New Ramp, Thanks To STEM


The new ramp that has been added to the out-door classroom, by the STEM/NESA building.

If you haven’t noticed already, there has been a new little ramp added to the out-door classroom, in front of the NESA/STEM building.

Thanks to STEM teacher, David Rubalcaba (Mr. Rubes), all of his STEM and after-school robotic students, the principal, and director of the STEM program, Dr. Melissa Alcala, there is now a sturdy walk-way for students to use, instead of jumping off/on the out-door classroom.

It was started and completed on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

“It took one entire day, from the beginning of the day to the end of the day to finish it,” Rubalcaba said. “We started it during first period. Some of my kids went out there and helped me, and put the ‘joists’ (they’re the bottom, the foundation) together. And then the decking was put together by second and fourth period. Even after school, my robotics kids continued to work [on it].”

Rubalcaba and his students had it all planned out, so that the project would only take one day to start and finish.

“I teach Concepts of Engineering, so to introduce my students to the engineering and design process, I had them go around campus and look for problem areas they could address as engineers,” Rubalcaba said.

After identifying what kind of ‘problems’ they were looking at, Rubalcaba had the students do research, brainstorm and build a model (based off of the Engineering Design Process) to present to Principal Canales and Dr. Alcala in five groups of three to four students in each.

“They scheduled an appointment to present their ideas to me, along with the need for it, (a needs assessment, basically), a justification, and then the budget of how much they would need to fund this project,” Dr. Alcala said. “STEM funded the total ramp project. Three-fourths of their other projects will be funded by STEM, and Lee, through Mr. Canales, will fund one-fourth of it.”

STEM ramp

A group of STEM students who helped with the creation of the new ramp being interviewed for LeeTV.

STEM students will also be replacing some of the boards that are missing, power wash it (the out-door classroom) and then put stain on it, so that water will bead instead of soak into the wood, and won’t rot. Three benches and picnic tables will also be built to added under the covered area by the STEM/NESA building.

“I’m just proud to have a group of students who care enough about their campus that they’re willing to do something  about it, and not expect someone to do it for them, and step-up and say ‘We can do it, we just need help with the finances,’,” Principal Canales said.

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