See what happens next.          


Contact Info:
Tinh Tran | STEM/Engineering Teacher | Director & Founder UNITE | CTE Mentor
University High School Room 401 | 4771 Campus Dr. | Irvine, CA 92612 | USA 
Phone: 949.936.7684 | Fax: 949.936.7609 | 
  @tinhtranUNITE       UNI_Technology&Engineering 




Uni students take 2nd and 3rd place in Congressional App Challenge

UNITE receives PPG Innovative Classroom Grant

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

Irvine CubeSat selected for NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative -- see all selectees here

Applications now open for Irvine CubeSat -- learn more and sign up below

Solar Rollers project starting soon -- learn more and sign up below

Earn 6 units IVC college credit by completing UNITE's Intro to Engineering Design class; see details below


What is UNITE?  

UNITE Brochure
UNITE stands for UNI_Technology&Engineering -- our schoolwide 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 welcome -- no experience or background required.  By working in a STEM project-based learning environment, students develop and practice 21st-century skills needed 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 whereby students learn by DOING, MAKING, and CREATING.  Our predisposition is to take action and make things happen instead of spending much time talking about it upfront.  We have a relentless pursuit of learning new things and a passion for work-based learning. 


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


Engineering Course Offerings


Intro to Engineering Design (IED)  
Principles of Engineering (POE)
UC Approved Yes; "g" elective Yes; "g" elective

Design Process; Technical Drawing/Sketching; Measurement & Statistical Analysis; 3D CAD Solid Modeling; Reverse Engineering

Energy & Power; Materials & Structures; Control Systems; Statistics & Kinematics (more physics and math)


CAD software; 3D printer; CNC mill; Engineering notebook; Calipers; Spreadsheet

VEX equipment; Breadboard; Microcontrollers; ROBOTC; Physics equipment


All work done in class; Very little homework

Most work done in class; Minimal homework

Student Readiness Consideration

Concurrent enrollment Math 1

Completion Math 1 with "C" or higher; Concurrent Math 2



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 the 2017-18 AP + PLTW Student Achievement opens on September 1, 2017.  Once a student submits an application, he or she will be evaluated each summer to determine eligibility.

College Articulation

You 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 University HS’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 Uni’s Intro to Engin 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 Offices 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)

Career Pathways Description (all sectors)

UNITE STEM Projects for 2017-18 **


Project Description Culminating event Sign up
Solar Rollers     Build a solar powered RC vehicle; race other schools May 2018 race event; Bay Area Sign up CLOSED
Hydrogen Horizon Automotive Challenge (H2AC) Design and build RC fuel cell car; perform renewable energy experiments April race contest event Sign up FULL
Irvine Cubesat Work with other high schools to assemble, program, test and launch Cubesat IRVINE01 Launch Jan/Feb 2018; IRVINE02 delivered Aug 2018 Apply here by Dec 15, 2017
OC Maker Challenge Create a prototype using 3D printing; video; display board Deliverables due March Submit a project idea
C-STEM Linkbots Program linkbots to move around a mat and perform tasks Saturday May 19, 2018 Competition event at Uni Sign up here by Dec 22, 2017
UCI Rescue Robotics Build drone or ground robot for rescue May competition event Project on hiatus for 2017-18
Video from previous competition
World Educational Robot Program robot rover to follow a map and perform tasks Sep 30 & Oct 1, 2017 Valencia HS Check back in April 2018
VEX Robotics Build clawbot April competition event Project on hiatus for 2017-18
GAMA Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge Use flight simulator software to design most efficient plane (all on computer) Deliverables due April Check back in Feb 2018
CyberPatriot Team of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company (all on computer) April through November; includes summer Sign up CyberPatriot
MIT Launch Develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset by launching startups USA West Regional Pitch event; March 18, 2018  


** 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 May.  


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
    STEM 101: Intro to Tomorrow's Jobs
    Pruning Dead-End Pathways in Career and Technical Ed.
    Shortage of Auto Mechanics Has Dealerships Taking Action 
    Ranking Best and Worst Jobs in US
    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)
    Top 25 Fastest-Growing Jobs in California (April 2016)
    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
    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
    Google's AlphaGo Defeats Chinese Go Master in Win for A.I.
    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 Partners & Supporters -- THANK YOU



















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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