Engineering Program Builds to New Heights

Civil Engineering Teacher Rachel Peak poses wearing one of the hard hats available for students during the class.
Civil Engineering Teacher Rachel Peak poses wearing one of the hard hats available for students during the class.

(COVINGTON, La.) The Engineering Department at St. Paul’s School seems to keep on growing, with even more classes added to their curriculum this year.

With a total of five different classes rounding out the curriculum, Engineering Program Chair Rachel Peak is excited to see where it is going.

One of the new classes is Gateway to Technology (GTT), which is now the pre-freshman science class.

“(GTT) gives (students) a great idea of what science field they would want to go into. They have the medical side, the science, and the engineering side,” said Peak.

In ninth grade, students interested in continuing in the Engineering curriculum can take Intro to Engineering. Sophomores can take Principals of Engineering, and juniors and seniors can take either Digital Electronics or Civil and Architectural Engineering.

“Engineering is a very broad field, with many different options and many different paths you can take and major in,” said Peak while explaining why the program was so diverse.

“These classes go into depth so that when the student goes to choose a major, they can choose what they want to go into. These classes offer very good preparation,” Peak said.

Peak, whose degree is in Civil Engineering, worked in the field for four years and now teaches the class.

Two Civil Engineering Students work on their first project of the year. They attempt to build a house.
Two Civil Engineering students work on their first project of the year, attempting to build a house.

Civil Engineering student Stephen Schwartz , who hopes to be an engineer, took the class to help him prepare.  He expects “to have fun, and to build a lot of things.”

Peak is very satisfied with the department, but she is always looking for more opportunities to expand. In fact, Peak is trying to get another class added to the curriculum next year, called Capstone. At the beginning of the year, Capstone students choose a project and work on it all year.

Peak wants to tell all students that they shouldn’t be afraid of the math and wants everyone to come out and try engineering. Soon, Peak and other members of the department plan to start up a new Engineering Club that will compete later in the school year.

“Please listen to the daily announcements, because we would love to have everyone come and try something new,” Peak tells students.

Peak does have a bit of a preference for Civil Engineering over other engineering subjects, because that was her major field of study. In addition to Engineering, she also teaches Physics.

(photos by Adam Satterlee)