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Anthony Iarrapino




Zachary Howard

Zachary Howard

This school year, Mr. Anthony Iarrapino and first year NSF GK-12 Fellow Zachary Howard will be collaboratively instructing three of Mr. Iarrapin's high school classes. These include Engineering the Future, Robotics, and CAD, and contain 18, 20, and 19 students, respectively. The Engineering and CAD classes consist of mostly seniors while Robotics is comprised of mostly juniors and underclassmen.

Engineering the Future focuses on introducing students to the basic concepts present in all engineering disciplines through four independent projects situated around the engineering design process. Robotics also uses the engineering design process as the foundation to incorporate lessons that introduce students to the physics and math that are intertwined with robotics. Activities involve team constructing, performing tests on various robot configurations followed by answering corresponding questions designed to further their robotics/engineering and STEM knowledge. The CAD class teaches students the basics of how parts are designed using the 2D and 3D modeling software applications AutoCAD, Inventor, and Solidworks. Knowledge of valuable design tools provided by these programs is essential for solving any real world engineering problem.

The focus of this year will be to expose the students to proper research methods and use of the engineering design process by integrating Mr. Howard's engineering research with each class's unique curriculum. Using interactive lessons and activities, students will be provided with the tools required to apply the fundamental concepts they are learning in their respective classes and apply them to real life engineering, research, and design problems. In addition to the co-instruction, Mr. Howard also provides individually focused instruction support to the students in the classes both during the class and in the mornings before classes begin.

The NSF GK-12 Fellow program allows for a crossover between the high school student and the graduate student to create a unique mutual learning experience. High school students are exposed to higher-level research methods and projects with the intent of challenging them and helping them relate their newly gained knowledge to real life engineering problems and applications. Meanwhile, Mr. Howard will be using this opportunity to improve his communication skills, provide a role-model example to the students, and relate his research in a manner that is clear and comprehensible regardless of the audience's background.

Lastly, both Mr. Iarrapino and Mr. Howard are working in conjunction with the Freshman Academy's Mr. Jarvis and GK-12 Fellow Blake Currier on a STEM Subcommittee. The overall goal of this group will be to create and employ a STEM Academy afterschool program that will increase awareness and interest in STEM fields. We hope to design an interactive project that will draw upon all STEM fields while targeting the skill sets in which students have displayed a weakness.