Monthly Archives: July 2018


With the hands-on portion of my fellowship coming to an end last week, I now find myself deep in reflection as to how I can help them to succeed not only in the classroom, but in the outside world.

I have settled on four goals for the upcoming school year, in order to better equip my students for the world, and I cannot wait to get started.

-Communication- Help students to prepare to communicate with others, not only through writing, but also through oral and visual communication. Can my students effectively get a point across with little room for error?

-Increase in Non-Fiction- Can my students effectively read and comprehend a piece of non-fiction while effectively pulling out important information? Also, can my students write an effective email, or quickly read one while gleaming all of the necessary information?

-STEM Night Communications-  Can parents and students be told of the necessity for communication in the STEM world?

-Trade School: College not for All- YES, all students should be encouraged to attend college, but options should be presented for students who are good with their hands! I was able to learn from many individuals working in the trade who are making significant incomes!

All of these will be coming together over the next few weeks and months, so please stay tuned!

STEM & Communication Meet

Today, I had the privilege of riding along with one of our outside sales representatives as we traveled to various accounts in Charlotte to explain our products. Now, I know what you might be thinking, “WOAH! Sales! Soliciting! That’s not STEM-related!” Au contraire!

As we travelled to seven different local businesses, I watched as the representative took the time to explain exactly what the company (Livingston and Haven) could do for them. It wasn’t as much of a sales pitch as it was a proclamation of sorts as to what (STEM related) products and services were offered.

Were it not for patient, succinct, and knowledable communication skills, the products in question would simply be an abstract bunch of machinery and skills with no relation to the company. Of course, there was that one business that showed us the door that should be mentioned here, but not for the reason one might think.

Students, especially in the STEM related fields, are going to come across dead ends and rejection from time to time. What is important is how they react. Besides teaching our students the science aspects of the curriculum, we must remind them as often as possible, that when something (an experiment or an assignment) doesn’t go as planned, it is important to step back, look at what happened, dust oneself off, and try try again.

When our students begin to learn the art of communication and combine it with a dash of good old-fashioned tenacity, there is no telling how far they can go. Let’s make an effort to keep our students smart, and encouraged!

Manufacturing and Innovation

During the past week, I had the opportunity to head across the street to see the manufacturing side of the business where all of the ideas from engineers that are sold to the customers come together. I was able to see the materization from the combination of the work of sales and engineering, and where the importance of high quality communication is paramount.

When looking at the assembly of products, I watched as parts were placed together with frequent communication to ensure accuracy. Is there a problem or a question? Manufacturers would immediately be in touch, usually through email, with the project manager.

Students today must remember that as the STEM world advances, they will frequently need to back up their scientific knowledge with an ability to communicate. With all of the advances being made, how relevant will they be if no one is there to effectively communicate them to the world. Even more important, once a STEM-related business is formed, we will need individuals who can effectively sell, market, and respond to inquiries.

Today, I sit with the solar side of the business, and look forward to sharing some rays of knowledge with you soon.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

In the few moments before I shadow a meeting this morning, I stop by the blog to stress the importance of teachers (and students) stepping outside of their “comfort zone” to learn new skills and become better at the craft.

I say this because until today, I had never heard of “mechatronics engineering.” Soon, I’ll be sitting with a project manager as he reviews upcoming work with his team- hopefully getting a little taste of something that I’ve never heard of before.

As teachers, we have our content areas in which we are knowledgeable, and are able to talk confidently to our students. However, it is essential that we are able to expand our minds, and our boundaries, so that we are able to educate our students in a well-rounded fashion.

Here’s to new adventures and learning something we never thought possible.