UNITE offers Google Professional Career Certificates curriculum free of charge
UNITE is now a Certiport Authorized Testing Center giving students access to industry-recognized certification exams
UniHigheSports is signing up members and recruiting players for various game titles -- sign up HERE
UNITE CyberPatriot (cybersecurity competition) teams forming now; sign up here
UNITE makes available online Data Analytics curriculum using Alteryx Designer software
Uni HS ranks #53 in Newsweek America's Best STEM High Schools; #2 among public schools in CA
Article 'Tech-skills certificates may be more valuable than a college degree'; features many paths to successful tech career
Report 'Degrees at Work -- Examining the serendipitous outcomes of diverse degrees'
Sign up for CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ exam
Report 'The Future of Work in America: People and places, today and tomorrow'
Article 'Switzerland has most highly skilled workers in the word -- this is why'; and Swiss Vocational Education and Training System
Searchable database of apprenticeships; find apprenticeship here
Article "Does STEM Really Matter?" -- an examination of technical skills versus other skill sets
Powerful video "4 Skills & 4 Steps to a successful career" highlighting what matters most
What is UNITE? HOW DO I JOIN?
UNITE stands for UNI_Technology&Engineering -- our school wide STEM program that blends technical and workplace skills (CTE; career and technical education) with academic learning. We offer PLTW Engineering classes and STEM projects for students to work on beyond the school day. Girls are especially welcome -- no experience or background required. Students learn by DOING, MAKING, CREATING in order to thrive in a world that values collaboration, initiative, perseverance, flexibility, empathy, curiosity, and creativity.
We have a laser-like focus on providing students with authentic, real-world learning experiences, and setting up the right conditions for them to develop skills and practice habits that enable college/career/life success many years down the road. We take an iterative approach to projects because failure is always an option when calculated risk taking is encouraged. Our predisposition is to take impactful action to make things happen instead of spending much time talking about it upfront, i.e. lead by example. We, along with our partners in education, industry and non-profit sectors, invest a lot of time, effort and resources into achieving desired outcomes for students who are in our program. Together, we open up doors of opportunity for students.
Students enrolled in our engineering classes and/or those who participate in our STEM projects automatically become part of our program. Sign up for a STEM project below. (Note: COVID may have an impact on current status of project.)
Sign up for the UNITE email list and receive information about about STEM, college/career readiness, special programs and events, articles, etc.
UNITE Program Objectives & Desired Outcomes
- Increase female enrollment and participation to be on par with boys
- Prepare students for college entry as engineering majors
- Prepare students for technical work in high demand, high wage entry-level STEM jobs right out of high school -- educate for employability
- Build student agency in the areas of technical ability, communication, adaptability, leadership and entrepreneurship
- Form connections and a network with education and industry partners through mutually shared interests -- strengthen these relationships
- Engage with the community through STEM-related events -- strengthen quality of engagement
- Connect students to industry and business/industry professionals through work-based learning, internship, apprenticeship, and mentorship -- champion the dignity of work in all its forms
- Align STEM offerings to current and future workforce demands and expanding industries
- Participate in STEM project-based learning in an authentic, real-world context
DID YOU KNOW?
- UNITE awards scholarship money to graduating seniors, who have completed our engineering courses, for post-secondary pursuit of machining, manufacturing, engineering and other skilled trades.
- UNITE students validate their CTE skills through industry-aligned certification exams which are provided free of charge.
- UNITE students earn skills certificates in CAD Mechanical Design, Engineering Principles, 21st Century Success Skills, IT Fundamentals+, and Data Analytics.
- UNITE students who have completed Intro to Engineering Design course can earn IVC college credit.
- UNITE's Horizon Grand Prix team was featured in automotive magazines Car & Driver, Road & Track, and Popular Mechanics.
- UNITE is not a club but a school wide STEM program that blends career technical education and work-based learning with academics.
- UNITE emphasizes productive skills, habits, behaviors and attitudes equally as much as academic content.
- UNITE is an authorized testing center for PearsonVUE and Certiport industry certification exams.
- The first IUSD nanosatellite (cubesat) project started at UNITE with a grant from Irvine Public Schools Foundation.
- UNITE works with local STEM companies to provide work-based learning opportunities through internships, apprenticeships, mentorships, and part-time work.
