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Manufacturing Club

The newly formed Manufacturing Club along with the SAME students and math and science students have been working on the Enable Hands this past semester. The students are close to finishing the three different hands.

We started this project along with the help from the engineers from Swift Manufacturing in San Clemente. The students have used this project to learn how to 3D print and prototype the hands that were downloaded from the website.


The e-NABLE Community is an amazing group of individuals from all over the world who are using their 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device.

The three hands if approved would be used by individuals in need of assistive devices.

It is the intension of the group to study the hands and their design and then come up with their own way to manufacture them. They have already found better materials to use for the joints on the black hand and this semester will attempt to create a silicon mold around the hand to make it look more like a hand and grip better.

Some of the Advanced Manufacturing students are also apart of the SAME club and are working on hands that include Robotics and muscle control.

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Swift Engineering mentors Saddleback College students in the e-NABLE project to give back

Saddleback College students are gaining real world experience in creating devices through a collaboration with Swift Engineering that benefits e-NABLE, a group of volunteers from across the globe that use 3D printers to create free prosthetics for those in need.   Advanced manufacturing, computer science, and engineering students started creating the upper limb assistive devices under the mentorship of a Swift Engineering engineer and faculty from Saddleback College.   Saddleback students are using in a variety of materials, including durable nylon, ABS, PLA, and TPU, in the making of the devices.   Students download files of the pre-designed hands and arms and then print the devices using the 3D printers in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab.

Janet Yergler, a quadruple amputee, shared with the students about her journey through recovery with the aid of prosthetics and their functions and limitations.  The students gained a better appreciation for learning from the end users on how their needs can be heard and incorporated into the 3D CAD design and prototype processes.  Janet’s certified prosthetist, Ken Hung, also came out to speak with the students, bringing in his technical expertise to promoted a historical understanding of the use of 3D printing and mold-making in the creation of conventional and high-tech prosthetics.  Under the guidance of Swift Engineering and Saddleback faculty, students are currently researching and creating their own design by integrating Arduino Uno technology with a sensor that detects electrical activity of muscles to control robotic hand movements of the device.   They will also be creating a silicon mold around the device to make it look more like a human hand and to improve the gripping function.

Janet Yergler, a quadruple amputee, with Saddleback students, faculty and staff.

Ken Hung, Certified Prosthetist, explaining the muscle control function of the prosthetic to Saddleback students.

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Raising Awareness of the Advanced Manufacturing Pathway

The Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Consortium Grant at Saddleback College has connected with 967 K-16 students since August 2016 through participation at over 40 outreach events in Orange County such as the Vital Link’s College & Career Nights, Manufacturing Week, and OCDE Annual Foster Youth College and Career Resource Fairs.  In addition, Saddleback College students toured manufacturing facilities of SpaceX, Herbalife Nutrition, Boeing, and IAC Industries to learn about career pathways available within those different industry sectors.  As a result of the increased awareness and interest, enrollment for Advanced Manufacturing courses at Saddleback College have now reached full capacity.

Serra High School students touring Saddleback College’s manufacturing lab and learning about 3D printing.



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SVUSD Career Technical Newsletter – Winter 2017

Rancho Santa Margarita Wins in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) Competitions
On February 25th students from RSM’s  FCCLA attended a competition held at Aliso Niguel High School with their teacher, Rhonda Nelson. Seven of the FCCLA members qualified to compete at the state finals in April!
The FCCLA state finals were held in Riverside from April 8th to April 11th. At these state finals the winners were:
Emma Kammerer – State Finalist Plaque
Sai Kotapati – State Finalist Plaque
Brenden Lawton – State Finalist Plaque

Sophia Dove – First Place Trophy + State Finalist Plaque

Hannah Comroe – First Place Trophy + State Finalist Plaque
Elly Efe – State Finalist Plaque
Emily Rose Herron – Second Place Trophy + State Finalist Plaque
Noah Lima – Third Place Trophy + State Finalist Plaque

Kryshia Artienda – Second Place Trophy + State Finalist Plaque

Rachel Johnson

Saddleback Community College’s Automotive Program Recognized by Orange County Register
On April 20th Saddleback College celebrated National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day.  Twenty students from Patrick Sullivan’s Laguna Hills High School auto classes participated.
The community college was among hundreds of colleges and universities who hosted a National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day, which coincided with Earth Day and is designed to educate the public about the importance of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.  One of SVUSD students, Justin Marsh from Laguna Hills High School was interviewed for the article.  The entire article can be read here

