Innovation Experts Speak at RCE
Submitted by Teresa Hendren in RCS Highlights on March 03, 2021
Three professionals (and RCS parents) volunteered and brought their creativity, passion, motivating mindsets, and problem solving skills to share with 2nd and 3rd grade classes Friday, 2/26/21.
“2H LOVED having 3 special speakers come in and talk about engineering, innovation, and having a growth mindset when it comes to solving problems. We integrated the ELA curriculum and Science curriculum with our special speakers, learning about where ideas for inventions come from!” – Mrs Haserot, RCS 2nd Grade Teacher.
Mrs. “Wo” Wodetzki, RCE Science Teacher, was the primary organizer of the speakers. She planned the schedule for each speaker to present five times so all 2nd and 3rd grade cohorts had a chance to participate. “We were super blessed by outstanding presenters and innovators!” – Mrs. Wo
Meet our speakers!
Justin’s dream to work in games began in 3rd grade. He shared that he would draw levels for Mario Brothers. Later, he moved to California with the dream to work at Electronic Arts (EA).
After beginning as a graphic designer making print ads, billboards, etc., he now works as a Senior UX on the SIMS team at EA. Working on a team of 500+, Justin shared with RCS students about the value of teamwork:
“The fact that we can all work together as a team is the reason that something as big as SIMS 4 can exist and continue to exist. Sometimes working on a team is not fun. Sometimes people disagree and have different opinions. Your reaction to those times is very important. You have to stay positive and productive despite the conflict.”
Justin shared that sometimes being a part of something you’re excited and passionate about comes with let downs, but no mistake or closed door goes wasted. Every experience helps make tomorrow better. He further encouraged students to keep track of their creative ideas by using a scrapbook or even just a piece of paper to write or draw out any idea that comes to mind.
What is an engineer? A problem solver!
Scott taught RCS students not only about good engineers, but also how to be a process engineer with: Action -> Plan -> Do -> Check. He showed students how to define a problem, do your research, develop a possible solution, design a solution, make a prototype, test it, evaluate the solutions.
Students really enjoyed learning about the evolution of problem solving over time in Scott’s examples of Race Cars. Over time, there have been significant improvements in the “4 M’s”: Man, Material, Method, Machine. For example, in 1908 racers had two people (the driver & a mechanic) that needed 30 min pit stops, used hand tools (& a lot of muscle), and cars were made out of steel, brass, lead, even wood wheels! How fast did race cars go in 1908? 59 mph!
Fast forward to 2016, there was 21 people in pit stop (three per tire – one with power tool, one takes tire off, one puts new tire on), improved process, more efficiency, and 2.31 second pit stop. How fast was the fastest race car in 2016? 237 mph!!
Scott’s encouragement to students based on his engineering experience, “Don’t be afraid to start, don’t be afraid of failure. What happens if we fail? We learn and try something else!”
While demonstrating VR was exciting in it’s own, Josh shared about the evolution of virtual reality technology. Did you know it began almost 100 years ago?
Students got to dream about where they could go in virtual reality! Everywhere from a unicorn fantasy land to the frozen-solid arctic was shared by 2nd and 3rd graders.
Also, what industries will be improved with virtual reality technology? How about exercise? Think of the training opportunities in medicine, military, and aviation to name a few!
Josh also challenged students to think about “what makes great technology?” For a user, the tech needs to be functional, emotional, life changing, and potentially society-changing. Students interacted as they imagined the many ways virtual reality can be used to not only play, but also improve the world around them!