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Off the record: DTech seniors show off final project at Prototype Trade Show

Taylor Schmidt
On the evening of May 16, 2024, students of DTech Dynasty six, gathered in Foothill Technology High School’s (Foothill Tech) Spirito Hall displaying their end of the year projects and products. Displayed here is a series of products that represent a small portion of DTech and what each student is capable of creating. These particular products represent different aspects of Ventura and showcase the beauty of the town. Along with this, the products are being sold to support DTech and the students that create items such as these.


Sutton Jones ‘24, David Cahue ‘24 and Reed Johnson ‘24 are the students that created the product Calabasas, a record player inspired by the company Audi. Each team is required to present a pitch of their product, a prototype production model, a rapid prototype of the early model, a custom display stand to prop their product on, an advertisement poster and a process book, as part of their project. (Taylor Schmidt)

On May 16, 2024, class of 2024 DTech Academy Capstone students pitched and presented handmade products, in Trade Show format, for their senior project at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech). The event was held in Spirito Hall, where students, parents and faculty were able to peruse the display tables while students pitched their product.

The project allowed seniors to use a brand of their choice to design a product that would emulate the brand. They then had to make their product fit a certain product type, this year being a 7” record player. Taking the whole semester to complete their project, seniors, along with their model, presented a rapid prototype, a custom display stand, advertisement poster and process book detailing the journey of their product. 

Along with the display table they created, seniors also made custom shirts and stickers of their makeshift brand, simulating their product as a part of an actual company. Some of the brands emulated included LEGO, Doc Martens, KTM and a myriad of car makes.

We want to create the next workforce … people who can take what they love and monetize it and build a career out of that, and these programs give students the skills that they can use for that.”

— Sabrena Rodriguez, Board of Education

The big challenge of the final was having to pitch the product during the Trade Show. Throughout the night, many parents, and faculty alike, came through and talked with the students as they gave a short 60-second speech detailing the design and the project planning as if their audience was actually considering buying the product as a paying customer. 

The lengthy process of creating and designing a final product had seniors using everything they have learned over the years of being in DTech. Mateo Shallenberger ‘24 said, “It was really cool to see what [everyone’s ideas] developed into … everything would be very conceptual and then we wouldn’t get to actually chase that idea, but this time we got to use the whole system.”

Karen Aldakhel ‘24, Karen Estrada ‘24 and Erik Sanchez Moreno ‘24 are the students that designed a record player with a LEGO man presenting their project. Along with their main piece they also created their own aprons, stickers, and labels to help pitch their product to their views. (Taylor Schmidt)

The event held bittersweet tones as this was the final project in the program for the seniors. Karen Aldakhel ‘24 said, “I’m just kind of happy and a little sad it’s over, but this project has taught me a lot of teamwork skills and time management so I think it was worth it in the end.”

DTech and career and technical education (CTE) pathways alike can prove to be very beneficial for students, as Chief Innovation Officer Rene Rickard commented, “If you look at statewide data for graduation rates, students that complete CTE pathways tend to graduate at higher levels because they have a connection to the school and they have something they’re doing and feel passionate about.”

The Trade Show allowed DTech students the opportunity to see their efforts manifest into success. The event closed as seniors reflected on the skills and valuable experience they have gained by being in the program, and what to take with them in the future. 

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About the Contributors
Bailey Basurto
Bailey Basurto, Reporter
"You can't blame yourself, you just have to blame Mercury, cause it's just hella in retrograde." - Taylor Swift
Taylor Schmidt
Taylor Schmidt, Photographer
I'm a first-year photographer who enjoys spending time with my family, friends and sleeping in.

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