Learning in the Real World

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2017 - 21:00

It’s powerful when we apply learning to real world problems. That’s what the students at our Career and Technology Center do every day. And they have the awards to prove it!

Learning is most meaningful for students when they can apply what they’re learning to the "real world." When they are challenged to solve a real world problem, the motivation and learning are magnified even more. And when they can see the results of their work in tangible ways, the lesson is even more powerful. The best teachers provide these opportunities for students; and Phil Arnold, Computer Aided Design teacher at CTC, uses national competitions to offer opportunities to stretch his students' thinking and skills.

For several years, teams of students inspired by Mr. Arnold have participated in the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Challenge. This program recognizes outstanding inventors and inspires young people to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by encouraging them to solve problems through invention. It encourages and recognizes young inventors with two prestigious and highly sought-after national grants. The program is phenomenal. 

This year's Lemelson-MIT team from the CTC is one of nine national winners and will be presenting their project at MIT this summer! This group of students has connected with the Rotary Club of Frederick to support a project to bring water to a school in Ethiopia.

In addition to figuring out the design and engineering needed to make the water potable, the team also has members focusing on the construction, communication and project management needed to bring the project to fruition. Collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication are recognized as 21st Century skills that all students will need for college and career. This project demands all of this and more from the team.

The entire community has much to be proud of with these fine students and their teacher, Mr. Arnold. They are outstanding ambassadors for FCPS and Frederick County. I hope everyone will support the team as they try to raise funds to support their travel to MIT and to send some of the team to Ethiopia to assist with the installation of their design. The team has put together some amazing information about their project, and they’ve also set up a GoFundMe page to support their work. The team is an awesome example of the incredible work being done at the CTC. I am so proud of them!

Give a shout out to the amazing students at the CTC on Twitter @FCPSMDSuper. And if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

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