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DPEA takes on the world—and wins major grant

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By Cole Smith| DPEA Press RelationsDPEA

 February 12, 2013

After competing against dozens of worthy organizations from around the world, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) emerged as one of a handful of winners of a $10,000 grant from the Procter & Gamble Alumni Association. P&G selected DPEA as one of this year’s winners for the project-based science education program’s success in teaching students how to effectively run a business.

“The Engineering Academy operates like a small engineering business that is run by students,” the award announcement noted. “Most of the purchasing, marketing, accounting, presentation, grant writing, public relations, and information technology management responsibilities are handled by students.”

It was that student grant-writing team that helped procure the grant for DPEA. Gary Simpson, a former P&G employee and current DPEA Foundation Board member, brought the opportunity to the grant-writing team’s attention. “After reading the grant,” said Simpson, “I offered a couple of thoughts so I could help direct the team answer some of the questions that were being asked”.

After reviewing a list of previous recipients of the P&G grant, the team had reservations at first. “We initially wondered if we even had a shot at something this big,” said Daniel Gay, lead writer for the grant application.

But the team did its research and made a convincing case in crafting the winning grant application. “I think it’s an encouraging sign that there are other people out there who have never heard of the program before and are able to buy in to our vision,” said Gay, a senior who is also working on the DPEA First Robotics team. “It really does mean a lot to me to have won the grant. I was glad to be able to do something to help the academy and make my mark.”

DPEA was one of only two American organizations that earned the award for 2013. They joined such international grant recipients as the Beyond Relief Foundation, which educates children in Northern Haiti in business management; the Fundacion Cambio Creativo, a community education center in Panama for impoverished children; and the Elements Foundation in Haryana, India, which teaches underserved youth how to become employable.

The P&G grant joins several other grants from a wide variety of sources, including Mobil, that DPEA has received recently.

For more information on the grant and on any aspect of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy at Dos Pueblos High School, please visit


About the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy:

The Santa Barbara School District, in collaboration with the Santa Barbara County Education Office Regional Occupation Program (ROP), determined that our community would benefit from the presence of an engineering program designed for students at the secondary level. The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) was established in 2002 at Dos Pueblos High School, located at 7266 Alameda Avenue in Goleta, California. The DPEA offers a three-year integrated curriculum that covers physics, engineering, sculpture, design, and mechatronics. The capstone senior-level ROP Robotics course, which is supported by the Santa Barbara County Education Office, was added in 2005. The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy has a broad base of community support, including UCSB, Santa Barbara City College, and local industry partners. The DPEA is a public school program, housed in the Elings Center for Engineering Education on the Dos Pueblos campus,  that is open to all students in the Santa Barbara District. For more information on the Engineering Academy, please see

About the DPEA Foundation:

Engineering Academy parents established the DPEA Foundation in the fall of 2007 and launched a Capital Campaign to raise $3,000,000 for a new facility. The new Elings Center for Engineering Education opened in the fall of 2011. The DPEA Foundation mission is to enhance the quality of the DPEA learning experience and to facilitate the growth of the Academy by raising the necessary funds and by creating and managing systems and structures to support the program.  For more information on the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation, please see

About FIRST Robotics:

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people together to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience and a lot of fun. Each year the competition reaches more than 60,000 students on over 2,600 teams in competitions held across the USA and in other parts of the world. The teams come from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the U.K., and every state in the U.S. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events: the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines. For more information on FIRST Robotics, please see



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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
DPEA takes on the world—and wins major grant