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Cole teaches aspiring engineers

Following on last month’s presentation by Russellville City Schools’ technology coordinators, September’s RCS Board of Education meeting featured insight into the growing engineering curriculum at Russellville.

Joseph Cole, engineer and robotics team sponsor for RCS, shared with the board his vision for the system’s new engineering academy: “to get students excited about the engineering industry and also to give them an advantage over their competitors when they enter an engineering program in college.”

Cole is a math teacher formally, but he said he is eager to be involved in the engineering curriculum. Cole was one teacher who helped guide the 2015 RCS Engineering team to world champion status.

“I’m passionate about engineering,” Cole said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to learn alongside my students.”

One method of both educating and exciting engineering students has been to bring in professionals from the industry as guest speakers to share their expertise, including a human resources manager as well as a career engineer and an engineering professor from UNA. “It’s been great to have professionals come in and talk to us and give some validity as to the direction we’re going,” Cole said.

Education has focused on engineering design and problem solving, including having students work with the 3-D printer. Technology is a key component of the engineering curriculum, and Cole said he hopes the system can continue to acquire additional and more advanced technology for Russellville’s engineering students.

“My vision, because of their excitement, is for the students to take an idea, create a 3-D model of it on the computer and print it on the 3-D printer so they can see the knowledge and work that’s gone into it,” Cole said.