In early April Pat Walsh, lower school math teacher, had a pair of engineers from IBM and the Harker community visit his classes. Eric Butler ’81 and Dianne Reese, mother of Greg and Phil Perkins, ’05 and ’07 respectively, came to give students a view of what engineering is all about and how math plays a big part in engineering. Here is fifth grader Ben Hyver’s special report to Harker News Online on the visit.
On Fri., April 8, two former Harker students who now work at IBM as engineers visited Pat Walsh’s math classes. Presenting the interesting topic of Mars rovers, Mr. Butler and Ms. Reese used an NXT-bot to model the real machine that would be sent up to different planets. Our experiment in the classroom consisted of a challenging obstacle course in which we would have to program the rover to steer around. To do this, we would measure the distance from here to there, find the circumference of the wheel, then divide the two. This would give us the number of rotations we needed to complete the movement. After, it would turn and continue on with the program. Watching with amazement, Mr. Walsh’s students were enlightened and inspired by these engineers as they practically demonstrated math to work in space technology. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to experience Mr. Butler and Ms. Reese’s Mars Rover model as this provided a beneficial forty-two minutes of learning and fun.