LANCASTER — The Antelope Valley Union High School District transformed outdated classrooms at Antelope Valley and Quartz Hill high schools into next-generation aerospace engineering labs in line with 21st century learning.
The projects started pre-pandemic. They were completed over the summer in time for students to return for in-person learning.
Each room is equipped with multiple interactive flat-screen displays with touch-screen technology, data ports, interactive white boards and collaborative spaces are installed in both labs. The new labs allow for more project-based and technology-intensive lessons, using equipment and learning spaces that were previously unavailable to students, district officials said.
“This project helps put our Career Technical Education students in the best position academically and prepares them for college and careers in the aerospace engineering field,” district officials said.
At AV High, the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lab features all new furniture with high red chairs that match the school’s colors (Quartz Hill High has blue and gold for its school colors), gray blossom tables, long work benches and a collaborative and creativity space.
“That’s where they do their deciding and this is where they build,” Engineering Teacher Rebecca Bartolome with the Green Enterprise Engineering Innovation Academy, said as she stood next the one of the long wood tables.
She teaches Introduction to Engineering Design for freshmen, Principles of Engineering for sophomores, Digital Electronics for juniors and Aerospace Engineering, the capstone class for seniors in the academy.
The lab includes about 20 3D printers. Students can model and design a project on a computer then print it on one of the printers.
“This lab has made the students more creative because they were able to access more tools, not just a group of 10 people just watching somebody do it,” Bartolome said. “They have the capability of being able to do fully hands-on what they want to create.”
Bartolome’s junior students built a cardboard prototype of their projects. They will 3D model the object and then 3D print it.
Student Aria Cline is working on an electric guitar for her project.
“I really wanted to do it because I’m always curious with the design process, and basically creating my own replication of items that have already been developed,” she said.
Cline, who plays guitar, said her instrument will have small gadgets that will enhance the capability of the music as it is played.
“The speaker will come out of the guitar as you’re playing, so the amp will be the speaker,” she said. “The notes that are going to be playing will have the coordinated (symbols) on the fretboard toward the notes being played.”
The notes being played will show a light.
“It will have its own glow to it as well,” Cline said.
Students Emily Rodriguez and Christian Pacheco, who are on the school’s drone team, are working on building a drone. They showed off a student-built drone from a previous year’s class that they are using as a guide.
“Starting in January, we’re going to start building,” Pacheco said. “We’re going to make something like this.”
The pair will compete against other teams from other schools next year.
“We haven’t gotten our kits yet,” Bartolome said, adding the students will be mentored by Lockheed Martin engineers.
Rodriguez and Pacheco are at the top of the Class of 2023. They were both recently selected for a Northrop Grumman internship and both hope to become engineers some day. They enjoy being a part of AV High’s Green Enterprise Academy.
“It’s amazing,” Pacheco said.
His goal is to become an aerospace engineer. He is also thinking about computer science.
“I like it,” Rodriguez said.