What do robots, Thanksgiving, bottle rockets and philosophy have in common? They’re all subjects that Vancouver iTech Preparatory students showcased at their Demonstration of Learning on Jan. 21. Here’s what we learned:

  • Robots can be programmed to score a goal. Colin Willis built a 18” x 18” x 18” bot to compete in the Nothing but Net competition.
  • Jenessa Higgs researched the history of Thanksgiving for her AP Human Geography class and found that foods associated with the holiday have changed over time. No sweet potatoes on the menu at the first Thanksgiving? Hard to imagine!
  • What’s cooler than a mobile phone? How about a mobile laptop designed using nanotechnology and OLEDs? The model would be lighter and easier to transport than traditional laptops, says creator Darlene Gray.
  • Two-liter bottles are good for more than just soft drinks. Josie Siewert and Rachel S. used bottles, balsa wood, duct tape, epoxy and quarters to construct a bottle rocket that launched 20 meters in the air on the first attempt and 84.79 meters on the second try.
  • Colton Sexton’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” for his Philosophy of Science class gives participants two different storylines—and a multitude of decisions—to navigate as a survivor of a fictional plane crash.
  • Carlos Mercado’s self-made combobulator helped him chart the stars, pointing toward a constellation and gibbous waxing moon. Next up: tracking a planet.
  • Accurately drawing what you see takes more than just artistic talent. In a college-level observational drawing class, Sydney Fox-Middleton learned a technique for figuring out proportions in complex scenes and arrangements.

Now accepting applications to iTech Prep

Students who will be in grades six through 12 during the 2016-17 school year may apply online before Friday, March 4, 2016, at 4 p.m. PST. The program is free for accepted students, but an application and attendance at an open house are required for consideration. Selections are made via a blind lottery.

Transportation is provided for in-district students to and from their neighborhood school to iTech Prep.

Acceptance letters will be mailed on Friday, March 11. Those who are not accepted to the program may be placed on a waiting list.

Open houses

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Parsley Community Center, 4100 Plomondon St.
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Parsley Community Center, 4100 Plomondon St.

Interested parents and students must attend one open house in order to submit an application.

For more information on applying

  • Visit the iTech page or school website.
  • Email itech@vansd.org.
  • Contact iTech Prep’s middle school counselor or program coordinator at 360-313-5200 or high school counselor or program coordinator at 360-992-6021.