Laguna Hills High School Pre-Apprenticeship Auto Program Launches Students To Careers
During the first year of this new program, students in Patrick Sullivan’s class have experienced tremendous success. Four students have become employed  by the businesses where they were interning.
  • Gerardo Salgado-Gonzalez is employed at Excel Auto Care of El Toro Rd. This business specializes in high-end custom work.
  • Daniel Le is employed at WTC Motorsports in Mission Viejo that does high-end service work for European vehicles.
  • Quentin Gould will resume training as an employee after summer break at Euro Tech in Mission Viejo.
  • Jair Sturgeon obtained an entry-level position at A-Z Auto Tech in Mission Viejo.
Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School Hosts and Wins Big at Student Television Network (STN) Convention
  After three years of participation in the STN Convention, Paul Treibel’s video students were asked to  host  the April 2017 convention in Anaheim which attracted over 3,000 middle and high school students from across the nation.  The 15 RSM film/video students were recognized at the first night ceremony for being the host school.
This year, RSM was joined by teams from Mission Viejo High School (John Harnack advisor) and Trabuco Hills High School (Josh Taylor advisor).
The intermediate school students shined in the competition:

  • RSM – 1st Place – Anchor Team
  • RSM – 3rd Place – Movie Trailer
  • RSM – 3rd Place – Convention Re-cap
  • RSM – Honorable Mention – Middle School News Magazine Show
Los Alisos STEM Class Wins the Fluor Engineering Challenge for the Second Year
In March, Sean Fletcher’s STEM students from Los Alisos were treated to a visit by five young Fluor corporation engineers who told their stories and encouraged the students to keep exploring STEM.  A few weeks later these mentors watched as Los Alisos entered the Engineering Challenge and was one of the ten $1,000 award winners from more than 1,000 submissions around the globe. Los Alisos had three entries and the winning team (Raindrop) consisted of Joseph Heredia, Jake O’Brien, and Prisma Ayala. The letter from the Fluor Corporation follows:
Thanks to everyone at Los Alisos Intermediate for the time and planning you invested in this year’s Fluor Engineering Challenge.  We look forward to learning more about the innovative ways your students approached the Follow the Flow project, employed the engineering design process, and built a smart solution. As you may know, Fluor has celebrated Engineers Week for nearly 50 years, and through the Fluor Engineering Challenge we’ve been excited to share an engaging, hands-on experience inspired by real-world engineering challenges and adapted for use by local classrooms or community organizations.  
Los Alisos, La Paz and El Toro Participate in Vital Link VEX Competition, Big Wins for Los Alisos
For the second year, SVUSD joined the VEX robotics competition at the STEM & the Arts Showcase hosted by Vital Link.  This year Los Alisos (with advisor Sean Fletcher) scored two major wins:
  • The 8th grade team consisting of Cindy Ortiz, Penny Kraus and Michelle Rodriguez earned 1st place!
  • The 7th grade team consisting of Donovan Flores, Jordan Bautista and Jahir Montes de Oca earned 2nd place!
SVUSD High School Photo/Graphics/Animation Classes Enter the STEM & the Arts Showcase
El Toro High School, Mission Viejo High School and Trabuco Hills High School entered photography, graphic design and animation items into the STEM and the Arts Showcase Digital Media Arts Competition. Entries were sent from middle and high schools throughout Orange County with winners selected on April 23rd.
Winners by Category included:
Digital Photography:

  • Semi-Finalist: Griffin Wilsey, MVHS
  • Semi-Finalist: Frank Helmstetter, MVHS

Digital Illustration/Graphic Design:

  • 2nd Place: Nick Ruiz, THHS
  • 3rd Place: Christina Tanner, THHS

2D/3D Animation:

  • 1st Place: Jesse Van Norman, THHS
  • 2nd Place: Stephanie Burdick, ETHS
  • 3rd Place: Gavin Rimmer, ETHS
  • Semi-Finalist: Declan Ralph, ETHS
Three El Toro Students Win in the Dream Career Competition

Throughout the year students are invited to enter the Vital Link Dream Career Competition. Their entry includes a photo of the student demonstrating their “Dream Career” and a 200 word essay describing the photo and why this is their dream career.  Three students in the Graphics, Animation and Multimedia category from Maria Nadal’s classes at El Toro High School won the top prizes:

  • Grand Prize – Dana Lee
  • Second Place – Samuel Flores
  • Third Place – Cole Torres
Mission Viejo High School Student Recognized for his Accomplishments at Vital Link VIP Celebration

Accompanied by his mother, father and teacher advisor, Thomas Stringer from Mission Viejo High School stepped up to the podium and accepted the prestigious award for his efforts in starting a robotics club to compete in the UCI Rescue Robotics Competition with a drone and a ground robot.