- UNITE takes pride in teaching and mentoring students to think independently, communicate their opinions clearly, and figure problems out for themselves.
- UNITE provides private school-level services for the cost of a public school education.
- UNITE was born out of Uni's selection as a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam in 2014-15.
Engineering Course Offerings
Intro to Engineering Design (IED)
Principles of Engineering (POE)
Honors Principles of engineering (HPOE)
ADVANCED ENGINEERING (AE; non-pltw)
Yes; "d" lab science* (*does not meet IUSD grad requirements for science)
|Yes; "d" lab science||
Design Process; Technical Drawing/Sketching; Measurement & Statistical Analysis; 3D CAD Solid Modeling; Reverse Engineering (Foundational skills of engineering)
Energy & Power; Materials & Structures; Control Systems; Coding; Statistics & Kinematics (Covers concepts in various engineering fields; more math & physics)
HPOE emphasizes more rigorous expectations of projects and activities
Capstone class; Students are self-directed on projects and engineering competitions; Application of engineering design process to complete projects by established deadlines.
CAD software; 3D printer; CNC mill; Laser cutter; Engineering notebook; Calipers; Spreadsheet
VEX equipment; Breadboard; Microcontrollers; ROBOTC; Physics equipment; Laser cutter
Varies by project; All materials in IED and POE plus power tools and hand tools
All work done in class; Very little homework; Some students may need additional time to complete assignments at home
All work done in class; Very little homework; Some students may need additional time to complete assignments at home
All work done in class; Very little homework; Some students may need additional time outside of class to complete projects; Students may need to travel on weekends to attend engineering events
|Student Readiness Consideration||
Grades 9-12; Concurrent enrollment Math 1; Basic computer skills; Growth mindset
Grades 10-12; Completion Math 1 with "C" or higher; Concurrent Math 2; Basic computer skills; Growth mindset
IED and POE; pre-requisites waived with exceptional engineering experience and teacher approval
|Teaching/Learning Methods||Learn by doing||Learn by doing||
Learn by doing
AP® + PLTW = Student Recognition
To earn the recognition, a student must satisfactorily complete three courses in the pathway – one AP course; one PLTW course; and a third course, either AP or PLTW – and earn a qualifying score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam(s) and a score of Proficient or higher on the PLTW End-of-Course (EoC) assessment(s). The application process for AP + PLTW Student Achievement opens on September 1st. Once a student submits an application, he or she will be evaluated each summer to determine eligibility. Qualifying scores as of June 30, 2020.
Students can earn Irvine Valley College credit by taking UNITE engineering classes. Read the articulation agreement and fill out the IVC CTE credit request form.
Student takes UNITE's Intro to Engineering Design (PLTW) course. She receives a “B” or better as a final grade. Intro to Engineering Design is articulated with IVC’s DR 50 (3 units) and DR101 (3 units). This means that student is eligible to receive 6 units at IVC for completing Intro to Engineering Design with a grade of “B” or better. However, she must first enroll at IVC and complete a 3 unit course (any course). Or, if she already has 3 units, then what is called “unit-residency requirement” is met. Student fills out the IVC HS Articulations Credit Request Form and submits with her high school transcript. IVC Admissions Office verifies that student took Uni’s Intro to Engin Design course, got “B” and fulfilled IVC’s 3-unit residency requirement. IVC Admissions okays the request.
