San Felipe Del Rio ISD Student Training in Del Rio, TX

The San Felipe Del Rio Independent School District in Del Rio, TX offers students classes and clubs in engineering, aircraft maintenance and robotics.

On Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 06:00
Del Rio, TX

From constructing robots capable of scaling a pyramid to preparing jets for takeoff, students at Del Rio High School have the opportunity to soar towards careers in engineering and aircraft maintenance. The school offers three programs that go beyond traditional courses and offer hands-on experience that has landed many students job offers after graduation.

A robotics club, and courses in engineering and aviation technology, are sponsored by the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District. In addition to the teaching staff at the high school, numerous individuals from Laughlin U.S. Air Force Base help mentor the students.

Build a Robot

Robotics program is an after-school club with an expectation that students put in at least 15 hours a week outside the classroom.

Students have 45 days to design, build and program a robot to perform specific tasks. Brad Billeaudeau, an engineering teacher at Del Rio High School, is the robotics program sponsor and team adviser.

“This year’s task was to build a robot that could shoot a Frisbee into various goals for points and/or climb a 10-foot pyramid,” Billeaudeau says.

The team participates in local, regional and national competitions with a chance to receive scholarships from universities, colleges and other organizations.

Mauricio Figueroa, a senior in both the engineering and robotics programs, says: “The program teaches us to think outside the box. The task for the program gives us a constraint and shows us how to problem-solve.”

The engineering program teaches students to work as a team and shows them how math and science courses are applied to real-life experiences.

Bill Davis, an engineering teacher, has degrees in physics and math.

“What I consider one of the most important experiences for the students is that they get to use their personal creativities to solve problems,” Davis says. “In our engineering classes, each student or team of students has the opportunity to solve problems using their own ideas and skill sets.”

Freshman Priscila Paez also participates in both programs.

“The courses have helped me both in and out of school. It has taught me to be patient, find solutions, work on my communication and work as a team,” she says.

Soaring Potential

The aviation technology program allows students to get hands-on experience in servicing and maintaining aircraft. Students start the program as freshmen, and by their senior years they are helping at Laughlin Air Force Base.

The “Grow Your Own” program is a collaboration between the school district and the Air Force base to educate and train students in aircraft technology. Ruben Resendez is in charge of the aviation technology program and is an Air Force veteran.

“This program gives students the opportunity to learn how to be responsible in supporting and maintaining our country’s defense by helping keep the training mission at its best,” Resendez says.

Another bonus is that Laughlin has hired more than 200 program graduates.

Del Rio High School continually strives to offer students opportunities to prepare and educate them for their future. These programs are just three of the ways it succeeds in its mission.

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