  All SVUSD Intermediate Schools and High Schools Treated to a Day of STEM Related Exhibits
 Vital Link brings their Career Exploration Center to schools to experience various STEM areas such as robotics, engineering, medical, optics, culinary arts, product design, solar energy, advanced manufacturing and automotive.  Students rotated through the 11 exhibits which were discussed by college students or graduates. At each secondary school over 800 students learned about these STEM careers.
CTE Students Head Off on Many Great Field Trips
  • Kris Velasquez took students from his Laguna Hills High School video classes to visit Red Camera.  Red Camera is noted as being a state of art system today in video production.
  • Darin Petzold invited Serrano STEM students to the Fleet Science Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park to explore the exhibits and see the new movie “Dream Big: Engineering Your World.”  The movie highlighted women engineers who helped build structures for residents of third world countries. Earlier in the year, the STEM class toured the LA Science Center to see the 3D video, Pixar Exhibit and Endeavor Exhibit.
  • Agriculture students from Mission Viejo High School visited the Natural History Museum and the Safari Park to further their knowledge about related careers (Cherie Shook and Amanda Adams, teachers).
  • Digital Media Arts students from El Toro High School (Maria Nadal) and Trabuco Hills High School (Tracy Fanelli) visited Blizzard Entertainment  for a behind the scenes tour of game design.  The El Toro students also visited Eon Reality for presentations and a tour of the facility that specializes in virtual reality and artificial reality.
  • La Paz STEM students had a job shadow day visiting Toyota Racing Development with Joella Russert, while RSM and Serrano STEM students attended the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Youth Education Services (YES) program to learn about STEM related careers.
Blog XA