Career Programs offered by Orange County Community Colleges (all sectors)
UNITE STEM Projects for 2022-23 *
|Project||Description||Culminating event||Sign up|
|Google Professional Career Certificate||Self-study to earn credential in IT Support, Data Analytics, UX Design, Digital Marketing & E-commerce, Project Management||Ongoing||Please contact Mr. Tran for more info (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ Certification||Self-study IT concepts & terminology, infrastructure, applications & software, database, and security||Ongoing; Certification exam given at Uni in Nov/Dec and Mar/Apr||Sign up HERE for CompTIA IT Fundamentals+|
|Data Analytics Alteryx Core Certification||Learn how to use Alteryx Designer software and self-study to take the Core Certification exam||Ongoing; Core Certification exam||Sign up HERE for Data Analytics Alteryx Core Certification|
|Amazon Future Engineer||Self-study computer science using online Python and Java curriculum||Ongoing||Please contact Mr. Tran for more info (email@example.com)|
|LA Chargers STEM on the Sidelines||Build mini-football launcher with electronics sandbox kit||Football launcher challenge at Chargers stadium||Sign up HERE for STEM on the Sidelines (TBD)|
Team-based multiplayer online gaming & eSports club activities
|Season tournament lasting 8 weeks in spring and fall for various game titles||Sign up here for Esports League tournament and club activities|
|Horizon Grand Prix||Design and build RC car powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology||SoCal Grand Prix Qualifiers and Regional race; Feb - Apr||Sign up here for HGP|
|Irvine Cubesat||Assemble, test and launch nanosatellite into low Earth orbit||IRVINE01 Launched Nov 2018; IRVINE02 Launched Dec 2018; IRVINE03 in progress||Sign up here; Please contact Mr. Bell for more info (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|OC Maker Challenge||Create a prototype using 3D printing; video; display board||Deliverables due early April||Submit project idea here|
|C-STEM Linkbots||Program linkbots to move around a mat and perform tasks||RoboPlay Competition event at Uni in May (TBD)||Sign up HERE for when it opens again (TBD)|
|Rescue Robotics||Build drone or ground robot for rescue operations||May competition event||Sign up HERE for Rescue Robotics
Video from a previous competition
|Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design||Retrofit a Power Wheels Jeep to be autonomous and self-navigating using sensors, mechatronics and programming||Performance challenge event in May||Sign up HERE for Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design (TBD)|
|GAMA Build-A-Plane Aviation Design Challenge||Use flight simulator software to design most efficient plane (all on computer)||Feb - Apr; deliverables due Apr||Sign up Aviation Design Challenge (TBD)|
|CyberPatriot||Team of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company (all on computer)||Sep - Dec virtual through Irvine Valley College|
|Uni Startup||Develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset by launching startups||Feb Diamond Challenge Regional Pitch event|
* All UNITE projects are student-driven. Students decide the level of commitment, time and effort to put forth. Student teams determine work schedule, team organization and what they want to get out of the project. Project work typically occurs after school several days a week and runs from October through April.
Internships & Work-based Learning
UNITE students have been accepted for STEM jobs and internships at these companies:
Why STEM? Why Now?
Source: Brookings Institute, Digitization and the American Workforce
STEM/CTE/College Readings & Resources
Where the STEM Jobs Are (And Where They Aren't)
A New Kind of Tech Job Emphasizes Skills, Not a College Degree
Tons of $80,000 entry-level jobs going ignored -- cybersecurity jobs
Report: Narrowing the Jobs Gap
Success in the New Economy
Report: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020 (Georgetown University)
Learning to Think like A Computer
Learn Python: A Free Online Course from Google
The Ultimate List of Best Websites to Learn Coding
Computer Science video courses (thorough compilation)
Want to make an app? There are free classes for that
8 Industries Being Disrupted by Elon Musk and His Companies
Screen time boosts depression and suicidal behaviors in teens, especially girls
Free Microsoft e-books here
The Tiny Satellites Ushering in the New Space Revolution
Short Documentary A.I.-powered future of self-driving cars
Personal Growth & Development
How to Prepare for an Automated Future
How to Learn Faster and Better Than Everyone Else
4 Skills & 4 Steps to a successful career
UNITE offers 12 different STEM projects and programs for students to join, participate and work on beyond the school day.
