North Point Science, Technology, and Industry Programs: Engineering

One big thing about high is trying to figure out what students want their future careers to be. Whether it is in the food business or carpentry, future careers tend to be in the subjects students enjoy the most during these few years of education.

Engineers tend to be former students who enjoy mathematics and sciences. They tend to be great workers and love to learn about new things. They ask simple questions and expect complex answers, and they make goals and learn to keep them. Those who fit into these categories- and a few others- are probably in the Engineering Program here at North Point.

The Engineering Program is one of the few that starts during freshman year. The course difficulty steadily increases a students grasp concepts to build upon. To enter the program, students had to have already passed Algebra II in the eight grade and had the personality that interviewers thought perfect for the course- hardworking, diligent, dependable, and serious, but still not afraid to have fun.

Teachers of the programn, Mr. Pauole and Mrs. Swartwelder are convinced that is is the students that make the program great. Swartzwelder says that the students are fun, bright, interested in the subject, and want to learn, and “that’s what makes it worthwhile.” Mr. Pauole says that the course is never monotonous. Because of the different minds at work, there is never the same answer, and every day there is something different to look forward to.

Swartzwelder has taught engineering for 26 years, beginning with Career Tech for college bound students. Once the school moved to North Point, so did she. Her favorite subject to teach is the physics behind the engineering, saying, “there is no physics that isn’t good!”

Pauole taught at Lackey for three years before coming to North Point. He enjoys teaching the computer based programs involved with engineering and enjoys watching the students’ skills grow from their freshman to their senior year. He likes to see the enthusiasm in which the students grow in to.

In the program, projects are assigned instead of worksheets. Other classwork is also assigned by other teachers. The projects usually teach students not only the application of the material, but also the teamwork skills, time management, and unorthodox thinking. By assigning the projects, teachers see the students grow in basic skills like sketching, designing, building, etc.

Both teachers agree that those who do well in their classes do well in college. Because the Engineering Program is a college prep course, college freshmen do very well and even breeze through some subjects, taking for granted the skills learned through the program. Most engineering students graduate in the top ten percentile, and most continue to study engineering.

One common piece of advice from Pauole and Swartzwelder was time management. Students need to set goals and it would not be very good to get behind on anything. Never give up, and work hard to play even harder. And always remember the Engineer’s Motto: “Question everything, learn something, and answer nothing.”