SVUSD Career Technical Newsletter – Summer 2017

ACTE Recognizes Trabuco Hills High School
Engineering Students
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE®) held a 2017 Student Trophy Design Contest throughout the United States for students in CTE classes. There were nearly 400 participants from all over the nation. The ACTE Excellence Awards program, has celebrated innovation and leadership in the education field forer sixty years. ACTE awarded students with a certificate and congratulated them if they were selected as one of the Top 40 finalists. At Trabuco Hills High School two students in Mr. Kendell’s Engineering Drafting classes received these certificates:
Mark Mulder
Andrew Rogan
Their entries can be seen at the following link:
El Toro Student Learns Job skills from Industry Pros During Summer Internship
Mason Naragon, a senior at El Toro High School, landed an internship this summer working alongside engineers and manufacturers at Hampton Products in Foothill Ranch, an industry leader in home and commercial security systems. For 15 hours a week, Mason learned from Hampton technicians how to operate advanced machinery that tests the integrity of security hardware. His daily duties included calibrating equipment and programing schematics using engineering software in the company’s research and development lab, where locks, security lighting, safety belts and other products are tested.
Mason is among three dozen students across Orange County that landed internships this summer in high-demand industries through OC Pathways, a collaboration lead by the Orange County Department of Education that includes 14 school districts, local colleges and universities, and more than 50 regional businesses. The goal of these internships was to connect industries with students, training them to eventually serve as their next generation of skilled employees. The class was offered through Coastline ROP and taught by an SVUSD STEM teacher, Darin Petzold.
Recent Graduates Spend the Day at JPL Labs
A group of Orange County high school and college students spent a day at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratorywatching a test drive of a replica of the Mars Curiosity Rover, examining the Mission Control Center, and exploring an assembly room used to build satellites and other space-bound gadgets.
Towards the end of the tour, students met with JPL employees and interns who spoke to them about the paths they took that helped them land at the prestigious institute. The JPL employees told students that solid GPAs matter, but having plenty of passion, abundant curiosity and a strong work ethic are just as important. The tour aimed to encourage students to pursue careers in space exploration by showing some of the nation’s top engineers, analysts and scientists at work.
The tour included about a dozen students – four were recent high school graduates. Mark Weideman, a recent graduate of Mission Viejo High, said the JPL field trip only strengthened his decision to choose a STEM career. “The most important thing I learned today is that space is really cool,” said Mark, who enrolled at Saddleback College. “I met a lot of people today who have a passion for their job. For a student like myself, that’s very inspirational.”
Fluor Corporation Offers Opportunity for STEM Students to “Dream Big”
On September 15, 2017, Dan Moreno’s STEM students from Los Alisos Intermediate and Joella Russert’s STEM students from La Paz Intermediate were invited by our community partner, FLUOR Corporation to view the engineering inspired movie, Dream Big, Engineering Our World. The 3-D IMAX movie was privately shown on the IMAX screen at the Edwards Theater in Aliso Viejo, CA.
The movie was narrated by Jeff Bridges and journeys through some of the greatest engineering wonders around the globe. The focus is on women engineers helping communities in 3rd world countries. This movie aims to inspire students from diverse backgrounds to become our future innovators, engineers, educators and leaders in the field of STEM.
Following the movie, a large cadre of FLUOR engineers and representatives answered questions from students about STEM careers. The District is thankful for the support our STEM classes receive from the FLUOR Corporation.
El Toro High School Students Complete Guitar Build
In June 2017
Several years ago, El Toro High School teacher Doug Ford attended a week-long workshop on building guitars. It is a STEM-based project integrating math, physics and engineering concepts. For a few of the four-year pathway completers of the Engineering Drafting pathway, there was an opportunity to learn these step by step directions, the concepts in STEM fields and complete a usable guitar.
Manufacturing Day Expanded to
Manufacturing Week in 2017
With assistance from the Community College Deputy Sector Navigator for Manufacturing, Vital Link received additional funding for Manufacturing Week for 2017. Students had the opportunity to visit industry sites throughout the week of October 2nd, and also to visit Community College Engineering and Manufacturing Programs on Friday, October 6th.
On October 4th, a new SVUSD engineering drafting teacher at Mission Viejo High School, Blaise Miranda, took 20 students to an industry site – Prototype and Short Run Services – where they participated in working on the equipment.
On October 6th, Doug Ford from El Toro High School and Blaise Miranda from Mission Viejo High School took nearly 50 engineering drafting students to the Saddleback College Engineering and Manufacturing programs where students heard about careers, the community college classes in these fields and participated in hands-on activities.
Phil Ureno, engineering teacher from Trabuco Hills High School and Darin Petzold, who teaches the after school Manufacturing Engineering Technology class for ROP, brought 35 students to Orange Coast College on October 6th. The students were given the opportunity to machine a small aluminum keychain on the Haas mills and lathe, and weld a desk ornament in the welding shop.
New CTE Summer Programs Offered by SVUSD and Coastline ROP During 2017
During the summer of 2017 there were several new CTE classes offered for the first time:
Exploring Engineering – taught by Doug Ford at El Toro High School was an introduction to engineering and geared especially towards females.
Exploring Auto – taught by Patrick Sullivan at Laguna Hills High School was an introduction to automotive tools and techniques also geared especially towards females.
Engineering/Manufacturing Internship – taught by Darin Petzold (from Serrano Intermediate School and Trabuco Hills High School) placed students at business sites for 4 weeks at 15 hours per week. This class included SVUSD students as well as students from nearby school districts.
SVUSD and Coastline ROP Welcome New Teachers
and Courses for 2017-18
  • Phil Ureno is teaching the Engineering Drafting pathway at THHS using 3D printing techniques, CAD and robotics.
  • Mariana Ahmadi is teaching Architectural Design and Rapid Product Development at THHS.
  • Blaise Miranda is teaching the Engineering Drafting pathway, Architectural Design and Woodworking at MVHS.
  • Ashley Kingsbury is teaching Culinary Arts classes at LHHS.
  • Craig Mandelbaum is teaching Computerized Accounting at both MVHS and THHS.
  • Two math teachers, Nicole Muilenburg at ETHS and Navaz Kerawalla at THHS, have expanded their teaching assignments to include Computer Science classes. Computer Science is a growing field and SVUSD now has this program at three of our high schools.
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Vital Link and UC Irvine Host the Rescue Robotics Competition for High School and College Students

On a windy Saturday morning on May 20th, seven teams of students from UC Irvine (2 teams), Santiago Canyon College, Laguna Hills High School, Tesoro High School, Mission Viejo High School, and Irvine Unified School District arrived for Vital Link and UC Irvine’s Rescue Robotics competition held at UCI.

Teams of students perform the final check on their autonomous robots.

