Engineering a change in the classroom
- Dawn Lim for queensledger.com August 31st, 2010
- Source: http://www.queensledger.com/view/full_story/9338689/article-Engineering-a-change-in-the-classroom?
Yvon Morin addressed his students at It Takes A Village Academy and told them the task at hand: design a robot that would pick up a ball and toss it into a goal.
They stared back incredulously.
The high school in East Flatbush, which opened in 2007 with a 9th grade and is growing by a grade per year, is largely made up of Haitian immigrants who are learning English.
“They didn’t think it was feasible,” he said.
But a fellow at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University worked with Morin to design and conduct classes. His students created a robot. Then, they pitted it against other schools at a national competition.
“The largest barrier my students face is English, but they’re good at using their hands. This was a good experience for them,” said Morin. “They were sad when it was over.”
Morin’s students were part of a National Science Foundation-funded program that pairs up doctoral engineering fellows at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in classrooms with teachers in Central Brooklyn.