Students at Jean Vanier Catholic High School have begun a process in their lives which they will reflect upon, utilize, and even lean on for the remainder of their professional lives. Robotics is a term used by everyone; thrown around and over emphasized. Students at Jean Vanier in the York Catholic District School Board, however, understand robotics and define it as success and forward movement. Teacher Andy Persad has taken a fledgling robotics program with Vex robotics and has already equipped his students with the skills that will make them the next robotics experts for NASA and ABB. Developing the skill sets, motivations, and interest in technology like this is a dream of every tech teacher, but Mr. Persad has made this dream a reality.
The program is not only robotics, however. In addition to the Vex robotics, these students begin their tech process in a manufacturing dream world. The shop walls are lined with CNC Mill, Lathes, and Routers including two Tormach CNC 770s. A careful emphasis has been placed on teaching the students skills required for a multitude of industries, including the manufacturing industry, the robotics industry, aerospace, electronics, and the transportation industry.
Computing is another aspect of this successful program. The students have begun to develop an understanding of basic programming and the pathways between program writing and robotic manipulation. It is with these skills, taught with Vex Robotics, that they will enter their chosen career path with the skills required to begin programming with higher level languages and in active situations. Plans are in the works to begin this process even earlier with the implementation of fischertechnik Curriculum and Robots. Design using Autodesk Inventor is also a part of the Vex Robotics Curriculum.
Students at Jean Vanier do not need to enroll in a Specialist High Skills Major to receive the training required to enter an industry or post secondary education. They are learning and developing these skills as students should: under the careful and skilled guidance of a motivated and professional teacher.
Studica is a proud part of this process. It is a pleasure to visit this excellent example of student centric learning. If you would like more information on the successes of this program please contact Studica and we will help show you that all students can reach goals just like the students at Jean Vanier High School.
Author: Matthew Colbeck