Leading up to the competition, students spent months designing, building, and programming a ground or aerial robot to autonomously locate survivors (or in this case, 5-gallon Home Depot buckets) in a 120’ x 120’ simulated disaster setting (a grassy open field).

Their mission? Program their robot to identify and scan the QR code on each of the 50 buckets that were randomly placed throughout the field.

Students prepared their robots in the Final Practice Demonstration Day on April 23rd at the OC Fair & Event Center before arriving at UCI for the final Competition on May 20th.

A total of 14 heats were scheduled throughout the day, with each team of students being allotted two 15-minute heats. In the first ten minutes, the robots autonomously identified and scanned the QR codes based on the students’ computer programming ability. In the final five minutes of the heat, the students manually piloted their robot to detect and scan QR codes on the buckets.

As is comparable to any disaster situation, adversity also struck on that Saturday morning. Windy weather tested the flying capability of the aerial drones, as locating the QR codes on the buckets from the air became a challenge with the disagreeable weather.

This student steers his robot towards the red bucket, hoping to scan as many QR codes as possible.

Congratulations to the following champions in the three different divisions: Laguna Hills High School, Mission Viejo High School, and Tesoro High School.   

Finally, Vital Link and UC Irvine would like to extend a huge thank you to the following sponsors that made this event possible: OC Pathways and the Pacific Life Foundation.


Interested in sponsoring a 2017-2018 Vital Link event or registering a middle school, high school, or college team for the 2017–2018 Rescue Robotics Competition? Contact to learn more details for next year.


Vital Link is a 501c3 non-profit organization (Tax ID# 33-0632256) that provides both student and professional programs that focus on leading edge job skills and job development curriculum. We reach over 40,000 students each year through Career Exploration Programs, support services and use of the Vital Link curriculum. Encouraging students to make the connection between their education and their future career is foundational to Vital Link and will impact lives today and in the future.

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Vital Link’s Sixth Annual STEM & the Arts Career Showcase

Vital Link held its annual STEM & the Arts Career Showcase on April 21st, 22nd, and 23rd at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. This was held in partnership with O.C. Fair Imaginology’s Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, a family-friendly event for all ages that features exhibits and showcases in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

The American Heart Association’s CPR Exhibit at the STEM & the Arts Career Showcase.

Friday, April 21st, was field trip day, where over 600 high school and middle school students from around Orange County attended the STEM & the Arts Career Showcase and Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead. Throughout the day, students explored the exhibits that Vital Link, local businesses, and Orange County colleges had on display.

My Dream Career Competition Grand Prize Winner Dana Lee, El Toro High School

The event included a range of industries and paths, such as a 3D Printer Exhibit from Airwolf 3D, furniture prototypes and clay demos from The Art Institute of California, and make-up and hair styling sessions at Saddleback College Beauty Academy’s exhibit.

Students also attended one of three speaker series events, where talented industry professionals presented in the field of Digital Media Arts, Medical, or Engineering.

The Digital Media Arts speakers were Matthew Everitt, CEO of the new television dance show, World of Dance, Jay R. Salenga, a Freelance Motion Designer and Video Editor, and Mitch Guerra, Vice-President of Marketing at Continuity Consulting, Inc. The Medical breakout session included Jeffrey Thomas, a doctor specializing in Internal Medicine at Hoag Hospital, and Michele Stagnaro, Practice Manager at Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care. The speaker series concluded with presentations in the Engineering field from Mark Arenal, General Manager at Starrett Kinemetric Engineering, and Richard Dantes and Greg Maisch, Product Development Engineers at Starrett Kinemetric Engineering.

The weekend continued with exciting competitions, many exhibits, and numerous awards ceremonies. This included the VEX Robotics Build & Compete, the MiniMAKEathon, a live Fashion show, the Digital Media Arts ceremony, My Dream Career Competition ceremony, the Rescue Robotics Design Review, and the Energy Invitational Design Review.

Teams of high school and middle school students in the VEX Robotics competition race to collect racquetballs.

The Digital Media Arts competition had winners in Animation (Jesse Van Norman – Trabuco Hills HS), Digital Photography (Serena Yu – Northwood HS), Graphic Design (Rachel Tufono – Coastline Community College), and Web Design (Carl Espe – Northwood HS).

Each competition throughout the weekend focused on a different industry sector, but were equally thrilling by nature.

