Think and Do at N.C. State University

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The ASSIST Center at N.C. State ( did a marvelous job of making me feel welcome and providing much needed support. My gratitude to them, especially for showing me what I had considered science fiction is real right now. I am so proud my alma mater serves as home to the remarkable ASSIST Center and the talented individuals who walk its halls.

What a challenging internship! We were asked to write two lesson plans; create a poster outlining our use of the engineering and design process, create a poster illustrating our experience during the internship, develop an advertising and marketing plan, and create a working prototype of a wearable device. Not just any wearable device, a wearable device that reduces or eliminates a health problem identified by the One Health Initiative ( The device also had to have applications for animal health and well-being. Did I mention we had five weeks?

Obviously time created a challenge for creating these products, especially the lesson plans. Ask me to write a lesson plan for Biology, AP Biology, Earth Science, AP Environmental, or a Math class, no problem. My familiarity and experiences with student misconceptions in those content areas make it much easier for me to write a detailed and effective lesson plan.

I wrote lesson plans about the micro-harvesting of energy and the use of micro sensors in wearables. I came into this internship knowing zilch about either. Our schedule further compounded this challenge. My opportunity to hear someone speak about energy harvesting specifics came a week after my lesson was due. That created a huge challenge! My lesson on sensors followed a similar path. We worked with sensors at MakerSpace at the Hill ( However, in order to write the lesson I studied and researched on my own time. The timing element in relation to due dates for lesson plans created the biggest challenge for me.

My internship with ASSIST also provided lessons about successful and unsuccessful collaborative group efforts. My experience in this area will improve my ability to implement Project Based Learning for my students. Sometimes a group does not mesh into a cohesive unit. The complex factors leading up to such a failed collaborative effort would confuse a Social Psychologist!

In the past I may have been a little too quick to tell the students to work through the problem or go back to your team contract and see if there are grounds for firing. I really had no clue what they were feeling or experiencing cognitively. Now that I have walked five weeks in their flip-flops, my approach will include more efforts to understand the dynamic of the group and reasons for the discord.

Thanks again to The Assist Center for a remarkable internship experience!