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Bill Nye Photo with SOAR High School InvenTEAM
SOAR HS InvenTEAM members pose with Bill Nye at the 2015 White House Science Fair

Here is a quick look at how students across the
Antelope Valley are making strides in STEM:


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.


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.

Antelope Valley


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.

Antelope Valley Union High School District

Beginning in 2013, the Eastside High School Biomedical Sciences pathway allows students to engage in activities such as investigating the death of a fictional person to learn content in the context of real-world cases. This career academy currently serves approximately 450 students in grades 9 through 12.

A similar Biomedical Sciences pathway at Littlerock High School is expanding their work-based learning opportunities to include internships and business partnerships on real-world projects.

Built on the success of Palmdale High School’s Health Careers Academy, the newly- opened Palmdale Preparatory Academy is providing 7th and 8th grade students an opportunity to participate in a health careers and STEM-focused curriculum, in addition to general education courses.

Inspired by the recent water shortage in California, students in the Palmdale High School Engineering Academy (formerly known as the Falcon Academy of Sustainable Technologies) SkillsUSA Chapter have been creating innovative solutions to local issues. A team of three engineering students from the Academy, designed and built a functioning prototype of a fire hydrant that retracts below the sidewalk. During the process, they met with engineers at the Palmdale Water District and incorporated their feedback into the final design. The students were the 2016 gold medal winners at Region 3 competitions in the Skills USA Competition, progressing to the California State and National Championships in June 2017.

Likewise, the team from Palmdale High School Engineering Academy designed and built a functioning leak-sensing prototype. The sensors would be installed at numerous

locations on a main water pipe under the streets; Their project was entered in the SkillsUSA competition, resulting in the students becoming the 2016 gold medal winners at Region 3 competitions and the California State Championships. They students also earned the bronze medal at the National Championships. html

The Green Enterprise Academy at Antelope Valley High School is an engineering academy with an additional focus on entrepreneurship. For the last two years, the class of 2018 has been working on a “tiny house” in conjunction with community partners as their culminating project for the year. The GE Academy has successfully fostered a love for learning and creation, and as a result, boasts a 100% graduation rate for its seniors. Last year’s graduating class included 16 of the 20 AVHS Valedictorians, and 20 recipients of the California Seal of Biliteracy. One hundred percent (100%) of the 2017 GE graduates are currently in some form of post-secondary education and/ or training, including community college, a four-year university or trade school, and employment in the engineering sector.

The Lancaster Arts, Media, Programming, and Engineering Academy (LAMPE), a silver certified Linked Learning Academy, provides approximately 375 students with the unique opportunity to learn through integrated lessons, apply knowledge through project- based learning, and develop career skills while still in high school.

In addition to its ongoing project with NASA engineers working on unmanned aerial systems, LAMPE has also partnered with the Edwards Air Force Base STEM Office to participate in a Resume Writing Workshop, and with Schools First Credit Union to host a financial literacy workshop for students.   |  661.948.7655

California City High School

California City High School is becoming a satellite campus for Cerro Coso Community College. Students, through dual enrollment, will be earning credits towards an Associate Degree while completing their high school diploma. The introductory Aircraftand Power Plant course offers the opportunity to learn about vital aviation systems thanks to the generous donation of a Gulf Stream Aircraft and two Rolls Royce jet engines by Norm Hill Aviation. This is a critical skill in the Eastern Kern region and the Antelope Valley where existing and future jobs in this industry rely on a skilled workforce.

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.  |  760.769.4821

Mojave Unified School District

Third grade students and teachers at Mojave Unified School District concentrated on the Next Generation Science Standards and used fun, yet demanding hands on experiments that were deeply connected to math, ELA, technology and social studies standards. Mojave Elementary and Hacienda schools participated.

Adult Education partners: The Mojave Unified School District, Californian Community College Chancellors Office, Cerro Coso Community College and America’s Job Center.  |   661.824.4088

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. | 661.256.5000

Lancaster School District

Fulton & Alsbury Academy, the district’s 6th-8th grade school of choice, offers every student a class in art and a class in engineering every day for all three years of the program, and it ranks among California’s top schools. STEM coursework is available at three elementary schools: Jack Northrop, Discovery, and Lincoln, and middle school STEM electives are taught at Endeavour, Amargosa Creek, and Piute. Mariposa Elementary uses its Coding Club to introduce students to computer programming, and Nancy Cory Elementary is proud of its strong VAPA program. A dual immersion program is offered at Linda Verde Elementary, where students gain a solid second language foundation in Spanish.

