Laser Cut Earnings!

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Roxana Lopez wearing round Bay Area earrings.

This is just one of the first pair made and after the first day a teacher asked if she can have a hold of some for herself. Designed by Cynthia Herrera, a junior at Castlemont High, wanted to create a pair of vintage looking earrings that looked authentic and classical. This won’t be the last design but hopefully the beginning to a new fashion line.

SUDA is not just an organization at school.

SUDA is a family forever.

My SUDA Experience

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I have been a SUDA student since my freshman year at Castlemont high school. In that time I have witnessed great things occur such as field trips, waste audits and changes in my community. My first field trip with SUDA was in 9th grade, I remember feeling a little nervous because this was my first school camping trip. My biggest worry was being embarrassed or not making friends, especially since I was new to the school. I ended up forgetting about my worries, There was no worrying about how my family was going to afford to pay the bills or if I was going to make it home safe every day, For those 3 days, it was only me, 20 other students and the environment.  I remember the first night there not hearing any gunshots or sirens made me nervous, I was familiar to those sounds. In the city, the movement and chaos is like chirping birds. Our form of nature calls. Well the moral of this story is I enjoyed myself and wanted to stay a part of the program. I found myself being the first one to turn in their permission slips for field trips. The hands on learning and experiences I was receiving made me want more. I became more involved in my community as a result of the SUDA course. My 10th grade year, I was a SUDA intern who worked in the garden and planted trees around the community. I am now a senior at Castlemont and I continue to see the impact SUDA has on the students and the Castle community. SUDA has become another family for me.

Start Building!

Posted on 4,874 CommentsPosted in FabLab

The fear of using construction tools is always within us, but when it’s your turn to help your peers, there is no choice. We have been working in the fablab, learning how to figure out the measurement of different shapes. At first, it was scary and my first thought was, “Why am I here? Why would I do this?” I did not want to participate in this project, and I was scared of using the machines. The next days that followed, I forgot that I did not want to be there. My goal was to finish and do well at what the teacher was asking us to do. I accepted the responsibility and worked with my group. I also made new friends and have had fun working in the fablab.

Now, I’ll tell with you some of the things that we were working on. I hate pushing heavy wood in the table machine because I’m not so strong. But I enjoyed it when my peers helped me. The fun part was when we were measuring the plywood because we made mistakes; we tried to figure out how wide and long it would be. We asked for help and the teacher explained to us how to find out the length and width. The hardest part of this project was to decide what design we were going to use. All of us had different ideas and sketches of the bookshelf and it was hard to decide because they were all good. Now, we are building a bookshelf that will have our initials big and thick in the sides to support the shape of it. The next picture shows when we were making the choice of what bookshelf sketch we were going to do.

Camping to Point Bonita

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Group Picture


As I get ready for the camping trip tomorrow, I want to reflect back on our last camping trip.

Last winter we attended a camping trip to Point Bonita, we were in company of the beautiful nature for three days and two nights.

Here are just some insights form students  on their experience.

Chris Arrington, said, “What I want to brag about is the amazing views and places my Naturalist took us to. The most memorable one for me was going into the lighthouse. The trail to the lighthouse for me was terrifying. I have the innate ability to think everything will go wrong. Add my fear of heights the trail was nightmare for me. Oh, I’m sure the trail was very secure and when I think about it, it was a very exhilarating experience. Through sheer force of will, I was able to go through a dark tunnel and cross a suspension bridge that hangs over the cliff to reach the light tower. The feeling going through me when I reach my destination was a feeling I probably won’t experience for a long time. Watching the waves crash into the cliff as a sense of serene envelopes your mind as you gaze to this awesome view. When I leave this place I know I want to come back and experience it again.” Despite the fact that Arrington was scared of heights, he had the courage to cross the bridge,  he also says “A lesson I gained from this visit is that nature has a beauty that nothing can compete against. That to breathe in the fresh air as you watch the ocean is something to hold dear.”

