Dear students and families,
Welcome to the STEM Technology Foundation and Robotics courses at North Whidbey Middle School. I am excited that your student can be a part of our program. This will be a fun yet challenging class that we hope you will find both rewarding and engaging.
This program is a hands-on learning environment that utilizes multiple disciplines including technology to introduce the engineering design process in a variety of ways. To ensure that the learning environment will best meet the needs of each student we will routinely utilize a variety of instructional techniques to encourage and accommodate various learning styles.
We have added a few new pieces of equipment to the NWMS Tech Lab such as Makerbot Replicator + 3 Prin5ers, Glowforge Laser printer, new Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits and more! Technology Foundation students will be exposed to and use industry-standard prototyping equipment, hand tools, and other digital design resources similarly used in high school and beyond. We will learn how to use them appropriately and safely. A key component to designing and building a solution to a problem is understanding what resources are available and how to utilize them. We will demonstrate and discuss the proper and safe use of the tools and machines, and students are expected to take notes as well as pass the safety test with 100%. In addition to some new prototyping capabilities, I am pleased to bring some resources from the Fred Hutch Cancer Care Center into our classroom and we will have a visit from working research scientists at the Hutch.
This academic year will be my first at North Whidbey Middle School and I excited to be apart of the CTE program at North Whidbey Middle School. Before NWMS, I have enjoyed almost 20 years as a mechanical engineer primarily focused on bringing new products to the market in aerospace, medical device, and protective sporting good equipment. I have lived on Whidbey with my family since 2014. My daughter when she isn't drawing amazing illustrations for my mom's classroom plays ice hockey and will be graduating from high school this year. My son is 11 years old and has enjoyed testing out some of the labs and activities for me during the summer. When I am not playing in the lab preparing for classroom build events and labs for classes this year, you will find me riding on my bicycle or driving my children to their activities.
By the end of either of the two courses, students will have experienced working and communicating in small group teams to concept, prototype, test, reflect and improve their designs and be comfortable with the concept of productive uncertainty that is a part of science and engineering. We will be working through a variety of design challenges for the semester in small groups and will be taking on different roles with each challenge. Design challenges were selected such that they can be accomplished multiple ways and success is not always a guarantee. From time to time, this may be frustrating and potentially new to some students, please remind them that this is essential from creative design and scientific thinking and learn to appreciate how much more we can sometimes learn from our failures than immediate success.
Please feel free to call or email us at any time, with any questions. I will do my best to return calls and emails within 24 hours. Also, if you have a background in any STEM fields that may enrich and engage our students in the class, I would love to chat more about including you as a resource into our classroom as well.
Middle School CTE, STEM Technology Foundations, Robotics