In the VEX Robotics Build & Compete, 40 teams of middle school and high school students used the robots they built to collect as many racquetballs as possible. Through a series of three-minute heats that lasted throughout the day, schools competed against each other for first prize. The Stock Division had three winning teams – Los Amigos High School, Los Alisos Intermediate, and Lexington Junior High School, while Modified Division first place teams were Lexington Junior High School, Cypress High School, and Buena Park High School.

Each student competition ran throughout the day and concluded with an afternoon awards ceremony.

Overall, the weekend was filled with families and students who explored multiple career options, learned about exciting college pathways, viewed student competitions, and watched the numerous awards ceremonies that celebrated its dedicated students.

Friday’s Speaker Series consisted of presenters in the Digital Media Arts, Engineering, and Medical fields.

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UC Irvine and Vital Link host the UCI Energy Invitational

How far can your car travel on one dollar’s worth of energy? After a year spent designing, constructing, building, and then reviewing the energy-efficient one-person vehicles, 17 teams of high school and college students set out to answer that question.

UCI Energy Invitational vehicles were on display at Vital Link’s STEM & the Arts Career Showcase.

Students from UC Irvine, Anaheim, Westminster, Esperanza, Century, Santiago, El Toro, Foothill, and Tustin High School went through a series of three events, including the Design Review Competition, Test Run Day, and Competition Day, which took place on a rainy Saturday in early May.

The events leading up to the competition included the Energy Invitational Design Review, which took place at the STEM & the Arts Career Showcase on April 21st. The vehicles were first classified under lightweight and heavyweight, and were then judged based on design, successful electrical wiring, the rationale for implementing their specific design, and how it will benefit their car’s drivability on race day.

On Saturday, May 6th, high school and college students competed at the UCI Energy Invitational – held at UC Irvine.

Congratulations to the following Energy Invitational Design Review winners:

-Lightweight Division:

Santiago High School, Car #5

-Heavyweight Division:

Foothill High School, Car #88


Saturday, May 6th, was Competition Day. Gray skies lined the horizon as nine heavyweight vehicles and three lightweight vehicles prepared to compete. Through a series of four 15-minute heats, each car had the opportunity to travel the furthest distance possible on the lowest amount of energy.

Through a score calculator that took into account and measured distance and energy used, winners from both categories were recognized. Foothill High School (Car #88) claimed the Grand Prize for the Heavyweight Division, while Santiago High School (Car #5) was named champion in the Lightweight Division.

Unfortunately, due to rainy weather and an oncoming storm, the awards ceremony was not able to take place. Despite the undesirable weather and a couple stalled vehicles, all students walked away with the knowledge on how to build an energy-efficient vehicle, a renewed appreciation for the value of a dollar, and the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

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SVUSD Career Technical Newsletter – Spring 2017

