Students are excited about a hybrid engineering class being offered at their high school. The high school focuses on engineering, and the new class is project based.
Two high school students, Cole Soave and Johanna Trombley made a presentation about the new “Engineering the Future” class with their teachers and directors to the school committee.
The project-based class incorporates both math and science – taught by a teacher from each department – and promotes spatial learning. Trombley is thrilled with what she’s learned in the class, which has affected her future aspirations.
“I liked how it brought both subjects together,” Trombley said. “I’m thinking about taking college classes in it and maybe even majoring in it.”
Math teacher Marc Smith and science teacher Matt Burns instruct the class together. The duo adopted the idea from a professional development course they took at the Boston Museum of Science, which has developed a curriculum around engineering.
“It’s project-based learning with a focus on 21st century skills,” Smith said.
In one project, Soave created a small boat called a “Putt-Putt Boat,” which acts like a steam engine powered by a candle. His success was displayed in a video shown to the committee. He also detailed how his class created a water tower and if it collapsed under the liquid weight, they would use video replay to examine the weakest parts of the structure.
Soave was attracted to Engineering the Future because of its promise to teach practicality in the classroom.
“I didn’t want to take chemistry,” Soave said. “So I thought it would be fun to do some hands-on activities.”
The course is just one class in a new push from the math and science departments to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), which have been identified as skills for the future by the department directors and the Department of Education (DOE).