ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
(2001 – 2023)
SAN RAFAEL HIGH SCHOOL
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Engineering and Technology (AET) is an engineering focused program at San Rafael High School spanning three years. The students engage in real-world problem solving as they design, construct, and test models for a diverse number of applications ranging from rocketry to robotics.
The Academy consists of two courses per year beginning in the freshman year. These courses blend the investigation of scientific models with the career technical practices of engineering design and fabrication using our 3D printer, CAD-enabled laptops, Laser Cutter, and CNC machine.
Check out Sarah Reynoso (Left) as she and Mr. Temple prepare to launch a rocket on the center of the new football field! (2019)
Active, hands-on learning is the central curricular philosophy of the Academy. Students construct their knowledge by making observations, building models to describe physical phenomena, and devising solutions to various engineering problems.
During each quarter, students work towards the completion of a major project. These projects are the key focus of the program and they allow students an in-depth exploration of the application of scientific principles.
Ultimately, the program allows students to explore their interests in engineering, giving them direct exposure to the profession of engineering through internships and mentoring as well as co-enrollment opportunities at the local community colleges.
See one of the bridges constructed by students (Right)! Students use a miniture miter saw to cut the beams and learn about the correct adhesives to use to achieve high stability. (2020)
Project Based Learning: Predict, Test, Analyze
The curricular focus of the first two years of the program is guided by five projects. For each project, students are divided into teams which they choose. These projects offer students the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, communication skills and the art of negotiation.
During the completion of all of these projects, students are learning the scientific principles that govern the behavior of these engineering projects. They are also learning about the design process as well as the necessary fabrication tools and techniques to bring their designs into reality. Upon completion of each project’s physical product, the students must first generate a performance prediction report.
These reports engage students in a deeper understanding of the application of the science principles and models. Each project is then assessed according to a rubric that scores student achievement based on overall process but also a set of performance metrics.
Finally, students must write a final analysis report that asks them to compare their predictions to the actual performance of their project.
For more information on the projects and labs the students work on, visit our Projects and Labs page!
It is a fascinating project. The future depends on this kind of education – these students are very fortunate to be involved in the APT.
I agree, kids are very lucky to have the opportunity to learn at this level. APT allows them to think and learn on a whole different plane.
And we are lucky to have students who challenge themselves and want to learn through active engagement.
I feel so lucky that my son Will can be a part of this kind of learning here at SRHS.
As long as there are students who want to learn and who are curious, I will continue to make sure that they get that opportunity.