Principal of RH Dana Science & Technology Academy Dr. Christina Portillo recently announced the Academy’s first STEM Career Day event. This event, which Portillo hopes will bring science, technology, engineering and math professionals together to speak to their student body about opportunities in their respective fields, is set to take place on April 20.

Beginning this past year, RH Dana was named a STEM academy after a public survey was put out to the Dana Point community where science and technology were identified as unique traits their student body and community was interested in.

The Orange County Department of Education then came to RH Dana, training the teaching staff in a three-part series in order to enable them to engage them in more hands-on and engaging learning practices. RH Dana is now recognized as one of seven Capo Forward schools in the District, indicating that the school has a unique and particular specialty.

“The STEM program we have enabled here at RH Dana is based on what we call the “five E’s” of learning,” Dr. Portillo explained. “Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate.”

Portillo continued, explaining that she felt the students at RH Dana were not simply learning materials, they were practicing them by working in teams and applying their work in forward thinking projects. Each classroom now has an active garden that the students maintain and care for.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals interested in engaging RH Dana students in this first-of-a-kind career day event can learn more by contacting Dr. Portillo at 949.496.5784, or by email at

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