Mike Rowe Works' S.W.E.A.T. Pledge -- core values UNITE instills in its students
PLTW releases report "The Power of Transportable Skills"
Article "Late to Launch: The Post-Collegiate Struggle"; Discusses the importance to getting work skills during academic years
Whitepaper Getting Real About Career Readiness: A Focus on Cross-Sector Competencies
Article: Career Ready High Schools
Article: What is Career and Technical Education, Anyways
Article "Here's how you can make yourself irreplaceable in tomorrow's job market"
Article "30 fast-growing, high-paying jobs that will dominate the digital workplace -- and the skills you'll need to get them"
UNITE takes on Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design project with Square One Network; sign up for project here
UniHigheSports finishes NASEF League of Legends tournament with 7-2 record losing in finals of West B playoff bracket; placing 4th in North America
UNITE Horizon Grand Prix team qualifies for SoCal Regional race in April
Uni Startup entrepreneurship team SchoolSmart takes 1st place in regional Diamond Challenge; they move on to Summit as semifinalist in global high school entrepreneurship competition
FREE summer STEM camp in Materials Science Engineering at UCI; Learn more and apply here
UNITE students earn 61 career skills certificates in CAD Mechanical Design, Engineering Principles, Foundations of Technology, and 21st Century Success Skills
Two students receive UNITE Gene Haas Scholarship for post-secondary pursuit of machining, manufacturing, engineering
UNITE team earns 3rd place at C-STEM OC Roboplay competition held at Uni HS
CyberPatriot summer camp at Coastline Community College; Beginners sign up here; Advanced sign up here
UNITE is recruiting 9th, 10th, 11th graders for next year's CyberPatriot cyber defense competition; Sign up here
Three UNITE students start STEM internship at Raise3D in Irvine
UNITE entrepreneurship team selected for LaunchX Global Demo Day at MIT
UNITE student gets accepted for STEM internship at Iris Technology in Irvine
UCI ASPIRE 2-week Summer Program in engineering & computer science; learn more & apply here
Brookings report Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places
UNITE offers students access to CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ certification at no cost -- students sign up here
UNITE selected for Amazon Future Engineer program to promote computer science careers
Opinion piece "What Straight-A Students Get Wrong"; How academic excellence is not a strong predictor of career excellence
Hydrogen Grand Prix project now taking signups; build and race RC car powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology; Sign up here for HGP; RC experience preferred but not required
Interview with Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe on America's Skills Gap Problem here -- food for thought Uni High Esports team to compete in spring season NASEF High School League of Legends Tournament; Season goes from Jan through Apr; sign up here Sign up here for EA sports NHL19 Esports high school tournament by Feb. 10th; played on Xbox One console only GAMA Build-a-Plane Aviation Design Challenge project now taking signups; Done entirely on computer using flight simulator software; Sign up here Scholarships for post-secondary manufacturing, engineering and technical fields; For graduating HS seniors only; Apply here by Feb 1st.
Newt Gingrich article "A huge week for the future of the commercial space economy, the US and more than 200 kids"; Highlights remarkable achievement of Irvine CubeSat STEM Program
IRVINE01 successfully launched and deployed into low Earth orbit on Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle aboard It's Business Time mission; watch recorded live stream here
IRVINE02 successfully launched and deployed on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on December 3rd 10:34am aboard SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California; That makes two high school satellites up in space in 3 years of project work Two Uni students awarded Dragon Challenge grand prize for community service project teaching coding to kids at local homeless and domestic violence shelters; check it out here
Uni High Esports team finishes inaugural season of NASEF High School Overwatch Scholastic Tournament with 5-2 record; learn more about tournament here
CyberPatriot student cybersecurity competition; sign up here to join a UNITE team; monthly training sessions at IVC on Saturdays 9a-1p; see info video here
UNITE offers CompTIA IT Fundamentals exam right on site free of charge; next exam Saturday Oct 20th 9-10:30am; refundable $10 reservation fee required; Sign up here
ChickTech OrangeCounty free program to promote girls in STEM; Fill out application to be nominated here
Sign up for VEX Robotics Competition here; intermediate or advanced VEX experience required
UNITE recruiting team members for Esports League; Fill out application here
Irvine CubeSat now accepting applications here; contact Mr. Bell (MatthewBell@iusd.org) for more info; Irvine CubeSat STEM Program presentation video
Be part of Uni baseball team as data analytics assistant coach -- sign up here
Article: How to Get the Most out of College (and school in general)
Article: 2018 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
59 UNITE students earn nearly 100 industry certificates in CAD Mechanical Design, Principles of Engineering, 21st Century Success Skills, and IT Fundamentals in 2017-18
