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Regional Occupational Program (ROP)

Contact Info

Mark Hodges
Senior Director,
Regional Occupational Program

Jim Howes
Assistant Director,
Regional Occupational Program

Michelle Cuartilon
Department Office Coordinator,
Regional Occupational Program

Main phone #: (831) 466-5760
Fax: (831) 466-5769

Visit the Regional Occupational Programs web site:

Division Pages
Student & Personnel Services: Regional Occupational Program (ROP)

ROP Step Up Classes for Middle School Students:
A Big Hit!

ROP Bicycle Maintenance class - three girls working on bicycle

Santa Cruz County Middle School students were offered Career Technical Education through ROP Step-Up classes at five different high school sites during May and June. For many, it was the first time to test out academic theory with hands on projects in Engineering, Bike Repair and Maintenance, Construction and Solar, Artistic Welding and Animation. In addition, this year, high school students attended class each day to mentor the students, thus contributing to an easier transition to high school.

Engineering @ San Lorenzo Valley High School

Kicking off the season, David Grant, Engineering, Construction and Aquaponics instructor at San Lorenzo Valley High School, opened the door of Engineering to twenty-two eager students. Projects included learning how to wire a solar car, learning about the physics of water displacement, and the capstone: exploring how electricity is conducted. A new tool, Circuit Scribe, enabled students to draw circuits and test electricity flow. Some students became so excited that they immediately began designing in their minds how they could use this process to create a light switch next to their bed by drawing on their walls!

ROP Engineering class - group picture

ROP Engineering class - students test clay boats

ROP Engineering class - student soldering circuit board

Construction Tech @ Watsonville High School

ROP Construction instructor, Evan Clark, at Watsonville High School, taught students how to design and make a jewel box including routing the edges, designing the top and inscribing their design with a CNC (computer numerical control) machine.

ROP Construction Technology class - group picture

ROP Construction Technology class - student working with wooden vice

ROP Construction Technology class - student sanding

Bike Repair & Maintenance @ Pajaro Valley High School

ROP Bicycle Technology instructor Steve Hess offered Bike Repair and Maintenance to students at Pajaro Valley High School. Students learned how to care for their bikes and had a daily dose of bike riding inspiration. By mid-week, the students were testing their work: fixing a flat, chain and brake maintenance, and truing wheels by riding around the campus. One student had never been on a bike with gears and front and rear brakes, and after that she asked every day when they could ride the bikes. Students learned workplace skills and gained a sense of independence and self-reliance.

ROP Bicycle Maintenance class - Steve Hess consults student with bike adjustment

ROP Bicycle Maintenance class - students install tube in wheel

ROP Bicycle Maintenance class - students test ride bikes

Artistic Welding @ Soquel High School

At Soquel High, ROP instructor Laurie Hilderbrand helped students design a piece of art and were assisted by student alumni in using welding tools to make their piece come to life. Students created metal art and gained experience in an industry that is still very important in all phases of construction and manufacturing.

ROP Artistic Welding class - ROP instructor with students

ROP Artistic Welding class - student

ROP Artistic Welding class - students show-off welding masks

Animation @ Santa Cruz High School

The Animation class, taught by ROP instructor Seth Wilson, was the final offering of the 2015 ROP Summer Step-Up classes. Students learned the basics of animation creating Phenakitostoscopes as well as how to take their hand-drawn art and animate it in After Effects. Animated pixel art, stop motion animation and 3-D design were additional projects that the students were engaged with.

ROP Animation class - group picture

ROP Animation class - ROP instructor Seth consults student with video

ROP Animation class - ROP student edits video on computer

ROP Animation class

Cheers went up in the room over each class. Who would guess that students would be so happy to be at school during the summer! And... one thing that students stated when asked what else would have been good about the classes, they all said, "Have more of them!!!"

The classes were sponsored through the Santa Cruz County Office of Education Regional Occupational Program and coordinated by Karen Lemon, ROP Middle School Outreach Coordinator. Step Up classes are designed to help students learn more about career possibilities and courses that they can take in high school to support their academic pathway. The objective of the classes is to inspire students and allow them to use their innate skills and abilities to enhance their education. For more information about the ROP Middle School Career Exploration Program please contact Karen Lemon.

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Santa Cruz County Office of Education  |  400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  |  831.466.5600  |  Fax: 831.466.5607
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides quality educational programs and services to a diverse community.