Camarillo, Calif., July 2, 2013 – More than 30 high school students will show off newly acquired engineering skills in a Spaghetti Bridge Testing and Celebration, Wednesday, July 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the CSU Channel Islands (CI) campus.

The event is the culmination of a three-week summer academy that exposes Hueneme High School seniors to an intensive, pre-college engineering program on the CI campus. The academy, part of the Engineering Design Career Pathways (EDCP) program, is a collaborative effort of Hueneme High School, the Ventura County Regional P-16 Council, Ventura County Office of Education, Oxnard College and CSU Channel Islands. It is free to students and funded by grants.

The program aims to strengthen students’ skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and prepare them for higher education and careers in engineering, where demand and potential are high. Participants in the summer academy study a college-level physics curriculum, conduct vector and torque lab experiments, present results, build and test bridges, and take field trips to museums, universities and science-related sites. The activities help them gain critical engineering, problem-solving and communication skills they can apply in future studies and careers.

“I’d rather spend my summer here than just about anywhere else,” said Isaac Chavez, a rising Hueneme High School senior who hopes to study Computer Science at CI. “When you stop thinking about the numbers and you go do the projects, engineering can be a lot of fun – just building and breaking things.”

“This program has opened up a whole new view for kids as far as what they want to do in the future,” said Lindsay Burkhart, a Hueneme High Social Studies teacher. “Kids who never thought college possible now see it as reality.”

CI Associate Professor of Physics Gregory Wood, the summer academy’s lead instructor, exposes the students to challenging physics lessons and labs similar to those he uses with college freshmen.

“You know you have dedicated students when they choose to spend their summer learning physics,” he said. “We keep them motivated with a lot of hands-on activities, teamwork, and no tests or homework. They’re improving their written and oral communication skills, learning that they can be successful in challenging classes like physics and calculus, and showing more interest in going to college in technical areas like computer science or engineering.”

During the Culminating Celebration, students will complete bridges built with spaghetti, test the bridges’ strength in a competition, participate in a panel discussion with engineering professionals, tour the CI campus, and receive recognition for their achievements in an awards ceremony (see below for a detailed event schedule).

Students in the summer academy are participants in a rigorous, three-year program at Hueneme High School, designed to stimulate their interest and aptitude in engineering. They apply for the program as ninth graders.

“The EDCP program is an outstanding example of how our region’s K-12 schools, colleges, businesses and community groups are working together to create a brighter future for our students, who will be the driving force of our workforce and economy,” said CI President Richard Rush, who also serves as Chair of the P-16 Council.

“In three years since the program started, we’ve seen students make great leaps,” said Richard Duarte, Project Coordinator for the P-16 Council. “Ninety percent of all students who attend tell us they plan to enroll in a college or university. And almost all agree that they improved their writing, teamwork, and complex math and engineering problem-solving skills.”

The summer academy will be in session Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., until Wednesday, July 10. For more information, contact Gregory Wood, Associate Professor of Physics, at 805-437-3293 or; Melissa Remotti, Executive Analyst to the President, at 805-437-8410 or; or Richard Duarte, P-16 Project Coordinator, at 805-890-8373 or

EDCP Summer Bridge Program Culminating Celebration

July 10, 2013

8:30-9:30Aliso Hall 131/133Students put finishing touches on their bridges
9:00-10:15Campus11th grade students arrive and tour campus
9:30-10:15Aliso Hall 131Reception with engineering panel experts
10:15-11:20Aliso Hall 150Panel discussion with engineers (11th & 12th grade students)
11:30-12:45Treehouse CourtyardPresident's welcome & Bridge Breaking Ceremony
12:45-1:15Treehouse CourtyardLunch
1:15-2:00Treehouse CourtyardAwards presentation
2:30Vista Bus StopStudent buses depart

About the Ventura County P-20 Regional Council

The Ventura County P-20 Regional Council is a group of education, business, and community leaders working together to provide educational support, eliminate achievement gaps and advance college preparation and completion for students from pre-school through college in Ventura County. For more information, visit

# # #

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.