At the beginning of the school year, construction at Downey High School was finally completed with new buildings including the D building, where the Project Lead the Way Engineering program is underway. The program includes classes such as Physics, Tech Core, Automotive Technology, Aerospace Engineering, and Robotics. All of these brand-new classes have state-of-the-art technology that have attracted forward-thinking students from both Downey and Warren High School.
With the addition of a new building, the program has attracted a teacher from Warren High School along with several Warren students.
During the construction and revitalization at Downey, principal Mr. Houts, who previously worked with Yamasaki at Warren, offered him a job.
“After Mr. Houts showed me the building, I said, ‘When can I start?’” engineering teacher Mr. Yamasaki said.
Although Yamasaki’s students were surprised at the situation, his moving was inevitable.
Senior Hannah Rodriguez, a prior Warren student, can substantiate. “He [Yamasaki] told me that he was looking into a possible position at Downey before Christmas; by January, we knew it was truly happening,” Rodriguez stated.
The transition, however, was easy for a lot of students. Considering their interest to pursue a career in engineering, they did anything they could to continue their pathway.
“I was new to Warren anyway so I never really felt like it was my home,” senior Belen Almaraz, who is also president of the Aerodynamics Club, said. “My closest friends were all a part of the engineering circuit, so I really didn’t mind leaving at all; it actually seems likes the admin here really appreciates our hard work.”
Outside the classroom, the ex-Bears have adapted to Downey’s atmosphere.
“The people here are just so much nicer, and it’s really cool,” senior Daniella Figueroa said. “I never met any administrators at Warren, and it’s really cool seeing Mr. Houts every other day.”
Technology in the building includes four 3-D printers, 60-inch touchscreen computers, and Gigabots created by Robotics students. “It’s been mind-blowing to work with equipment of the highest end and it’s definitely worth a transfer from Warren,” Hannah Rodriguez, 12, said.
These students proved to make a transition from Warren Bear to Downey Viking to not only work in engineering, but to strive for more from their dream career.