The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

February 17, 2014

Learning the practical applications of engineering

Classes designed by Project Lead The Way


“I really like designing stuff,” said the senior, who also plans to attend Purdue. But design was just one component of the project. He also had to think about the materials that would be used to build the structure so it would be affordable.

Next door in Branden Jessie’s principles of engineering class, students have an opportunity to design products on their computers and experience the thrill of seeing a prototype emerge on a 3D printer.

In addition, his students break into small teams with the purpose of designing a machine that will sort marbles of different sizes and weights into small bins using plastic components Jessie describes as “Legos on steroids.”

The goal, he said, is to build teamwork and develop problem solving skills and design a machine that works.

Jessie also teaches a construction class down the hall where three wood-framed structures are going up as part of a yearlong project. Students do all the work, he said, from laying a concrete foundation and setting cinderblock footers, to framing, installing electrical outlets and more.

“Learning these skills is good for the kids that are not college bound and they like being out here,” he said. But students also spend time in classes learning the importance of planning and design. “I think we’re doing some good things for kids in my community.”

Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.



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