The greater Antelope Valley offers robust STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education opportunities.
The focus on STEM programs began in 2003 when 60 Antelope Valley Union High School District students from Lancaster and Highland High Schools first took
pre-engineering courses. Today there are a variety of STEM education courses focused on creating links to career possibilities ranging from biomedical and dental fields to automotive technology, aviation, welding, and alternative energy. Classroom education is supported by providing students opportunities to participate in related organizations, clubs and projects. Through some of these programs, students have designed and built unmanned aerial vehicles and solar or electric cars, which they have taken to national and international competitions, winning several awards including Knight High School’s Digital Design & Engineering Academy team, “Phantom Soldiers,” taking first place at the 2016 Airborne Delivery Challenge International Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Competition in Queensland.
INAUGURAL AFRL UAV CHALLENGE
A local UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) competition, the AFRL UAV Challenge, was created in 2016 & co-sponsored by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Edwards Air Force Base STEM Office, Jacobson Technology, and the Antelope Valley Union High School District. Student teams from Rosamond, California City, Antelope Valley, Knight and Palmdale High Schools, as well as Knight Prep Academy, competed at Knight High School by writing a technical report, presenting to a panel of industry judges, and flying their drones in a closed course, hitting a target with a laser to determine accuracy. Rosamond High School won first place. Kriss Vander Hyde, AFRL USAP manager, concludes that, “The inaugural AFRL UAV Challenge was a great event that allowed students to apply engineering and have fun by flying a drone at the same time.” The competition is slated to return & expand for the second year in 2017.
AV STEM EXPO
Now in its third year, the AV STEM Expo, presented by the Antelope Valley Union High School District, has enjoyed continued success by increasing the number of students competing to more than 1,300.
The competition has been extended to other local high school students in the region.
Student projects in seven categories are judged by local scientists and engineers. The fourth annual AV STEM Expo will take place Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Eastside High School.
The strong collaboration among Antelope Valley educators and industry partners working toward a common goal of providing students with a world-class STEM education is building upon the solid foundation already in place. This will ensure the future of the region.
Here is a quick look at how students across the Antelope Valley are making strides in STEM:
Antelope Valley Union High School District
The Antelope Valley Union High School District is developing computer science course pathways at three high school sites. These pathways will offer students three courses dedicated to computer science and cybersecurity. Over the next five years, the District expects to offer computer science curriculum at each high school. This work is echoed in coding activities in elementary districts such as Lancaster, Palmdale, and Westside.
The Palmdale High School Solar Falcons Race Car Team competed in a six-day Solar Car Challenge, racing from Ft. Worth, TX to Minneapolis, MN, coming in third in the nation in the Classic Division. For the second year running, the team received the Michael Foree Award for outstanding use of technology in the design and operation of their student-built and raced solar-powered vehicle. The team also received the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District’s 2016 AIRE Award.
Students from the Lancaster Academy of Multimedia Programming and Engineering (LAMPE) at Lancaster High are working closely with NASA engineers to design and program an unmanned autonomous system simulator over the course of this school year. Mr. Jan Scofield, NASA/MTSI Flight Test Engineer said “NASA-Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) is proud to expand our current relationship with the LAMPE Academy at Lancaster High School to develop a more formal collaboration effort involving small-Unmanned Aircraft Systems. We are excited to help acquaint young students and the broader AV community with aerospace technologies, opportunities, and careers.”
Muroc Unified School District
In October 2016, the Muroc Unified School District received a $750,000 National Math and Science Initiative grant to help increase the numbers of students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams in STEM subjects. The award was highlighted by a visit from GEN Ellen Pawlikowski, Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB. www.muroc.k12.ca.us/
Mojave Unified School District
Mojave Unified School District is offering STEM education initiatives to early primary grades through a Science Club at Mojave Elementary. The highly regarded club meets monthly to conduct supplementary science experiments. Kindergarteners are practicing slope by racing soap box derby cars from different angles on a track and measuring the distance traveled. By combining the new Next Generation Science Standards with the Common Core State Standards, students are enjoying a genuine education blending theory with hands-on experience. www.mojave.k12.ca.us/
Southern Kern Unified School District
Rosamond High School is expanding its manufacturing program to include opportunities for welding certification, automotive repair, and an aerospace manufacturing training program. In an effort to support all learners, the school has added a STEM Prep course to increase student proficiency in STEM courses. A newly formed robotics team is making huge strides and creating amazing projects. www.skusd.k12.ca.us/
Lancaster School District
Lancaster School District opened its newest science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) Academy at Fulton and Alsbury in the fall of 2016. The Academy serves approximately 400 students in sixth through eighth grades, and provides them the ability to identify an early focus on science and art through integrated hands- on activities across the core curriculum.
STEM/STEAM opportunities also are offered in two district elementary schools, Lincoln and Discovery, and four middle schools, Piute, Amargosa Creek, and Endeavour, as well as Fulton and Alsbury. Most recently highlighted in the district is the Coding Club at Mariposa Elementary that provides for access to student in computer science through the programming of robots. www.lancsd.org/
Palmdale School District
Palmdale School District offers academies with a STEAM emphasis in all four middle schools and two K-8 schools, a fifth middle school with a STEAM emphasis will open in August 2017. Each academy provides students with choices of three years of electives in music, pre-engineering and robotics experiences. The middle school academies are aligned to offerings at their local high schools, including: Cactus – Medical, Health and Technology; David G. Millen – Law & Government; Desert Willow – Fine Arts, Science & Technology; Los Amigos
– Dual Immersion (K-8); Palmdale Learning Plaza – International Baccalaureate (K-8); and Shadow Hills – Engineering & Design. www.palmdalesd.org/
The Palmdale Aerospace Academy The Palmdale Aerospace Academy (TPAA) reached several milestones during the last year, including its first high school graduating class, boasting a ninety-five percent college acceptance rate. The school is implementing a “Leader In Me” program for students, which teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every student can
be a leader. Groundbreaking took place on TPAA’s new state-of-the-art campus, which is expected to open for the fall in 2017. www.tpaa.org/
Antelope Valley College
Antelope Valley College has begun the first year of its new Airframe Manufacturing Technology baccalaureate degree, and is continuing its highly successful airframe fabrication certificate program at the Palmdale airport training center. The intensive, eight-week certificate course sequence provides successful students with college credit, which can lead into the degree program, and with the opportunity for employment with local manufacturers at sustainable wages.
Southern Kern Unified School District and Antelope Valley Union High School District partner with Antelope Valley College as members of the AV Regional Adult Education Consortium to provide high-quality courses in a variety of areas
for adults in the region. The courses include career-technical and apprenticeship programs in medical, computer networking, welding, and manufacturing. Other courses are available in high school equivalency and diploma preparation, basic academic skills, citizenship, and programs for adults with disabilities.
California State Long Beach – Antelope Valley
Cal State Long Beach’s Antelope Valley Engineering Program graduated its fourth cohort of mechanical and electrical engineering students in December
- Demand for the ABET-accredited engineering degree completion program continues to rise, not only locally, but also throughout California. Graduates find a high rate of employment with regional engineering companies, as well as the potential to receive prestigious academic fellowships at leading post-secondary institutions around the nation. www.ccpe.csulb.edu/continuinged/
661.723.6429 ext. 103 or 104
Submitted by: Diane L. Walker,
Director of Industry Liaison and Post- Secondary Partnerships, AVUHSD
firstname.lastname@example.org • 661-575-1025