STEM Innovator teachers bring innovation to the classroom

Aiden Rushing, Reporter

West has a new edition of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Innovator qualified teachers: science teacher Brandon Yoder and Business Education teacher Mark Schlichting. STEM teachers offer students the opportunity to take college level classes in high school, some of which offer college credit.

With the addition of the two new STEM teachers, West currently has five qualified teachers total. The teachers that are STEM certified had to train on using their strengths in the their areas of expertise. The teachers were taught on what to do if and when the students create a patent for a new idea. Teachers also had to present their plans with the STEM program.

It is a different, new way of teaching and learning: project based learning, which is hands-on problem solving, communicating, teamwork and presenting,” Schlichting said.

Students are able to create new things and problem solve in the classes being taught by  STEM qualified teachers.

“If they [the students] make something and it’s a new novel idea or product, then they can go about securing a patent [which can be done in the STEM classes and or outside of school]… I’m looking at how I can bring it into the bio med classes and how we can use STEM Innovator to come up with a solution to a problem… It’s all on the students to try and figure how we [the students] can figure it out,” Yoder said.

West has started to become known for accomplishments through STEM. The Robotics team is well known for winning the world championship competition, which is run by some of our STEM certified teachers: Jason Franzenburg and Greg Smith.

“Everyone [in the STEM certification class] was super impressed they know about what we do here in terms of  STEM and a lot of people are really impressed with what we do, and it’s not just Robotics… My brother is a welder at John Deere [and] he said  ‘oh yeah I have a lot of co workers that went to West and came out with great welding skills’,” Yoder said.