Howell Experience

I have taught for 18 years between two middle schools in Howell. In that time, I covered a wide range of topics. I have taught about the design process, problem solving, basic woodworking, power tool safety, robotics, CAD, and 3D printing. My 8th graders create a design for a dragster through a systematic process and then we build that design using power tools. This process includes a prototype stage where students use measurements and math to create a prediction for their final product. Students in my 7th grade class learn about basic mechanisms and programing to build automated systems. My 6th graders learn about computer aided design and create a product that is 3D printed. Some of my classes have changed over the years and I believe my ability to be creative and flexible has allowed me to maintain a quality STEM program.

Classwork Examples

8th Grade Applied Tech Dragsters - The 8th Grade Applied Tech class spends the entire quarter in service of the CO2 Dragster Project. Students create a foam prototype first and use this to gather data. A prediction can be made about how fast the dragster will go based on the data. The prototype also lets students learn to work material on the bandsaw and get a sense of what their car will look like before they start in with a wood blank.

7th Grade Automation & Robotics - Students learn about mechanisms and then basic programming. They then combine these two skills to create automated systems that increase in complexity with every project.

6th Grade Design & Modeling - The 6th graders learn about computer aided design in this class. They start off with primitive shapes and projects become more detailed as the students improve.

7th Grade Automation & Robotics VexVR - Instructional videos for a virtual robot programing tool from Vex Robotics called VexVR. My 7th Grade students were able to continue learning about programing in the Spring of 2020 by using this brand new online resource.

7th Grade Applied Tech Straw Rockets - The 7th graders learn about the history of rockets, design process, measurement, statistics, and teamwork. The class works to gether to develop a straw rocket design and then uses the rockets in a competition for accuracy.

7th Grade Applied Tech Catapults - After the straw rocket unit, the class moves to the shop to learn basic woodworking skills. Students form teams of two to design and build a catapult. The catapult is tested with mini-marshmellows aimed at targets on the floor.

6th Grade Applied Tech Bridge/Structures - In 6th Grade Applied Tech, I taught about structures and design process with a bridge project. Students would explore the concepts with sample joints that are tested to failure and then use that experience to draw a plan. They built their bridges right on top of their plan and assempled the parts into a completed bridge.

Collaborative Projects

C.A.M.P - Communication Arts and Meida Production was a combined class were another teacher. They taught about communication skills and story telling while I taught about technical skills like videography and editing.

Project H.O.U.S.E - This was a combined project with a teacher from the other middle school in Howell. In their class, they learned about Habitat for Humanity to create promotional material and presentations. My 8th Grade Applied Tech class built doll houses that were raffeled off at a local home show. Proceeds from the raffle went to Habitat for Humanity. Our work was submitted to Miscrosoft and we were selected for the 2006 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum.

Beowulf - I assisted a 7th Grade Advanced ELA class in producing a short cartoon telling the story of Beowulf.

School Community Involvement

Musicals - I've helped with the schools musicals since 2003. I've take photos, make promotional videos, coordinate set build, and produced one show.

Additional Training

Project Lead the Way - Automation and Robotics. PLTW Core Teacher Training about building and programing automated systems using VEX hardware and RobotC.

Project Lead the Way - Design and Modeling. PLTW Core Teacher Training about the design process and CAD software.

Capturing Kids Hearts - Training on build community in the classroom environment.