The Engineering Fellows Program: Design, Implement, Refine

The Engineering Fellows Program: Design, Implement, Refine

When we first came in to
the Engineering (Fellows) Program, I kind of thought it would
be like just a normal PD experience, and I was so wrong. Collaborating with the
engineering students and the engineers have brought
that aspect to my teaching that I never realized
that I was missing. Having somebody who can give
the technical vocabulary to give their experience
has been great. Because we have the
shared understanding, I think our
collaboration has really been taken to the next level. And I haven’t really had
many professional experiences that have done that. We give the teachers
a lot of flexibility and a lot of
freedom to determine what this is going to look
like in their classroom, while providing the
support for them to differentiate as they need. We have a lot of
teachers that haven’t had the experience of
learning engineering, so its very imperative and
important that we be there for them and mentor them through
this process of implementing their design challenges,
learning the language, and also building
their skill sets when it comes to
engineering in general. Oftentimes in these types of
programs, the industry experts aren’t involved for as
long of a period of time. But by having these experts
involved the entire year, the teachers are able to toggle
back and forth between thinking about the nitty gritty
classroom implementation as well as the real world connections. And it also helps the industry
experts see what it actually takes to take some of
this real world knowledge and apply it in the classroom. It’s been really fun to
collaborate with people who want to improve how
their students learn in any capacity they can. I really wanted to see how I
could bring in the engineering experience that I have into
traditional public school and improve some
education in that system. It’s been a really
great experience, and I have learned
a lot about what goes on in elementary
schools, which I did not think of before in any way. I just feel so
thankful that I’ve had this opportunity to be
involved with STEM and MESA. And it’s just opened my
mind to a whole new world. It’s an ongoing
conversation, and for me to be a part of that is such
an opportunity in my career. It has kind of revitalized
me, like, yes, I love this. I love talking to
other professionals and hearing their experiences
and learning from them. It’s been incredible.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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