Earn 6 units IVC college credit by completing UNITE's Intro to Engineering Design class; see details below
UNITE eager to work with companies wanting to take on students for summer internships; please contact us above
Cal Poly SLO engineering student shares how UNITE prepared him for college
UNITE student shares success story on the impact of internships during high school
Free IVC CTE Summer Bridge Classes -- info and register here
UNITE proudly offers Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship for postsecondary pursuit of manufacturing/engineering; UNITE seniors only apply here by May 9
Article "High-Paying Trade Jobs Sit Empty, While High School Grads Line Up For University"
Article "Top Job Skills Schools Aren't Teaching Well"
Gallup survey shows internships, skills training, soft skills and mentoring are most helpful in student workplace preparedness
UNITE initiative to implement industry certifications and internships/apprenticeships featured in Irvine World News
Uni High ranks #19 Best STEM High School according to US News & World Report; #4 in CA; tops in Orange County
Article "Students need help with career readiness" -- a UNITE core competency
UNITE team starts company Mealmate to reduce food waste; wins LaunchX SoCal Demo Day pitch competition and earns invitation to MIT International Demo Day
Irvine CubeSat STEM Program awarded NASA-sponsored launch through NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative for second year in a row
Irvine CubeSat featured in Irvine Standard
Free Summer Observational Astronomy Workshop at UCLA; application here
Summer paid internship in machining/manufacturing Boeing Portland Tech Prep Program; juniors & seniors only; apply here by April 15
Article "Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking"
Best news!! UNITE receives IPSF Mega Innovative Grant for Implementing Industry Certifications and Internships/Apprenticeships into Engineering Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathway
Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at Blizzard Entertainment; info and apply here by Tues 3/20
Article "The Value of Soft Skills in the Labor Market"
Article "Tech companies should stop pretending AI won't destroy jobs"
Irvine CubeSat named Outstanding STEM Program by Orange County Engineering Council
Summer program Johns Hopkins Engineering Innovations @ CSUF; costs $; need-based scholarships available; apply here
STEM 101: Intro to Tomorrow's Jobs
Solar Rollers project now has openings -- sign up below by Feb 14
Build-a-Plane Aviation Design Challenge project taking signups now -- see below
2-week summer program in Engineering & Computer Science at UCI ASPIRE -- apply here by March 2
Applications now open for 3-week Google Computer Science Summer Institute -- seniors only; apply here by March 2
UNITE to offer industry certifications for students enrolled in engineering courses
Article "The Case Against College"; highlights importance of taking the right courses at the right price
Irvine CubeSat selected for NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative -- see all selectees here
Article "California has millions for good-paying jobs for workers without bachelors' degree"
Now accepting project proposals for OC Maker Challenge -- submit proposal here
Learn more about IVC Engineering program
Free STEM conference for girls March 3 & 4 in Tustin; sign up here if you want to be nominated
UNITE CyberPatriot team earns Platinum tier (highest 30% in Division) for Round 1 & 2; now onto State Round
One week summer SPACE CAMP -- apply for scholarship here; DUE Jan 15
Valuable Work Skills for 2018 -- read here
Most Coveted Job Skills for 2018 are STEM Skills -- read here
UNITE receives PPG Innovative Classroom Grant
Uni students take 2nd and 3rd place in Congressional App Challenge
A new report study suggests many associate degree and certificate programs offer valuable routes to middle class
Article suggests not all STEM majors created equal in terms of employment prospects
Earth System Science student creates website for Energy Conservation
Brookings report indicates jobs of all types now require more digital skills
UNITE now proudly sponsors MIT Launch an entrepreneurship and startups program
New study finds screen time boosts depression and suicide behavior in teens, especially girls
Irvine CubeSat article Second year of Irvine’s high school satellite launch program gets help from NASA
Irvine Cubesat featured in OC Register "Irvine high school students ready their mini satellite for launch into orbit"
Several UNITE students working summer STEM internships and jobs at local tech companies
Report CTE in High School: Does it improve student outcomes?
Free self-paced edX course Becoming an Entrepreneur
UNITE featured in article "How one platform is launching student careers in high school"
NASA Selects Irvine CubeSat for future mission launch; see all selectees in this official NASA announcement
Newly released IUSD Engineering Pathway flyer
UNITE H2AC Team featured in 3 automotive magazines Road & Track, Car & Driver, Popular Mechanics
Four UNITE seniors receive Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship for postsecondary pursuit of manufacturing/engineering
Uni High ranks #19 Best STEM High School 2017 according to US News & World Report
World Educational Robot (WER) project signup
UNITE awarded 3D printing package through GE Additive Education Program
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