Da Vinci Students participate in the World Wide Hour of Code

Da Vinci Students participate in the World Wide “Hour of Code”

“I did 72 lines of code”, “I love this!”, and “Can we do this again?”


El Paso, TX, December 10, 2013:  Da Vinci students are celebrating Computer Science Education Week Dec. 9-13 starting off with a video featuring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Black Eyed Peas founder will.i.am and NBA star Chris Bosh talking about the importance of programming. The Hour of Code is an opportunity to learn more about how technology works and how to create software applications as easy as . We were part of 9,092,253 users writing 288,525,037 lines of code world wide!


Da Vinci students went online to code.org where they watched some 1-2 minute tutorial videos written by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, & Twitter Engineers.  Then they went on to a coding challenge and continue until they earned a certificate. To the right we have Emily Stopani proudly displaying her “Hour of Code” certificate.  Below Alfredo Alcala holding his certificate.


All students at Da Vinci take technology from the day they start till the day they graduate. This project helped confirm the importance of technology and was completed with all four Technology teachers. Thank you

Da Vinci Students Are Going to Venus

Da Vinci Students Are Going to Venus

DSCN8635For a third year , Da Vinci School For Science and the Arts has been invited by the University of Alabama at Huntsville to participate in their InSPIRESS program.  Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM Students is an outreach project that provides the opportunity for high school students to develop and design a scientific payload to be accommodated on a spacecraft which is designed by undergraduate students in the UA Huntsville IPT project.  High school students collaborate with the undergraduate engineering students to understand the engineering requirements, the design process, and the role a customer plays in design.  InSPIRESS teams compete for selection by the undergraduate engineering teams.

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This year’s mission is to

  • Determine the purpose of a scientific payload of a NASA spacecraft mission to Venus.
  • Develop and design an autonomous scientific payload for a candidate NASA planetary science dedicated mission:
  • Understand the engineering design process.
  • Understand the importance of soft skills- teamwork, presentation, reporting, etc.
  • Present before a Panel of NASA scientists.

Project Leaders, Dr. Matt Turner and Dr. PJ Benfield, visited the Da Vinci campus Saturday, January 11th to meet with Juniors and Seniors and orient them to the challenge. They characterized the need for more engineers by describing the Perfect Storm that has taken place in America: a confluence of mass retirement of post WWII engineers and a disinterest among young people in engineering over dot com jobs. The project’s goal is to reverse this trend and interest more students in engineering. Based on the commitment Da Vinci School has to STEM education and its recognized Engineering Curriculum for high school students, the Project Leaders are optimistic that Da Vinci youngsters will consider entering engineering fields. For these reasons they continue to invite our students to participate in this prestigious program.


A Message from your Counselor

A Message from your Counselor

Ms. Laura Sanchez

Happy New Year to you all.  I just wanted to update you on some important issues.

First of all, I’m so proud of the students (Kristian V. and Santiago M.) who received scholarships from UTEP.  There will be another round of scholarships in March, so please don’t give up.  That being said, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a great source to apply for financial aid for college, career school, or graduate school. This is a link to the tutorial in filling in the FAFSA View it as a Web page. The actual website is www.FAFSA.gov where there are several pieces of information such as deadlines, school codes, etc.

I need to start collecting the Community Service Packets that were due Friday Jan. 10th.  Many students did their Internship during the Holidays, so they can start turning those in as well; however the internship packets are not due until May 2nd.

There will be a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 5:30  (No school Monday 20th). This meeting is to inform you of the schedules for next semester; review and signing of each student’s  graduation plan by parent and student); an update on dual credit (good news), SAT’s, ACT’s, AP’s and Q/A time.

Wow, your children are graduating in 21 weeks! Let’s make this a great, memorable moment.  Additional information about the Senior Trip fundraising efforts, and graduation ceremony will be addressed.  Thank you all very much for your support! We look forward to seeing you on the 21st January.