SVUSD Teams Performed Well in C-STEM Competition
Three SVUSD Intermediate Schools entered the regional C-STEM (Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education) Orange County RoboPlay Competition organized by Irvine Valley College. This competition was based on curriculum, developed in 2010 by Dr. Harry Cheng from UC Davis, aimed at integrated learning to broaden participation of students traditionally underrepresented in computing and STEM related careers. The C-STEM Competition involved the programming of small robots (called “Barobo Linkbots”). The competition, held on May 20th, encompassed three divisions based on a student’s math level. Division 1 had over 25 teams from 9 middle schools in Orange County. In Division 1, Serrano Intermediate entered 4 teams and garnered a 3rd and a 5th place finish. In the first year of their competition, RSM entered 2 teams and Los Alisos entered 1 team. Serrano also entered an alumni team (current students from ETHS) and placed 2nd in Division 2 in Orange County and in the state as well. In addition, the Serrano alumni team received the judges’ award for “most spirited” for Division 2. UCI and local industries lent support to this event.
ETHS Engineering Students Win Fuel Cell Challenge
On April 1st, Doug Ford took his Fuel Cell Challenge team to Los Angeles to compete for the first time. Toyota generously donated a Horizon Educational fuel cell kit to ETHS. Horizon’s products are designed to teach advanced engineering and science concepts on renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cell hybrid systems. The ETHS team took first place in the Hydrogen Horizon Automotive Challenge (H2AC). This will definitely become an annual event.
Competing for the Fifth Year in the UCI Energy Invitational, ETHS Takes 3rd Place
Engineering drafting teacher Doug Ford and Auto teacher Casey Moir have guided engineering students for 5 years to compete in the UCI Energy Invitational – one of the UCI Performance Engineering competitions. This year, ETHS purchased a new go-kart, then redesigned it with graphics, 3D printed parts and an altered engine. The first part of the competition was a design review where team members presented their concept. The design review took place at the STEM & the Arts Showcase on April 21st. The second part of the competition was the timed trials (how far a vehicle can go on $1 worth of fuel) which occurred on the UCI campus on May 6th. El Toro High School attained 3rd place trophy in the lightweight division.
UCI Rescue Robotics Fields a New SVUSD Team – LHHS and MVHS Win Their Divisions
Three years ago a small team from La Paz Intermediate School entered a newly created competition entitled the UCI Rescue Robotics – one of the UCI Performance Engineering competitions. The objective of the competition is to simulate lost souls to be rescued. Designated “survivors” are traffic cones equipped with a QR code. The robots, which are built by students throughout the year, are equipped with QR codes. That first year La Paz won first place defeating all high school and college teams. In 2016, the former La Paz students who enrolled at LHHS found an advisor, Doug Havard. The team updated their ground robot and again competed, winning 2nd place. In 2017, the LHHS team was joined by a new team from MVHS, with Bill McDowell as their advisor. Created by a former La Paz participant, Thomas Stringer, the MVHS team grew to 12 students and built both a ground robot and a drone. The design review for the robots occurred on April 23rd. The MVHS ground robot took 3rd place while their drone took 2nd place. In the competition which took place on May 20th, both teams represented SVUSD very well! LHHS won first place in the ground division beating UCI, Santiago Canyon College and Irvine Valley College. MVHS garnered first place in the ground/aerial division beating University High School.
MVHS – Excellent Results in Future Farmers of America (FFA) Competitions
California State FFA Degree Recipients – 2017
The State FFA Degree is awarded to FFA members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the California FFA Association and made significant accomplishments in their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). Students who won this award were: Brianne Shannon, Leslie Villalobos, and Alexandra Ulans.
Creed Speaking Competition
The Creed Speaking Competition is for ninth grade FFA members who present the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions about its meaning and purpose. In this competition Eric Mendoza won 1st place in the section and McKenzie Norris was a Southern Region Finalist
Impromptu Public Speaking
The Impromptu Contest is a realistic speaking contest that prepares students for public statements, media coverage, and general questions about the FFA and Agriculture Industry. Winners in this contest included: Anna Grulikowski, Matt Sorenson, Aubrey Mills, Rebecca Simonji, and Ilianna Goodhew.
Job Interview Competition
Participants in the Job Interview competition submit a resume, complete job applications and participate in mock job interviews with a panel of possible employers. Noted performers included Elizabeth Johnson, Tyler Johnson, Isabelle Johnson, and Natalie Kallberg.
Best Informed Greenhand Competition – Section 1st Place Team
The objective of the Best Informed Greenhand (BIG) contest is to understand the aims, purposes, history, and structure of the Local, State, and National FFA student organizations. The B.I.G. contest is open to 9th grade FFA members only. Winners from MVHS were: Taylor Coker, Seana Rosiak, Mckenzie Norris, Toni Hammork, Azareya Torcivia, and Eric Mendoza
Veterinary Science CDE – Section 2nd Place Team
The objective of the Veterinary Science competition is to prepare FFA members for careers in the Veterinary Science Industry through lab practicum simulation, tool and parasite identification, and animal general knowledge tests. Winners included Brianne Shannon, Natalie Kallberg, Citlali Diaz, and Meaghan Holt-Hillis.
Farm Accounting and Records CDE – Southern Region 2nd Place Team, Section 1st Place Team
