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Engineering Pathways at Lake Stevens School District – Meet two students


March 6, 2012

Andrei Arevalo

Look into Mr. Shanholtzer’s Engineering Design & Development (CTE Capstone class) and you’ll find some amazing work being done by students. Here’s a look at two.

Colby Henderson, Junior: Henderson is well on his way to completing a quarter scale recreation of the WWII vintage P51 Mustang airplane. The inception of this project began last spring and he hopes to have it completed and on display as soon as June.

The designing phase of the project took place using Rhinoceros 3-D modeling software. This software is used to design, prototype, engineer, analyze and manufacture everything from airplanes to jewelry. Henderson scanned the model plane and scaled it up to make a one quarter size reproduction of the aircraft.

After analyzing the metrics and making adjustments the plane was laid out flat in individual pieces and sent to the vinyl printer. From printer the pattern was laid out on cabinet grade plywood and pieces were individually cut by Henderson using a jigsaw. The cutting of over 50 individual pieces has taken approximately 70 hours of class time.

The individual pieces of plywood are now taking shape as they are glued together to form the plane. Upon completion the plane will include a propeller, tail, mock engine; the frame will be covered and painted to resemble the actual WWII vintage fighter plane.

He began taking CTE classes as a ninth grader enrolling in Engineering and Design and the following year Aerospace Engineering. In those classes he worked on aerospace projects and his work included calculating the lift of an aircraft, designing an aircraft using RHINO 3-D software, and constructing a model of his projects.

What Henderson loves about CTE classes is the creativity, hands-on applications, “I can go from concept to design to holding my project in my hands. These classes have opened my eyes; I now know that I can build anything I want.”

He turns out for football and is currently working out for next season. He favors hands-on classes like engineering design and development, video production and photography, and has a high interest in history. At home he is one of five children and has a menagerie of pets including an albino corn snake that resides in the dining room. In his spare time he likes to hang out with friends and helps his dad on the family project—the building of a Glastar two-seater airplane!

Upon graduation Henderson is thinking about college options with a focus on engineering or joining the military.

Andrei Arevalo: Senior Andrei Arevalo is a big thinker. He is in his senior year at LSHS and is immersed in creating a magnet-motion project that is a particle accelerator. He thinks about the possibilities, like high speed transportation that can go the speed of light.

A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams.

The ultimate goal of Arevalo’s project this year is to build a model train and tracks, and using magnets and the particle accelerator, propel the train above the tracks.

He has taken CTE classes since 10th grade including Principles of Engineering, Introduction to Engineering and Design, and now Engineering Design and Development including his Capstone project.

In Principles of Engineering Arevalo shared that knowledge in math and physics were important components to the development of robotics that could respond to stimuli independently. Among the projects completed in the first two years of CTE classes was a boat made from cardboard (Arevalo’s included an outrigger) that could survive the water test of making it from one end of the High School pool to the other, and a bridge built to scale that could support a specific amount of weight.

Working in teams is what he liked best and least about his CTE class experiences, “When you work with teams lots of ideas are contributed to help solve problems and create solutions—but it takes more time to think things out.”

When working independently he said, “It takes less time, but I learn by failure—I definitely have to be prepared to fail if I want to be successful with this independent project.”

Arevalo was motivated to start this project when he read about the Hadron Collider that is located in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator and is used for Nuclear Research to test predictions of different theories of particle physics and high-energy physics; a project that too has had to solve failure problems along the way to success.

Colby Henderson

At school he has proven his thirst for learning and has taken advantage of the school’s Advanced Placement and University of Washington Extension classes. Classes he has taken this year include Physics, AP English, AP Statistics, UW French and Engineering and Design. He was captain of the varsity tennis team, secretary for the French Club, a member of the Hip Hop Team, Hi-Q team and Knowledge Bowl teams, and a cantor for his church.

In any free time he may have Arevalo enjoys exploring the web and watching videos that have to do with math and science. Upon graduation this year Arevalo hopes to attend either the University of Washington or Cal Poly and focus on civil engineering.


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