Photo Credit: Lauren McClendon
New Robotics Teacher Speaks Of New Role
Gentry: I have always been interested in engineering and the thought of programming robots for different jobs.
CC: What important tools could robotics teach others?
Gentry: Robotics teaches students to critically think to solve problems. It also teaches students how to work with teammates to accomplish their builds and goals.
CC: How do you feel the advancement of robotics could help the world succeed past where it is today?
Gentry: Robotics can positively transform lives and work practices. Robotics will also help with the safety and efficiency of the tasks at hand.
CC: How long have you been teaching robotics/ engineering classes?
Gentry: This is my 3rd year teaching engineering classes. I have taught STEM, Robotics, Foundations of Engineering, Green Architecture, and Science of Technology.
CC: What new ideas are you going to start achieving in the classroom?
Gentry: We have built quite a few different robots during the first nine weeks. We have built robots that clean up trash, dance, draw, and play soccer. We currently have a group that is building a robot that will be programmed to guide a visually impaired student to the bathroom, and then back to the classroom. Students are doing great in solving open-ended problems.
CC: Have you started working with the robotics team yet? If so, what have you accomplished?
Gentry: We have not started working together yet. We will start working in the second semester. We still have the robot from last year, because of Covid, that we will be able to use for our competition.
CC: What skills/ abilities should an individual have to succeed in robotics?
Gentry: Students need to have a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, and be able to work efficiently with other students on their team. Students need to have experience with tools such as screwdrivers, hex keys, drills, saws to name a few.
CC: What advice would you give to someone who wants to participate on the robotics team?
Gentry: They would need to come in with an open mind and not be overwhelmed with the thought of programming a robot. All of the students in my classes work great together and they more experienced.
CC: What obstacles do you expect to overcome as you work with the robotics team?
Gentry: The biggest obstacle right now is the unknown with COVID, getting students together to work and then traveling to competitions is the biggest concern.
CC: Are there any long-term goals you plan to achieve with the team?
Gentry: None at the moment, but once the team gets to working together we will have a better idea of what we need to accomplish.