I see my students experience an “Ah-Ha” or “light bulb” moment daily in my SAS Programming class. Generally, everytime I begin a new chapter, students start off lost and confused. While going through the lesson and practice exercises, the students will begin to say “wait, that’s all we are doing here!” That to me, is a great expression to hear. It shows me that the students are working, and slowly understanding the concepts I am teaching.
The moments really have not grown specifically from my experience as a Kenan Fellow. I have always believed that you should work to the best of your abilities at everything you are doing. In this case, I have always tried to be the best teacher I can be. I am constantly working to improve my lessons, understand the students perspective, and work on different ways to reach the variety of students I have. While I think Kenan has definitely helped me grow as an educator, it is my desire to constantly improve and be the best that really work inspires those moments.
The fellowship has really had on impact on me in a variety of ways.
First, the fellowship put me out of my comfort zone to learn new skills and work with a team that I have never met before.
Second, the fellowship really pushed me to reach out to community members to bring into my classroom. This year alone I brought in a few project managers, two SAS employees, and invited Mrs. Hibler a for a few visits in my classroom.
Lastly, the fellowship really pushed me to learn. The PRL plan allowed me to focus on some professional development I have always wanted to complete, but not have time. This year alone I have studied and passed my SAS Base Certification, learned new project management software, currently studying for my Certified Associates in Project Management, and studying for my Advanced SAS Programmer.
The Kenan Fellow/Mentor partnership was a great experience. During my Kenan Fellows, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of mentors that helped me understand brainstorming techniques, the engineering design process, and research.
Throughout the program I had a variety of “ah-ha” moments. I think my biggest moment was during the brainstorming session of our wearable device product. As a math and business major, I had never had the opportunity to brainstorm a product I wanted to build from scratch. Learning different techniques from Dr. Jurr and Dr. Veety really helped me understand the process and time needed choose a product.
After the fellowship I do not see a future working with Dr. Jurr and Dr. Veety. My area of expertise is not in engineering or textiles.
The Personal Remote Learning (PRL) plan meant an extraordinary amount to me. As a teacher and individual, I promote learning, and I think sometimes we forget to do that ourselves. The Kenan PRL has allowed me to sit down and think about what I can learn to help benefit both the students and I. I am very excited to sit down and work on the PRL.
Six weeks into the school year I have applied a few things from Kenan. The first is a “sprint” strategy I learned from Mr. Thom. This strategy directly correlated to my project management class. The “sprint’ strategy gets the students to talk about team daily team goals. It helps them focus on what needs to be done, who needs to do what, and are we currently on schedule. I have added a team daily log to my PBL classroom. This helps me monitor all groups, and helps the students set daily goals.
I have also really focused on gaining my SAS Base Certification that I set in my PRL. I think the PRL is a great idea, and has helped me really focus on goals that will help me gain valuable skills that I can incorporate into my classroom. My studying and focus on the Base Certification has really helped me understand the curriculum more, and understand what the students will encounter on the certification if they choose to take it.
This experience immensely my outlook as an educator. Working with the wearable devices, it put me a bit out of my comfort zone. It began to remind me of being in school and learning something new. It allowed me to go back and begin to think like a student, and I believe that is sometimes lost when teaching students something new.
Working with the wearable devices also opened my eyes to the world of engineering and brainstorming. I was extremely nervous prior to my arrival in June, because of my lack of experience in those areas. Working with my mentors, I saw a new world of careers that I never new existed. I really wish I had this opportunity in college to expand my mind into other fields.
As an educator I plan on trying to implement a lot more real world application into my curriculum. I think students need to understand the importance of individual work, as well as collaborative work, problem solving and brainstorming. Sometimes the answer is not always clear cut. I can see education slowly transition away from the basic here is the definition, here is the answer.
I plan on connecting my summer internship experience to my classroom by reaching out and contacting guests to come into my classroom to help students gain a better understanding of real world applications, and second I plan on implementing my lesson into my classes.
My internship experience was a fantastic. I think the most interesting moment for me was having an opportunity to visit the lab that did testing for rescue workers. As someone who volunteers at a fire department, it was very interesting to see the lab where the tested/created materials for firefighters.
My biggest challenge came during the lectures by science professors. I am a math/computer guy, so during those presentations it was a bit difficult to follow. I have never really worked with electrical engineering concepts, so that was a big hurdle for me.
Working with Dr. Veety and Dr. Jur was amazing. They were great individuals to work with, and I learned a lot from them. Working with them and touring different labs across NC State opened my eyes to a different world of research that I was unaware of. Honestly, I wish I had an opportunity to take all these tours when I was 18 years old.
My biggest take away from this internship was the teamwork I had with my team, and others in the program. Everyone involved was willing to help with the projects and talk about teaching strategies they use in the classrooms. In the end, I was very happy I had a chance to participate in this program, and I was also very happy in our team’s end product. An awareness device for rescue workers to help monitor air quality.
I feel this whole experience was a success for me. I had an opportunity to work in a team, practice PBL learning, and reach an end goal that was out of my comfort zone. It also was a great reminder of how students feel going through a project with team members with varying skills.
A challenge that I have had during the internship experience is understanding and implementing the engineering design process. This project was the first time I have had the opportunity to go through the EDP, and it took some time for me to fully understand the process. Being able to actually go through the process with other teachers really helped me learn.
In the end I really enjoyed the whole experience. I feel like I had a chance to grow as a person and an educator. The program gave me some great hands on experience, and a chance to work in a team to work towards an end goal. I think our team was very successful in working together and creating a wearable device that can be very beneficial.
I think my internship experience will benefit my mentor’s organization by allowing them to work with teachers and teach us on expectations of students at the higher levels. This will help the teachers learn strategies that we can implement with our students that will teach help prepare them better for the future.
I also believe my mentors can learn to better themselves by going through the process in teaching us. They can get real time feedback from educators who are going through the same problems that they may be facing with the college students.