Meet our May 2016 Educator – Charles SpragueBy Jessica Morgan May 26, 2016 no responses
Name: Charles L. Sprague
Role: STEM/Engineering Instructor
School: Wheat Ridge High School
Location: Just West of Denver, Colorado
Number of years in education: 16 years in education and 2 years as a STEM instructor
Tell us about yourself and how you got started in education.
I started my career in the engineering field. I earned a Metallurgical/Materials Engineering Degree from the Colorado School of Mines. I began coaching competitive soccer when I got out of college and loved working with kids. When I had an opportunity to work with kids/students I decided to make a career change and pursue secondary education.
What grades do you work with and what subject(s) do you teach?
Throughout my high school career I have crossed over into 3 different departments. I began entirely in Math my first few years. I then added drafting to my math classes and taught both of those for about a decade. I also wrote an astronomy class for the school so I then entered into the Science department, as well. At one point I taught in the Engineering, Science and Math department all at once. The STEM/Engineering program began two years ago and has grown so much that I will be teaching only STEM next year. I work with everyone from Freshman to Seniors.
How did you get introduced to Horizon Educational?
I was introduced to Horizon through our relationship with University of Colorado Denver. The University had been using Horizon Fuel Cells in projects before we entered into our partnership.
How have you used Horizon Educational products to engage students in the classroom?
We have used the fuel cells in our cars that we race in the Shell Eco-marathon. The students have actually bench tested the fuel cells outside of the vehicles so they can see how all the electronics work together.
Why do you value hands-on learning?
I value hands-on learning because it allows the students to see how computer work, manufacturing, and assembly all go together. It is very easy to design very intricate and sophisticated parts using the computer but making them is a whole different story. Students can problem solve the easiest ways to produce parts and use that knowledge to be better designers. Also, there are some students who really enjoy working with their hands and don’t enjoy the computer part as much. When we have both groups working together great things happen in the lab.
How has hands-on learning improved your students’ educational experience?
See my statements in the question above.
What about working in education brings you the most joy?
It is great as an instructor to see the students grow not only as students, but also as young adults. There is nothing better than seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of the students when they actually build something they have designed and it WORKS.
Note: All photos are courtesy of Charles L. Sprague.