Making time for engineering education anytime, anywhere
Denver Public Schools (DPS) has a career and technical education (CTE) program called EngineeringConnect for students who want to explore topics in this field. EngineeringConnect allows career-minded high school students to take the following courses:
- Intro to Engineering and Design
- Principals of Engineering
- Energy Industry Fundamentals
- Digital Electronics
- Civil Engineering
- And more!
Alex Sabin, Denver Public School’s CTE Coordinator, explains her vision for the district’s CTE programs: “We want to look at CTE as something that doesn’t have to happen in person and during traditional school hours.” To achieve this goal she had to ask herself, “So how can we provide training and credentials outside of the classroom?”
Sabin and the CTE team knew they needed an effective way to teach their students career-ready skills in computer-aided design (CAD) and prepare students for certification exams with minimal disruption. In Colorado, industry-recognized credentials (IRCs), are a priority for the state and therefore a priority for its K-12 schools.
The district turned to SolidProfessor for Schools, an online learning platform for engineering education, to help its instructors continue to teach rigorous course material and help prepare students for both college and careers.
Engaging students with hands-on and career-ready engineering courses
At Denver Public School’s South High School, Rameesh Madourie teaches Intro to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Design and Development, and Civil Architecture.
Prior to integrating SolidProfessor into his courses, he had to teach based on his own knowledge. He shares, “I didn’t use a textbook or special curriculum. It was really difficult.”
Madourie uses SolidProfessor to flip his classroom. Students learn concepts at home through expert-led, online courses and apply that knowledge during class with hands-on activities. He explains how integrating SolidProfessor into his courses has increased his students’ interest in the material, “The best thing about SolidProfessor is that it engages my students. If my students are engaged, I don’t have to force my students to learn because they’re excited to do it.”
With SolidProfessor’s courses, students can watch step-by-step video lessons and pause or “replay a video one million times if they need to,” says Madourie. As they watch an expert navigate a CAD program, they can follow along side-by-side. This hands-on learning method makes retention possible. “Engineering is something you need to learn with hands-on practice. You need to really be engaged to learn the concepts properly.”
SolidProfessor has helped Madourie increase the rigor of his engineering courses. “The stuff my high schools students are learning now with SolidProfessor, I didn’t learn until college,” he explains.
Freeing up more time for this engineering teacher’s own learning and one-on-one student support
While the benefits to Madourie’s students are extremely important to him, SolidProfessor has made teaching easier, too.
With SolidProfessor for School’s instructor and reporting tools, Madourie can “create a class, add students to that class, assign courses and exercises, and see where the students get stuck.” He continues, “If I can see where they’re stuck, I can identify what’s going on, and give them the help they need.”
Because instructors don’t have to spend time guessing what topics their students are struggling with, it frees up time for teachers like Madourie to focus on students who need extra support. And with topics ranging from beginner to advanced concepts, he can also challenge his students who are excelling to explore more difficult topics.
And since SolidProfessor is accessible on any device and browser, Madourie’s students can reference the bite-sizes lessons any time they have a quick question. “They don’t have to always ask me questions because they have access to SolidProfessor 24/7.” Now, Madourie can focus his time on solving his students’ complex challenges and offer more one-on-one support.
But SolidProfessor isn’t just for students! Madourie uses the online library of courses for his own professional development. “Not every software I teach I knew before. SolidProfessor has been a huge benefit to me.”
He even plans on taking a couple of SolidProfessor courses over the summer to prepare for his fall classes.
“Listen. Get SolidProfessor. SolidProfessor makes your life as an engineering teacher so much easier.”