DPEA Open House a Roaring Success!

DPEA Open House a Roaring Success!

More than 200 people filled the halls of the Elings Engineering Center on October 19, as the DP Engineering Academy went on display for the community at the school year’s first DPEA Open House

Attendees ranged from prospective engineering students and parents, to sponsors of the DPEA, to curious community members. This open house exposed the public to the capabilities of the new facility, the novel project-based educational program of the DPEA, and to the DPEA students and staff.

 Current students acted as tour guides, answering question after question from the guests. All of the rooms of the academy were open to the public and many of the projects, such as the mobiles, pyramids, light sculptures, and necklace elements, were on display. The new junior class assignment, or Moire Sculpture, was also exhibited in a video. After seeing these creative projects, one wide-eyed 8th grader said, “I love all the different features [of the DPEA]. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I knew it would have a little art but not this much—I thought it would be mostly technical and engineering and math and science.” Similarly, an enthused father of a prospective engineering student professed that the open house was an “eye opener.” He learned that students don’t need to plan on becoming an engineer to be part of the academy. Because art and physics are also incorporated into the DPEA curriculum, the academy is appealing to students with a variety of different interests.

 The 2012 Lindsay Rose robot was on display as well. Onlookers were mesmerized as the robot maneuvered across the floor sinking baskets with remarkable accuracy. One captivated community member exclaimed “[the robot] is spectacular! I am beyond impressed that students could make this!” A glowing relative of a DP engineering freshman confessed, “The engineering academy was explained to me but I just couldn’t imagine that it was this! This is college-level stuff!”

The open house was a huge success and excited many visitors. Guests left with greater understanding and enthusiasm for the DPEA. They were impressed by the state-of-the-art building and excited by the revolutionary hands-on learning implemented in DPEA classrooms.