In the Farm Record Book competition students must analyze farm records based on pages from the California Agricultural Education Record Book and Official Instruction Manual. Several MVHS placed well in this competition including: Anna Grulikowski, Aubrey Mills, Matt Sorenson, and Rebecca Simonji.
Culinary Arts Students Sampled Saddleback College Program
On April 7th, students from Rhonda Nelson’s Family Consumer Studies class at RSM Intermediate visited the Saddleback College Culinary Arts program to tour the facility, work in the garden, and learn how to prepare certain foods. On May 24th, LHHS students from Chef Cayabyab’s culinary arts classes were invited to visit the program and enhance the alignment between programs. They were all impressed with the new garden supplying fresh vegetables for cooking.
SVUSD Students Start Training for Cyberpatriot Competition
On April 29th and May 13th, LHHS Computer Science teacher, Elizabeth Quinanola brought 14 students to IVC to start training for the CyberPatriot Competition which will take place next fall. CyberPatriot is part of the National Youth Cyber Education Program developed by the Air Force Association (AFA) and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). CyberPatriot teaches students both cybersecurity technical skills and employability skills. Middle and high schools form teams of students interested in developing leadership and organizational skills, while learning what it takes to work as a cybersecurity professional. The exciting competitions put teams of students in the scenario of newly hired IT professionals in charge of managing the network of a small company using Linux and Windows based programming. ETHS teacher, Nicole Muilenburg and Serrano teacher, Brian McElfish also brought teams to these trainings and will be competing in 2018.
The ocMaker Challenge Entered it’s Fifth Year – Entries from Three SVUSD Schools
More than 150 teams from Orange County middle schools, high schools and community colleges participated in this STEM-based design competition where students build product prototypes. The ocMaker Challenge integrates science, technology, engineering and math, by encouraging students to identify a unique problem or need, document solutions and use technologies that include 3D modeling and 3D printing. The annual ocMaker Challenge supports creativity and innovation by converging academics with hands-on learning to promote 21stcentury skills.
Teams design and build these prototypes throughout the school year. The prototypes were showcased at Chapman University on May 12th and 13th. The projects were judged on criteria including originality and functionality.
La Paz Intermediate entered three projects.
1. A combination grocery bag and hand sanitizer holder.
2. A multi-tool with 2 screwdrivers and a pair of pliers
3. A dog leash holder for multiple dogs
El Toro High School entered three projects:
1. A mobile work bench (with retractable casters)
2. A video box (to watch videos and other phone apps in private)
3. A hybrid Ukulele (with 3D printed parts)
Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate entered two projects:
1. A modular bike powered phone charger
2. A windup (for storing electronic cords)
ETHS Photography Students’ Work Displayed at South Coast Plaza
Two outstanding students from Joyanne Goodfellow’s photo classes – Alina Petrasich and Michealla Aguilar, were accepted into the 1000 Images contest for Imagineology. Their pieces will be hanging in the Crate and Barrel wing of South Coast Plaza. And Alina’s photo of the ocean was accepted into the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Junior display.
LHHS Video Program Big Winner in Film Festival
LHHS won a Special Nomination Award “Excellence in Storytelling” at the 51st Annual California Student Media Festival for their short film, “The Color of Life.” The California Student Media Festival (which partners with PBS SoCal) is the nation’s oldest student media festival. Over the past twenty years, the California Student Media Festival has awarded more than $140,000 to California Schools. It has expanded to include the work of more than 6,000 student contestants from schools across the state. Awards were given out on June 3rd at Zipper Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The LHHS entry from Kris Velasquez’s video class – “The Color of Life” was written by Ben Walter, starred Luke Senger, and Teyo Jacobson and was produced by Christian Cottriel, Jason Le, Beverly Martinez, Truman Talbot, Noah Taylor, AA Vosough, and Ben Walter.
In addition, “The Color of Life” film was an official selection in the 2nd Annual Mission Viejo Film Festival and was entered into judging for the best overall film award. This festival took place at Saddleback College, also on June 3rd. The Mission Viejo Film Festival is a showcase for talented filmmakers as well as a charity event where proceeds go to City of Hope’s Pediatric Center for Cancer Research and Treatment.
Los Alisos STEM Program Competes in Solar Competition
Sullivan Solar Power provided 10 solar powered car kits to the Los Alisos Intermediate STEM class to participate in the 2017 Southern California Junior Solar Sprint, which was held on May 20th in Encinitas. The program included countywide competitions, with San Diego students racing against Orange County and Riverside County students.
The Los Alisos STEM class, taught by Sean Fletcher, built the 10 donated cars over a 3 week period. Three teams were selected to enter the competition. The Los Alisos girls’ team advanced to the quarterfinals but missed placing in the semi-finals by less than 1/2 a second. The two girls, Emma Elliott and Cindy Ortiz, of Team Lobos 1 were recognized with awards at their school. The students believed it was a valuable learning experience and a lot of fun. A video of the day can be viewed at:
Intermediate School Students Visit Local Industries
All four SVUSD Intermediate Schools traveled to Saddleback College as well as a local industry partner on April 28th for a Job Shadow Day organized by Vital Link and Saddleback College. Over 150 students toured companies to learn about various industries. The companies visited were Canon, Edwards Life Sciences, The Mission Viejo Fire Department, MEA Forensics, Segerstrom Center and the Urban Workshop.