For some, it was their first time camping. For others, it was their first time being in a group with “strangers”. Some didn’t know what to say, they felt strange being in a group with a naturalist and having to memorize names as if it was the first day at school. Vearak witnessed this, but he made friends at the end of the day. Vearak states happily, “I did fun activities and made new friends.” The activities at Point Bonita included nature hikes, night hikes, sand crab monitoring, team challenges, and even being taught outside of a classroom environment.

When we were sand crab monitoring, people were surprised about their appearance. Many people said that they were probably the “creepiest” things they’ve ever seen. They said that they looked like “moving moles with legs under them.”

Camping has  been an amazing opportunity for any student.

SUDA is not just an organization at school.

SUDA is a family forever.

Fab Lab Experiences

Posted on 7,622 CommentsPosted in Blog, FabLab

My name is Cintia Prado. I’m a senior at Castlemont High School. We are making bookshelves to promote reading and literacy at school. We also want the school to look prettier. Reading is important because it helps you improve your vocabulary skills and it gives you knowledge.


We all work together as the group that we are. We honestly might  struggle a lot but we have the support from our teacher.


Our design is based off a round bookshelf. We found this design interesting because we don’t have any similiar to this one at school.




A few weeks later:

I have enjoyed the Fab Lab because of our teacher. Our instructor, Danny,  taught us everything that we know so far. We now always try our best to figure out the things we need to do next and that’s something that he also taught us. He would make us think and try to find out on our own and then he would tell us and correct us. I think that’s something very important because he’s not just telling us the answers. He’s teaching every single one of us how to do things on our own.

Now, I want to talk to you about our personal shelf. We started looking for designs, something that we wanted to create. Honestly, our group’s design doesn’t have a lot of details but we have had a little bit of difficulties. Our book shelf design is formed by semicircles, and we had to figure out the correct measurements to see how big they were going to be based on the bookshelf’s height. One of the things that we had trouble making was the compass. We had to create a compass to cut the semicircles, and finding the right measurements wasn’t that easy. The compass that we created is the one that my classmate is using in the picture above.That’s how we were cutting the semicircles.

Now, I find it more interesting to go to the Fab Lab. I think that it’s awesome how we have the opportunity to do something totally different from normal school things at least once a week. Is like taking a break from school. Yes, some things might not be that easy but I also enjoy being there.



(Book shelf under construction)

My Fab Lab Experience

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Hi my name is Pablo Gracia and I have been working in the fab lab for a couple of weeks now. What I have experienced so far in the fab lab is knowing the safety rules on using all the different types of tools and equipment. The number one thing I learn was to always use safety glasses and watch where i place my hands. I have been working on my bookshelf with my group and I believe that to be a good craftsman and bee good with creating thing u have to be very good in math. Thats one of the number one thing that me and my group are struggling a little bit with. We still haven’t decided what teacher we will give our bookshelf to. My group members are Raul and Cesar and we be putting lots of work to make sure its the best one we make out of everyone else in the class.

Fab Lab

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Hi, I am Cesar Uribe When my group and I decided  to create our book shelf we chose one that was very simple because we wanted it to be easy to do. At the time, we didn’t know that we had to find the measurements of the book shelves and that  our book shelf had to be perfectly visualized and scaled. We used math to try to find the measurements and scale it. By adding, dividing, and multiplying we struggled to to find them. It was kind of boring, but my friends made my days in the fab lab more exciting. Then, after studying the dimensions and learning how to use the equipment in the fab lab, we began to scale our bookshelf on the floor of the fab lab. We used the floor to  use it as visualization for our bookshelf to create an scale for the bookshelf. This is our book shelf.


Urban Forestry and Orchards

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SUDA planted three orchards in 2012-13, one on campus, one at Elmhurst Community Prep/Alliance and another at Stonehurst totaling over 60 trees. In 2013-14 SUDA will plant additional street trees at these three sites.  Also, SUDA is developing a plant and tree propagation center and nursery.