Teachers’ Toolkit

St. Mary’s County Engineering Co-Teachers Nathan Swick and Arnold Skinner

Nathan Swick and Arnold Skinner are veteran educators (and friends!) delivering career-making instruction to students at Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center in St. Mary’s County. From the classroom to their maker-space labs, these educators help students find new and exciting ways to develop critical thinking, creative, and collaborative skills and test their outcomes.

OUR MISSION is to equip students for the engineering workplace with the fundamental technical, academic, interpersonal, problem-solving, and research skills they need for success.

You never know what might happen in Nathan’s and Arnold’s maker-space!

CREATIVE LEARNING SPACE Our course offers students the opportunity to learn and collaborate in a creative space equipped with state-of-the-art tools and equipment that help students experiment, collaborate with their peers, and bring ideas to life.

INDUSTRY-LEVEL CERTIFICATIONS Students can learn and master industry-level tools and equipment and achieve industry-level certifications that can help them stand out in the job market. For example, students can earn certifications in computer-aided design (CAD), 3D printing, or robotics.

INNOVATION AND INVENTION Students who like to think creatively take our course because they can use their creativity and critical thinking skills to design and develop new products or systems that can make a significant impact in their communities. Many students have completed the two-year program and have excelled in local, state, and national competitions.

MASTERING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT The engineering course includes everything from basic hand tools to advanced machinery and technology. By mastering these tools, students can develop a broad set of skills that can make them more valuable to potential employers.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX We had a quiet student with an amazing idea. We were able to give her the tools and materials and she was able to code and design a product that would reduce the amount of deer/auto accidents in the local area. She took this solar-operated, light-emitting deer alert system and presented it to the highest level of competitions—the International Science and Engineering Fair—where she became a superstar.

STEM FOR ALL Our engineering program opens doors for historically underrepresented women and minorities by offering a structured way to learn and develop technical, problem-solving, and analytical skills essential for STEM careers. We provide a supportive environment where all students can connect with one another, build a strong community, and meet role models active in STEM careers.

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