Academy History

In 2001, Dos Pueblos High School (DPHS) determined that our community would benefit from an engineering program designed for students at a secondary level. Thus the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) was founded in 2002 at DPHS by physics teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer.
 
The shortage of classroom space on the Dos Pueblos campus allowed the DPEA to enroll only 32 students per year. Mr. Abo-Shaeer added FIRST Robotics to the curriculum in 2006 and the DPEA entered its rookie season as Team 1717. The rookie robot was constructed in a custodian’s closet with used and borrowed machines. The success of Team 1717 and the popularity of the DPEA increased the level of interest, and within three years the number of students applying to the program had tripled.
 
By the end of 2006, Mr. Abo-Shaeer had a vision of building a facility on campus that would house over 400 students and offer equipment, machinery, and space for state-of-the-art technical education. He applied for and received a $3 million grant from the State of California to build a facility to house the DPEA. But, in order to receive that grant, an additional $3 million had to be raised locally. With that goal in mind the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation (DPEAF) was established.
 
Thanks to our many donors and the hard work of the DPEA Foundation, the additional $3 million dollars was raised. The construction of the world-class Elings Center for Engineering Education (EECE) at Dos Pueblos High School was begun in 2010 and completed in 2011. 
 
Under the guidance of DPEA founder and director Amir Abo-Shaeer, the DPEA currently provides over 400 high school students with an unsurpassed experience in project-based learning. 
 
In 2010, Mr. Abo-Shaeer was the first high school teacher to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship--commonly called the MacArthur genius grant. 
 
Team 1717 competed in FIRST Robotics from 2006 to 2015, and the team earned many awards. The 2012 robot, Lindsay Rosebot, was recognized as the robot with the highest Offensive Power Ranking in the world in that year's FIRST Robotics Competition.
 
The first class of 100 seniors (2014-15) was able to choose between two senior capstone projects: FIRST Robotics and Mechatronics. Mechatronics is housed in the DPEA Mechatronics Laboratory, and became the new capstone focus of the DPEA in the 2015-16 school year when Team 1717 was retired. Mechatronics is housed in the new DPEA Mechatronics Laboratory, which was added to the DPEA to accommodate the large student enrollment.
 
In 2016, the DPEA hired Rebecca Summers as its first full-time executive director using funds from an anonymous grant.
 
The DPEA was featured in an episode of NOVA, titled "School of the Future", which used the Academy as an example of an alternative and project-based system of education. The episode first aired on PBS on September 14. In conjunction with the premiere of the NOVA episode, Mr. Abo-Shaeer and DPEA alumna Madison Pickett were invited to attend the 2nd Annual White House Next Generation High School Summit on September 12. 
 
Honors for Amir Abo-Shaeer
  • 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2013 Marvyn Melvin Distinguished Teacher Award, Santa Barbara County Education Office 
  • 2011 FIRST Woodie Flowers Award – Los Angeles Regional
  • 2010 MacArthur Fellowship -- He is the first high school teacher to win this award, as well as the first FIRST mentor to win the award for work relating to FIRST robotics.
  • 2010 Santa Barbara Rotary Outstanding Service Award
  • 2008 Crystal Apple Educator Award, Santa Barbara County Education Office
  • 2008 Goleta Educator of the Year
  • 2008 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition
Awards for Mechatronics
  • 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire: Best of Class Award
  • 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire: 3 Editor's Choice Awards
  • 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire: Best of Class Award
  • 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire: 3 Editor's Choice Awards
Awards for Team 1717
  • 2015 FIRST Championship: Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation (Carver Division)
  • 2015 FIRST Championship: Carver Division Semifinalists
  • 2015 FIRST Ventura Regional: Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation
  • 2015 FIRST Ventura Regional: Regional Winner
  • 2014 FIRST Championship: General Motors Industrial Design Award.
  • 2014 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Regional Winner, Engineering Excellence Award sponsored by Delphi
  • 2014 FIRST Las Vegas Regional: Second Place, General Motors Industrial Design Award.
  • 2013 FIRST Championship: Rockwell Automation in Control Award
  • 2013 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Regional Winner
  • 2013 FIRST Las Vegas Regional: Regional Winner, Industrial design Award sponsored by General Motors
  • 2012 FIRST Championship: Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox
  • 2012 FIRST Central Valley Regional: Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation, Regional Winner
  • 2012 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Regional Winner
  • 2011 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Engineering Excellence Award sponsored by Delphi, Regional Finalist
  • 2011 FIRST San Diego Regional: Quality Award sponsored by Motorola
  • 2010 FIRST Championship: Quality Award sponsored by Motorola
  • 2010 FIRST San Diego Regional: Dean’s List Finalist Award, Quality Award sponsored by Motorola, Regional Finalist
  • 2010 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Engineering Inspiration Award, Regional Winner
  • 2009 FIRST Championship: Quality Award sponsored by Motorola, Finalist - Galileo Division
  • 2009 FIRST Sacramento Regional: Quality Award sponsored by Motorola, Regional Winner
  • 2009 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors, Regional Finalist
  • 2008 FIRST Championship: Finalist - Galileo Division
  • 2008 FIRST San Diego Regional: Delphi “Driving Tomorrow’s Technology”, Regional Winner
  • 2008 FIRST Los Angeles Regional: Delphi “Driving Tomorrow’s Technology”, Regional Winner
  • 2007 FIRST San Diego Regional: Imagery Award, Regional Finalist
  • 2006 FIRST Southern California Regional: Rookie All-Star
  • 2006 FIRST Arizona Regional: Rookie Inspiration Award