Freshman Impressions

The first year in a program as unique and prestigious as the DPEA can be unpredictable. We turned to the class of 2020 to share their first impressions, experiences, and progress in the academy so far.

What made you interested in joining the Engineering Academy?

Josh Benson: “When I was younger, I was really interested in the robotics program, which I know we don’t have anymore, but we have a cool substitute for that. I was watching the YouTube video of the 1717 robotics program and that kind of inspired me and I was really interested in that. I just always liked building things.”

Annie Field: “My brother was in it, and I saw all the stuff he brought back, like the projects he did, and I thought they were really cool, so I thought it was interesting.”

Ryan Foster: “I saw all of the cool things they did and how it was very hands-on and project-based, and I thought that was a very awesome way to learn, so that’s the main reason I wanted to join the Engineering Academy.”

Rhea Kommerell: “I had heard about it, and I had heard that it was an academy where like-minded people who were interested in not only doing things with their hands but also doing difficult things and doing interesting things, could have one class a day where they could do those kinds of things, and a lot of my friends were doing it, so I decided to apply.”

Johan Dominguez: “I heard through my uncle who is an engineer, he said that Dos Pueblos is a really good school, and that I should go there, and I heard through him about the Engineering Academy, and how it’s a really good academy.”

Have you encountered anything unexpected in any of the rotations so far?

Josh Benson: “I thought it would be more intensive, but they really take you one step at a time which makes it really easy to stay on task and they make it really fun and exciting too.”

Annie Field: “I’ve been surprised by how much the teachers are willing to help you and they’re not like, ‘Oh, the rest of the class understands it, but you don’t, so we’re going to move ahead.’ They’ll keep working with you until you understand.”

Ryan Foster: “I didn’t know we were going to actually go into this much physics. It’s really cool though, that even though I’m not taking a physics class right now, I can learn about physics, and how the machines and stuff we are making work.”

Rhea Kommerell: “So far, the machine shop I found kind of interesting. I didn’t really know what to expect from it, but I didn’t really expect that either. I thought that it was kind of, a lot more exact than I thought, which was interesting for me.”

Johan Dominguez: “Art. I didn’t think there was going to be a lot of art.”

What are you looking forward to over the next four years in the DPEA?

Josh Benson: “I’m really excited for all the final projects. I really like the light sculpture which is coming up next year and then the senior year project is really appealing. I think it’s going to be fun to kind of just make whatever you want. Right now, we’re obviously practicing making the necklace and the die, so it’s gonna be exciting when we get to have the skills to make anything we want.”

Annie Field: “Probably all of the new things that I’ll get to learn that I wouldn’t have learned not being in the academy.”

Ryan Foster: “I’m really excited to learn how to code, and just how to make more things, and become a better artist in general.”

Rhea Kommerell: “I’m really excited to get better at CAD and Arduino, because that’s my strong suit and also what’s a lot of fun for me. I feel like that’s a really interesting thing that I have done a little bit in the past, but not as much as I would have liked to. So I’m excited to do more of that.”

Johan Dominguez: “I’m excited about mechatronics in senior year, and working with that.”

What is one word to describe your experience in the DPEA so far?

“Rewarding.” -Zoe Geller

“Hands-on.” -Zach Gillespie

“Entertaining.” -Andrew Kowblansky

“Enlightening.” -Eliana Bohn

“Life.” -Johan Dominguez

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