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.  |  661.948.4661


The Antelope Valley is home to five educational centers that provide innovative opportunities to create pathways to the workforce.

As a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partner, Learn4Life offers courses in observable work readiness skills in the areas of career exploration, customer service, cover letters, resumes, applications and interviewing.

Career Technical Education (CTE) - CTE programs give students  a jump start on a promising future right out of high school with the mastery of real-world, technical skills. Our corporate partnerships and workforce readiness programs are the keys to success inside and outside of the classroom for Learn4Life students.

Valerie J. Chase, Vice President, School Development & Support Learn4Life Concept Charter Schools |  661.618.7727

NASA’S BEST – NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Office of Education

NASA’s Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology, or BEST, is a free program that provides STEM Training and Educator Activity Guides to informal and formal educators  of grades K-8. Activities may be used to supplement curricula in classrooms and out- of-school learning environments.

 https:// best/about.html

In addition, NASA’s BEST provides no-cost nationwide professional development to organizations, institutions, and educators. This includes face-to-face and distance workshop options. For more information, send an email to:

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.   |    661.947.7191

The Palmdale Aerospace Academy

The Palmdale Aerospace Academy prepares its graduates for college and careers in the 21st century, aligned with workforce needs in the local area and beyond. The educational program emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and views academics through the lens of aerospace. Challenging projects, hands-on activities and collaborative learning engage student interest to maximize learning potential.” As a charter school with almost 1,650 students, 100 teachers, 4 counselors, 6 administrators and 100 classified staff, we are entering our sixth year of operation and recently moved into our new state-of-the-art STEM.   |   661.273.3680

Paraclete High School 

Few high schools in the Antelope Valley provide college prep curriculum, out of those, Paraclete is the only one that sends 98% of its students to college. Paraclete teaches students about life skills such as time management, work ethic, and  teamwork, all in a Catholic faith based environment. However, Paraclete respects the diversity of its student body, and a student need not be Catholic to attend. Since, Paraclete is smaller than public high schools in the area, students and staff connect on an individual basis. These connections play a significant role in helping every student find success.

Tehachapi Unified School District 

Tehachapi Unified School District elementary schools feature robotics and computer programming enrichment both during and after school. In partnership with the Air Force Research Labs, each elementary school now features two 3D Printers, enabling students to experience 21st  Century  technology. Our middle school features Project Lead the Way pre-engineering courses, FIRST Lego League robotics teams, and a strong Science Olympiad team. The Project Lead the Way program continues into the comprehensive high school with Engineering and Biomedical pathways in addition to an Engineering and Manufacturing  Academy. In partnership with the Arts, Science, and Technology Council of Tehachapi, fourth and fifth grade students participate in a district- wide model rocketry challenge and the high school campus features a STEAM Center for community access to enrichment programs and activities. STEAM Up in Tehachapi!

The Guidance Charter School

The students at The Guidance Charter School  and  the  growth  in   enrollment are collaborating and creating amazing projects in cross-curricular fields. Teachers are experiencing a paradigm shift in their instructional practices and  this  is  evident in learning. Just one major milestone in 2017 was the Cubes in Space is a  program by IdoodlEDU inc., in collaboration with NASA’s Langley Research Center and others. Our 10thgrade Chemistry honors class was fortunate to compete in the program. Four of our students were honored as their project; “Effectiveness of Vaseline in outer space” earned a spot in the final 60 projects. The project had to fit in a small 4x4x4 cm cube and placed in the nose cone of the sounding rocket, to be launched in space.

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.   |  661.722.6300

California State Long Beach - Antelope Valley

The University Center, is a satellite campus of the CSULB College of Engineering. Bachelor of Science Degree Completion Programs for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which allow Antelope Valley students to obtain these Degrees locally while providing qualified workers for the region’s robust Aerospace Industry.  |  661.723.6429  ext.  103  or 104

Submitted by: Diane L. Walker,

Director of Industry Liaison and Post- Secondary  Partnerships, AVUHSD • 661-575-1025

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