I have the privilege of teaching math and robotics. Both are rewarding in their own way, but my favorite thing is to see my students learn that they are natural coders or future engineers. The look on their faces when they get it or build something cool is the best! A lot of my students struggle to find their place in school because many of them don't have an easy time in their core classes. School can be hard for kids who have trouble sitting still and learning quietly. Robotics is a time to move and create and it is a great equalizer. Those kids that struggle in other classes are now the kids that create the best things, because they are out of the box thinkers. I want to give my students the tools to expand their horizons and reach their true potential. I cannot express how wonderful it is to see my students engaged as they learn about a world of possibilities in front of them. I don't know what they will be when they grow up, but I know that when they leave my class they will be better problem solvers and think outside of the box.
This is my third year teaching robotics and I am always searching for new and exciting ways to spark my student's love for technology. In my robotics class, I focus on research, programming, learning CAD, and building. Since we have very little money in the budget, everything that we build is from recycled materials.
We have a 3D printer, but with the demand, it usually prints 24 hours a day and I still can't keep up.
Word has gotten around that we have a 3D printer and I now have teachers and students that I do not have in class that request I print something for them. Most of the requested prints are either something that would make their life easier or a gift for someone.
With this printer, I will have students research ways that engineers use 3D printers and ways that they make life easier. They will also learn to program and build. I also want to challenge my students to look for a need in our school and try to fill that need with the 3D printer. They will be challenged to find a teacher or student and make something that will make their life easier. Once they have their idea, I will have them write a proposal describing the need and how their 3D object fills that need. I believe that is what makes a good engineer, and person for that matter, seeing a need and finding ways to fill it.
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