"The Art of Engineering"
26 Feb 2022 - 12:00pm

Amir Abo-Shaeer and Emily Shaeer are a husband-and-wife team working to transform education. Their particular passion is STEAM education and ensuring that young people are invited – and prepared – to shape these fields in the future. To that end, they founded the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA) in 2002. It is a four-year pathway program in a public high school in California that serves over 400 students annually, 50% of whom are young women. In the context of this program, students use specialized technology, tools and equipment to design and create kinetic art. For their capstone project, students create ambitious, interactive, exhibits that have been featured in professional galleries including the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI).

Currently, Amir and Emily are working to establish a first-of-its-kind Center for Creative Learning on their high school campus. This new facility will house original exhibits designed and fabricated by students in a large gallery, and it will enable a re-envisioning of the way that students’ time during the school day is harnessed for authentic community engagement and contribution.

Amir graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Education. Before becoming a teacher, Amir was a mechanical engineer working on research and development in academia, the aerospace industry, and the telecommunications industry. Amir was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010, and is the recipient of numerous education awards.

Emily graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and a Master’s degree in Education. She also graduated from UC Irvine with a Master’s degree in English. Emily began teaching in 2001 and has taught Language Arts, Student Leadership, and English as a Second Language in grades 7-12. She works as the Program Director and Development Manager for the DPEA, and is strongly committed to being a change agent in education.