Students at Pikes Peak Prep are now able to experience engineering hands on through the new robotics program started by Mr. Mark Connell. Ninth grade students Machelle Irby and Esteban Alvidrez meet twice a week with other students and work as builders and programmers of the robots and hope to enter into country wide and world—wide competitions w
Students at Pikes Peak Prep are now able to experience engineering hands on through the new robotics program started by Mr. Mark Connell. Ninth grade students Machelle Irby and Esteban Alvidrez meet twice a week with other students and work as builders and programmers of the robots and hope to enter into country wide and world—wide competitions with the robots they work on through the team.
Machelle participates on the team for fun and has a robot at home and dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Esteban dreams of becoming an engineer and opening his own business with his own patented products. He is also interested in the video game design industry. Both believe that working on the robotics team will add value to their high school experience and enrich their application to college.
As a former computer science/programming engineer in Silicon Valley, Mark Connell has a rich experience to bring to the Pikes Peak Prep Engineering program through the Project Lead the Way program. He became a teacher as a career changer and finished his master’s degree in education in 2006, and began teaching at Pikes Peak Prep in fall of 2012. Mark Connell took robotics during college and wanted to expose students to robotics as a hands on way for them to get involved in engineering. Math and Engineering teacher Mr. Connell currently teaches the introductory high school Project Lead the Way Course at Pikes Peak Prep, Pathways to Engineering, and George Antone teaches the middle school course, Green Architecture. In order to market the program, Mr. Connell put together a presentation to introduce 7th through 12th graders to the new robotics club.
They hope to grow the curriculum into a college accredited Project Lead the Way program at Pikes Peak Prep. Mark Connell put together a proposal for a robotics program here at Pikes Peak Prep soon after joining, and GEO Foundation supported by purchasing all of the necessary equipment for the school. As a Project Lead The Way inspired program, the new robotics program is a key part of ensuring that students graduate with a competitive edge in math, science, and engineering.