Engineering class adapts to hybrid learning

Challenges arise during distance learning

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Jacob Perszyk

Engineering teacher Mark Miller teaches his online and in-person class March 4. Miller said he prefers teaching his hybrid students because engineering is a hands-on class and he enjoys seeing his students being able to work in-person.

Crystal Diaz

Engineering teacher Mark Miller said while teaching engineering during distance learning, students have had to adapt to an altered class experience. He said teaching through Zoom isn’t the same because engineering is a very hands-on class.

“And they get that excitement of, ‘oh, gosh, I actually built this,’ because there’s something to be said when you physically build it, and you can hold it in your hands versus building it on the computer and seeing it and it looks great and everything, but it’s just not the same,” Miller said.

Miller said since he loves engineering because he enjoys challenging himself and is trying to keep a positive mindset during the challenge of hybrid learning.

Even though it’s really hard sometimes once they see (their work) and they feel that success, that’s why all of us as teachers go into this occupation — to see that light bulb moment for students,”

— Mark Miller

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While teaching over Zoom and in-person can be difficult, sophomore Daniel Bevelle said it is beneficial for this class  

“This class is much better in hybrid compared to any other class because you can actually work with your hands,” Bevell said.

Bevell said his favorite part of this class last semester was starting off by building with legos, but this semester it had to be done using lego software online.

“(My favorite part was) building with legos and hand-making robots … that you can actually use in the real world instead of online,” Bevell said.

According to Bevell, working from a distance has proven to be a struggle, since most of the work is hands-on learning.

“Working with your hands is something we were unable to do for most of the year, which is a big thing when it comes to engineering,” Bevell said.

Miller said distance learning can be a challenge because he likes seeing students succeed and having that hands-on experience. 

“This year, it’s turned a lot into, ‘here’s what it might look like, here’s what it looks like on the computer,’ (the) never-touching-it feeling it has been a struggle, especially for me,”  Miller said.