BY BARRY WARNER
As the uses of science and technology expand in today’s job market, the United States will need a consistent supply of engineers, scientists and mathematicians to graduate from college in order to remain competitive in the world’s marketplace. Students introduced to pre-engineering courses and techniques to solve real-world problems in Rockland County’s schools will be better prepared for higher-learning challenges.
At Tappan Zee High School, teacher Nick DeSantis said, “In this civil engineering and architecture course, students are making renderings of a shed. The activity is used to introduce the design process that an architect of civil engineer would use employing 3D modeling software. Students want to be challenged and they are very creative. The job outlook is good regarding civil engineering, such as building the new Tappan Zee Bridge and green technology, such as solar and wind power.”
Principal Jennifer Amos said, “The ‘Project lead the Way’ pre-engineering program is used to create 21st century thinkers. Students are successfully using technical tools to enter the global workforce. Soft skills being employed include team work, cooperation and collaboration.” Student Eli said, “I chose this course because I am interested in learning about engineering and using the computer software to create the unified structure of the shed containing the roof, walls, windows and floor.” Student Jake said, “I am interested in the field of engineering, because I enjoy making things and using the software to create the shed, which is a real-life experience.”
Tom Mullane, marine science teacher at Pearl River High School said, “Students seined for fish off the Piermont pier during ‘A Day in the Life of the Hudson.’ They caught the wriggling fish, identified them and returned them to the river. Activities involved checking the salinity and temperature of the water plus collecting sediment samples. The data collected provided scientist at Lamont-Doherty Labs a snapshot of the Hudson River. After the school day, the marine science club members observe the fish from tanks in the lab, use guides to identify them plus measure the turbidity, pH and dissolved oxygen of the tank water.”
Student Felicia said, “I enjoy the wide range of experiences with the marine organisms, plus I take care of the fish in the tanks.” Student Shannon said, “I enjoyed going into the Hudson River seining for the fish and using the field guides to identify them.”
At Suffern High School, engineering teacher George Mugno said, “Students are designing their own simple machines investigation lab using the inclined plane, wheels, axles and weights to measure mechanical advantage. The skills involve setting up a procedure, obtaining the materials, calculating the expected result, using mathematical ratios and working as a team.” Student Megan said, “This is a good course, because I am learning about pulleys, levers, formulas for mechanical advantage and I am interested in becoming an engineer.”