Pre-engineering and robotics. Two subjects that cause intellectual cowering among even some of the highly-educated.
But in Brad Gentry’s classroom, these two notoriously difficult subjects are accessible and, he argues, important for success.
“The subjects I teach impact my student’s future,” he explains, “each of my classes requires considerable amounts of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students learn to think logically and critically about a problem and then follow a process to solve the problem.”
But it’s not always easy. So, Mr. Gentry experiments with different types of classroom strategies. One new method he’s trying is peer review.
“The peer review process adds a new depth to the classroom because now students can see other projects, improve their project based on what they see, and better recognize mistakes when they occur,” he says.
Mr. Gentry loves helping his students create new things and setting them up for future success. He teaches robotics and engineering, in part, because of the growing workforce demands those type of workers.
“If America is to reemerge as a manufacturing hub,” he says, “then, she will need trained employees to design the factories, machines, and products, as well as, needing robotics specialists to build and program the robots to perform many of the functions in the facilities.”
And even, for a student who decide not to pursue a future in robotics or engineering, he feels confident that his class will still give them the tools for success.
“The skills used [in robotics and engineering] will remain constant in any career my students choose.”