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Career Technical Education

CTE Spotlights

First Robotics
The mission of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. FIRST® is More Than Robots. FIRST® participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills. 

Robotics at West High School 
Team 5124, the West Torrance Robotics team has been participating in the First Robotics Competition (FRC) & First Tech Challenge (FTC) since 2014. Students get the opportunity to experience the many components to robotics and engineering such a Design, Manufacturing, Programming, Business and Public Relations. In 2019-20, the West Torrance Robotics team competed in the LA Regional Finals and qualified for the World Championship!!! Check out the standings and awards for the West Torrance Robotics Team for current and past competitions. Learn more about the West Torrance Robotics team by visiting their website at

Robotics at South High School
Team 1197, the TorBots, from South High School, has been participating in the First Robotics Competition (FRC) since 2003. The team brings together an amazing network of people and a collaborative learning environment to advance students' interest, knowledge and skills in STEM. Through community and mentor support, TorBots provides a breadth of hands-on opportunities and experiences that shape our education and career paths.  In 2019-20, the TorBots ranked 3rd in the LA Regional Finals earning a Wildcard to the World Championship!!! The TorBots were presented their first-ever Chairman's Award at the 2020 Sacramento Regional. The Chairman's Award is the highest team honor awarded by FIRST, recognizing teams for their impact on our communities. Check out the standings and awards for the TorBots Team for current and past competitions. Learn more about the SHS TorBots by visiting their website at

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. 

  • CyberPatriots at South High School: SHS has a registered CyberPatriots team that competes annually in The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, the world’s largest cybersecurity competition. 
  • In 2019-20, SHS had 3 teams qualify for the platinum round to earn a chance to compete at nationals, 7 teams qualify for the gold round to earn a chance to compete at state, and 2 teams qualify for the silver round!!!
  • Ashley Yuan was awarded the 2019-20 LACITEA Scholarship in Computer Science!

StellarXplorers is a challenging, space system design competition involving all aspects of system development and operation with a spacecraft and payload focus. Teams are given a scenario describing the system’s mission and constraints and they provide a solution to a typical space design problem, such as orbit determination, satellite component selection, and launch vehicle planning. 

  • StellarXplorers at South High School: SHS has a registered StellarXplorers team that competes annually in the National High School Space Challenge.  
    • In 2019-2020, SHS had 3 of their 4 teams qualify for the semifinals. In the Semifinals they finished in 18th place, 23rd and 50th place out of 250+ teams!
    • In 2018-2019, SHS had 1 team win 1st Place in the West Region and qualify for the semifinals!  In the semifinals, they came in 12th place overall!

Girls in STEM Cardboard Regatta
The annual Girls in STEM Cardboard Regatta, sponsored by the Torrance Refining Company, challenges teams of middle school and high school girls to design, build, and navigate boats made entirely out of cardboard and duct tape. Female engineers from the Torrance Refining Company mentor the teams as they build their boats and judge the final event… a race across the pool at the TUSD Aquatics Center! The female engineers host a Q&A session with a inspirational keynote speech to inspire the young girls to believe in themselves, follow their passion, and pursue a career in Engineering!

Torrance Airport STEM Day
In partnership with the Torrance Municipal Airport-Zamperini Field, TUSD hosts an annual Airport STEM Day for students enrolled in the CTE Engineering Design program to spark student interest in the aviation and aerospace industry. The event is coordinated around the arrival of the World War II Bombers. Student spend the day at the airport and rotate through stations to learn about the design, manufacturing, and history of the WWII Bombers, what makes the Scott Robinson Helicopters fly, how Drones are used in Law Enforcement, how to communicate with the Tower, how to build an airplane, and the process of becoming a pilot. The stations are interactive and facilitated by industry professionals so students can experience first hand what it is like to have a career in the aviation and aerospace industry.

District College & Career Day
College/Career day is a day designed to inform students about various college topics and careers. Some topics covered include the differences between a four year college and a two year college, admission requirements, writing personal statements, and Naviance activities, among others. It also gives students the opportunity to get informed about different careers and encourages them to explore further the careers that interest them. This day consists of Seniors and Freshman rotating in various college/career related workshops & field trips. All the while, Sophomores are taking a PreACT exam and Juniors are taking the PSAT/NMSQT. **Activities and workshop topics can vary per site.

Fashion Show
Torrance High School and West High School host an annual Fashion Show to highlight the design collections produced by the students in the Fashion Design & Merchandising program. The students prepare all year by designing, sewing, and tailoring their design line for their models. After creating a theme for their design line, students develop mood boards, flat sketches, and fashion illustrations for each design. Next, they select their models, develop or purchase patterns and fabrics. Finally, after countless fittings and hours of sewing, their models walk the runway to showcase their designs. Students learn valuable industry experience in the roles they play from the director, producer, model coordinator, music and DJ coordinator, emcee scriptwriters, program development, and runway organizer. The Fashion Show is a big event on campus, often drawing an audience of over 600 people: parents, friends, teachers, and representatives from the school board, FIDM, Nordstrom, El Camino College and local fashion businesses attend. The fashion show is definitely the highlight of the year for the fashion students!

Engineering Student Showcase
Every year, our advanced Engineering students enrolled in the Capstone Engineering Design & Development course put their engineering knowledge and skills to the test as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution. The Engineering Student Showcase is a culminating event at the end of the school year that provides the students a platform to present their engineering design solutions to a panel of engineers. During the presentation, students describe their project goals, the problems they encountered, and how they dealt with those problems. Through the Capstone projects, students learn how to work in teams and collaborate to meet their project goals and objectives.  

Geek Week @ South High School
Geek Week is an exciting week-long event that takes place at SHS to spark student interest in the field of STEM! Fun events take place that exposes students to STEM careers and the courses and clubs that SHS has to offer to prepare students to be successful in the STEM industry.  The event typically includes demonstrations and activities hosted by CyberPatriots, StellarXplorers, Robotics, and Science Club as well as, guest speaks from local STEM businesses to share their experiences and discuss career opportunities.  All presentations have giveaways and prizes for students to win!

  • 2020-21 Geek Week (February 22-26): Minecraft Tournament, Capture the Flag, Smash Bros Tournament, Resume Building, Course Selection Options in CTE & Science, and mor

CTSO Competition Winners
Every year, our student members in FBLA, FCCLA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA have an opportunity to participate in the Regional level competitive events.  Those that qualify move onto the State, National, and International level of competition! 

  • FBLA: In 2019-20, WHS had students qualify for State competitions in the following events: Impromptu Public Speaking, Creed Public Speaking, & Sports/Entertainment Management
  • FCCLA: In 2019-20, THS and WHS had students qualify for State & National competitions in the following events: Fashion Construction, Placed Gold at Nationals!, Fashion Design, Sewing Construction, Menu Planning & Table Display, Professional Presentation, Food Innovations, Nutrition & Wellness, & Sports Nutrition.

Theatre Productions
All four Torrance High Schools offer high quality theatrical performances each year. They range from small intimate plays to large scale Broadway style musicals. These performances take place throughout the school year and are open to the public. The students work with industry professionals on choreography, acting styles, musical solos and performance technique. All four schools offer full scale productions in the Fall and Spring along with Student Directed One-Acts, Showcases, and ComedySportz Events. Most of these performances take place in the 500 seat state of the art Performing Arts Center at each high school. Students gain valuable industry experience in opportunities presented to them with each production. This might include stage direction, lighting design, stage management, assistant choreographer, dance captain and multiple performances. The productions are the highlight of each semester and the whole community looks forward to each new production.


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