Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
If you ask Corey Lehman, he may just tell you that he teaches the coolest subject that is offered at Rick Hansen Secondary School in Mississauga: Robots.
While the technical term is Manufacturing Technology, the recent Brock Technological Education graduate has enjoyed teaching the complexities of a class that goes beyond just “shop class”.
“At most schools [manufacturing technology] means Machine Shop,” he said. “However, at Rick Hansen Secondary School (RHSS) it is Machine Shop/Robotics/Mechanical Engineering – it is a specialist high skills major program.”
Lehman, who acted as the lead mentor to this year’s winning team (allied with a team from Toronto and Texas) at the FIRST Robotics Championships in St. Louis, MO in April, began his involvement with the robotics team , Theory6, during his second practicum last year and hasn’t looked back.
“It was the middle of the robotic team’s build season and I offered to help mentor in the machine shop,” the former tool and die maker and welder said. “A couple of weeks later and I was hooked - I travelled all over North America with the team and had quite the positive experience.”
For Lehman, when the opportunity arose to work at RHSS he jumped all over it.
“I never could have seen myself teaching robotics,” he said. “Now that I am, I know it is the right career path for me.”
Evidenced by his team’s recent performance, Lehman not only has the knowledge to help his students achieve new heights, but he also knows when to sit back and let the students take the lead.
With 85 students on the RHSS robotics team, Lehman says he prefers to simply facilitate the process, allowing the students to plan, design, build and program the robot. He says the students are able to learn the most this way.
With technology becoming exponentially prevalent in today’s schools, programs such as those that Lehman teaches offer a world of experience and skills that continue to prepare the next generation of students for the proverbial real world.
“FIRST Robotics gives students a chance to work together in real world situations,” he said. “They learn time management, how to communicate effectively with others, budgeting, design process, networking, building/hands-on skills and confidence.”
And much like those who taught Lehman during his time in the Technological Education program, he feels the same pride in seeing his students succeed.
“I am so very proud of my students and truly feel they deserve everything they achieved this year.”
For more information on Lehman’s team you can visit their web site theory6.ca.