‘Real World Problems’
Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, Kings High School is adding more options for students wanting to get involved in Engineering classes.
Jason Shields, the engineering teacher at Kings has teamed up with teachers Reggie. Holtrey and Sam Mizener to begin expanding the computer science program at Kings High School.
“We are offering AP Java next year and a new intro to computer programming,” Shields said.
Six years ago, there were only five students enrolled in Engineering.This year 138 students are taking the class. “I am really excited about the number of students interested in Engineering and Computer Science,” Shields said.
One of Shields’s top goals is to prepare students for STEAM (Science, technology, engineer, art, and mathematics). “The top 30 highest paying majors there are 24 that are STEAM related. We want to get students ready for those careers,” Shields said.
“My students have the opportunity to work on real world problems with real clients,” Shields said. This year, the engineering class has been working on Android App Games video games, creating a special needs bike for a student with Cerebral Palsy, a micro hydroelectric generator, creating a Prosthetic hand for a stroke victim, and 3D Educational Prints for a child named Andrew who is visually impaired.
With this experience in high school, these students will benefit over other students later on. “These types of projects give students a spring board to launch their future careers from. When they start competing for COOP jobs their freshman and sophomore year at college they have a huge advantage over their peers with these projects on their resume,” Shields said.
Through the STEAM program, the engineering and computer science department will be teaming up with the Digital Media Arts Department. “I believe this is the next evolution of the engineering department. My students need to not only create products through the engineering design cycle but learn how to work a team of creative media savvy artists to not only market their designs but also to provide insights to their designs that yield better function,” Shields said.
Doug Leist, the Principal of Kings High School also believes that STEAM is a very important aspect of high school and beyond. “I believe we can never do enough to prepare students to be college and career ready. To be successful in college or in the world of work, students need a solid STEAM education,” Leist said.
“My goal is to offer introductory Engineering courses at the Junior High Level, and expand our offerings in the areas of Science, Math, and Arts,” Leist said.
By Reagan Heck