The Engineering Program at Felix Varela High School focuses on empowering students with the knowledge of how to create and build their own solutions to problems, by a hands-on project-based approach. Based in Viper Makerspace students first begin by learning fundamentals of Engineering, Including Safety, Tools and Materials used. Then students move on to Design as they begin learning Computer Aided Design and Drafting Software. Students then begin to focus on Electronics and Robotics as they begin to program new functionality into their creation. In the final class of the program students have the opportunity, to develop a project from “Vision” to “Reality”. Working in teams to Design, Engineer, Manufacture, Construct, Test, Redesign, Test Again, and then produce a finished “Project”.
**This Course will also fulfill the students Fine Arts credit needed for Graduation Requirement**
Students in the program participate in SECME Olympiad, Ten80 National STEM League Racing Challenge, VEX Robotics, REC Foundation Aerial Drones and Maker Faire Miami.
We model our program after Makerspaces. We choose to focus on smaller individual projects and tools that we can store and use easily. Electronics and 3D printers take less space and allow for creative freedom.
See Our Program on “Viper Makerspace” at: http://vipermakerspace.edublogs.org/
Advantage for students that “YOUmake Miami “is in the West Kendall Regional Library, very close to Varela. As of now Felix Varela is the only public high school with a makerspace.
To learn more about this program visit their website at: https://www.mdpls.org/youmake/youmake.asp
Level 1: The first year of the program, Applied Engineering Technology I, serves as intro-course where students learn the fundamentals of engineering with an emphasis on mechanical and electrical engineering.
Certification: At the end of the class students take the RECF Pre-Engineering Certification exam. The class is structured with build projects following sections to either prove understanding of the lesson or to reflect the topic of the lesson.
Level 2: The second year of the program, Applied Engineering Technology II, provides students with opportunities to further their mastery of engineering-related math and science principles to design solutions to real world problems. The course also includes a more in-depth look into the relationship between technology and design with use Autodesk Fusion 360. Students are required monthly to design a 3D printed project. Which culminates into a functional micro drone.
Certification: At the end of the class student take Autodesk Certified User Exam for Fusion 360.
Level 3: The third year of the program, Applied Engineering Technology III, provides opportunities for students to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in engineering scenarios. This course focuses on use of computer science, electronics and robotics. Students will be working with Arduino micro controllers, programmable drones, and Vex Robotics. Students are required monthly to build a project with the use of micro controller.
Certification: At the end of the class students take RECF Robotics Certification exam.
Level 4: The final year of the program, Advanced Technology Applications, is a summation of all previous courses. Students choose a senior project approved by the teacher, and go through the engineering design process, as they design and prototype their project into a final product. This course will end in a presentation of their project in front of industry professionals.
For more information on Engineering Education visit Miami Dade Career & Technical Education (CTE) Preparing Students to Become Future Ready website at:
Mr. Richard P. Gonzalez
Certified in Engineering Technology, Mathematics & Physics Education