Mr. Mike Wheeler - Room 186 - West Middle School
1920 West Pikes Peak Avenue Colorado Springs - Colorado - 80904
email@example.com (719) 328-3976
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The entry level Introduction to Technology program is composed of three quarterly classes: Introduction to Computers, Introduction to Technology, and Introduction to Flight. This gives our sixth graders lots of opportunity for experiential hands-on learning in a variety of areas. Highlights for our Computer classes have been keyboarding, voice recognition, the computer build and robotics programming. In Industrial Technology, the structures unit includes building scale model houses, bridges, furniture, and toys while learning the safe use of tools and materials for building. Flight Technology is offered in quarter 4 where students will learn to scratch build kites, hot air balloons, gliders, and balsa aircraft while learning the basics of flight on computerized flight simulators.
Our Gateway to Technology (GTT) classes are a middle school program in pre-engineering provided by Project Lead the Way, (brouchure) a national organization that promotes engineering and technology nationwide. Course offerings include GTT Design and Modeling, GTT Automation and Robotics, GTT Magic of Electrons, and GTT Science of Technology.
The core courses of Design & Modeling and Automation & Robotics provide middle school students opportunities to discover engineering concepts such as design process problem solving, computer assisted design (CAD), object oriented programming and assembly of a variety of manual and automated power transfer and sensing systems. Students taking these GTT courses often find that when moving between local middle schools and even schools from other states that the concepts and pacing are nearly the same. These foundation courses in pre-engineering prepare students for the high school level engineering courses offered by PLTW which include more advanced content in architectural, structural, and mechnical design. The same physical parts used to assemble projects at the middle and high school levels can often also be found used in undergraduate engineering programs at the college/university level.
Our GTT program at West offers not only the core Design & Modeling and Automation & Robotics Units, but the advanced units Magic of Electrons (Electronics) and Science of Technology (Appied Chemistry and Physics). Plans are in process to also offer the GTT Energy and Environment, GTT Green Architecture, GTT Flight and Space, and GTT Medical Detectives.
Our acquisition of Coronado High School's Fischertechnik Robotics parts and digital electronics inventories has afforded West the most well equipped technology lab we've had in years making it possible for small groups to build some amazingly sophisticated engineering projects. We also have a substantial inventory of Lego, KNex, and Erector sets allowing students to indulge themselves in the design and modeling of a wide variety of static and dynamic structures and mechanisms. Our fabrication studio (woodshop), is equipped with a variety of drills, saws, sanders, and materials allowing plenty of scratch building as well. A recent grant from The Foundation for D11 has allowed us to acquire additional "hobby size" tablesaws, bandsaws, drill presses, and chopsaws for our "smaller" students and projects.
Our West Technology Club sponsors our FIRST Lego League and Science Olympiad afterschool programs. Semester 1 is typically spent getting our Mindstorm robots ready for the November regional and December state competitions. Our West Warrior FLL Team placed 6th in the 2013-14 Regional Tournament and 11th in the State! Semester 2 we typically go into Science Olympiad mode and spend the rest of our time working on individual and small group projects for the February Regional and April State Competitions. Our Science Olympiad team attended both the Regional and State Competitions in 2012-13 and 2013-14! Visit one ot our West Parent\Family Engagement Nights ane let us show you what we can do.
There is lots of engaged learning happening in the tech room, from 7:30am in the mornings to 5:30pm afterschool, and sometimes it seems we're having more fun than we should, but Technology is an applied academic exploratory class and should be fun, engaging, and "hands-on".
West Technology = excitement, engagement, and ethusiasm
Take a few minutes to watch a few of the videos below for an idea of what Applied Engineering Technology at West is all about!
The World is Changing. Meet the Future!
Mr. Wheeler is highly qualified in Business, Science, and Mathematics and holds current Colorado Teacher qualifications in Math and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). He also holds PLTW qualifications in Basic and Advanced Gateway to Technology courses. Mr. Wheeler is a former New York State Business Computer Applications teacher, Computer/Network Support Technician and Trainer, Manufacturing Engineer/Technician, Private Aircraft Owner and Pilot. He has been at West for 8 years.