate in 300 or more hours of instruction, are able to earn ‘CTE Completer’ Status when they graduate. Being a CTE Completer is another way for students to demonstrate that they are college and career ready on the California Dashboard.

Students must take courses in sequence in order to be awarded ‘CTE Completer’ Status, since the skills they learn in their concentrator classes build to their capstone class experience. Courses in the DPEA are described in detail here on the DPEA website, and include videos of projects completed in each course.

Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Instructors

For more information about the DPEA or the admissions process, please contact: Emily Shaeer at eshaeer@sbunified.org or 805-968-2541 ext 4679

Since the DPEA curriculum is project-based and students work in different classroom spaces for different subjects throughout the year, the DPEA teachers work together as a team.

The 9th -11th grade teacher team includes:

Mrs. Boyce


Mrs. Wirtz

Art & Design Teacher

Mr. Cuthbert

Computer Technology

Mr. Shelton

Machine Shop

The 12th grade teacher team includes:

Mr. Abo-Shaeer

Teacher, DPEA Director

Mr. Gibson

Mechatronics Staff Engineer

Mr. Harlow

Mechatronics Teacher & IT Director

Mrs. Woods

Physics and Mechatronics Teacher, Director of Student Affairs
Bios of all the DPEA teachers can be found on the DPEA website


Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Admissions

To be considered for admission, students must apply to the DPEA during December. For more information about the application process and admissions timeline for 2020-2021, please visit the DPEA website.

This program may be a good fit for creative students who like to try new things. No experience is necessary. All different kinds of students are part of the DPEA and many of them discover new interests and talents while in the program. About 20% of the student body at DPHS is in the DPEA; that’s one out of five DPHS students. And 50% of the students in the program are young women. With 400+ students, the DPEA is a big part of DPHS. Interested students are encouraged to apply. 

The DPEA is inspired by applicants who demonstrate a strong sense of curiosity, intrinsic motivation, and dedication to their interests. These interests do not necessarily have to be related to science, technology, engineering, or math; and, special consideration will not be given to students who have prior extracurricular experiences related to these areas. 

The DPEA is committed to offering admission to students who are passionate about a variety of endeavors, and uses engineering and product development as avenues for cultivating problem-solving and collaborative skills that are applicable to any 21st century career field. The DPEA is also looking for students who understand how they impact others and have an interest in making a contribution to their community. The curriculum cultivates teamwork, collaboration, and peer mentorship.