Anthony, Charlie 2We are thrilled to introduce to you Mrs. Charlie Anthony, who will be the Engineering Subject Expert Teacher (SET) for grades 2, 3, and 4, as well for the Intro to Engineering elective that will be available for grade 6 and 7 students. Additionally, she will teach grade 4 math!

Students in grades 2 and 3 will have Intro to Engineering once a week for 85 minutes, and grade 4 students will have an Engineering and Technology course they take two times a week for 50 minutes. The engineering elective for grades 6 and 7 will also incorporate computer programing foundations.

Mrs. Charlie, as students will call her, has a unique passion for engineering and math! Follow along our Q&A to learn more about her and her background.

Tell us more about yourself and your background!
I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and went on to receive my Masters also in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. I then moved to Seattle in 2017 where I immediately began seeking teaching roles. My passion for engineering comes from teaching others about it, and introducing and reinforcing the skills required to be a successful engineer. I also have a great deal of experience teaching math and science. For the last five years, I have taught math and science in private schools from grade 5 arithmetic all the way up to advanced calculus and everything in between. I am excited to continue teaching math for grade 4 students at BASIS Independent Bellevue and incorporating this discipline into engineering.

Where did your passion for engineering come from?
I have always liked understanding how things worked. When I was little, I would take things apart to put them back together. That grew into an interest of learning how to fix things. Another aspect I really enjoy that is inherent to engineering is math and logic. I think about engineering as a way to solve problems and the skills—engineering principles can be applicable to just about everything.

On that point, how will you bring art, math, and science to life within this engineering course?
All subjects go together and can be interdisciplinary. I prioritize art, math, and science in my classroom because they are essential elements of engineering. I like to celebrate the creativity aspect of engineering by thinking about what things can be or what they can look like from a design aspect. I will also make time for the math aspect in solving equations. I look forward to collaborating with fellow SETs to connect concepts from other classes that they may be learning to take those lessons a step further and reinforce ideas. 

What part of the engineering cycle do you find most fascinating and why?
I am fond of the brainstorming aspect because that is how you get the cool new ideas. However, I also enjoy the building and prototyping portions because it is about the design, creation, and figuring out how exactly it will work. I particularly enjoy watching my students participate in these two steps because it is always interesting to see what they come up with and how their minds bring those concepts to life.

 What skills will you focus on building?
I want my students to be confident in learning how to learn. In other words, I want them to know how to keep going when things are not going well. A lot of times in engineering you have these great ideas and then you start building it and find it does not work the way you originally envisioned it. The ability to keep trying to figure things out when they do not work the first time—or even the first 20 times—is a key step. This is a critical life skill students need to learn, so the earlier I can teach students to do this, the better off they will be.

What is your goal for each student?
My goal for students is to develop the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills needed to solve problems independently and within different social settings. I encourage students to explore their curiosity and utilize resources that are found around them, whether it be online materials, books, etc. I also want students to be capable of creatively brainstorming different ideas and being confident in them even if they are ridiculous. These are the ideas that eventually stem into something especially exciting. As students grow into adults, I want them to be confident and independent problem-solvers.

What classroom projects have you done in the past?
In graduate school, I helped lead an undergraduate class where we would program Lego robots to do mazes. There are several different levels that go into a project like this, including, but not limited to, the building and design of the robot, programing the robot to move through the maze, and creating the course. It becomes a group effort and a fun and engaging project for the class. I hope to do a project similar to this in my classes because it was extremely fun!

You will be teaching the engineering elective, which also incorporates computer science. Can you tell us a little about what you anticipate this class to cover?
Computer science and engineering are like two hands working together. I envision it being a more traditional class on how to collect and present information using existing data applications. In this class, I plan to emphasize how we can collect and use data in relation to engineering. We will also explore programming platforms such as Scratch, where students can create their own interactive stores, games and animation, and Python.

What do you like to do outside of the classroom?
I enjoy being outside, hiking, biking, sports, and interestingly enough, I collect rubber ducks (I will likely have some on display in the classroom)!

BASIS Independent Bellevue is a private school opening fall 2022. We will open with Grades 2 - 7 to start and add a grade level each school year as we expand to a full middle and high school (Grades 5 - 12).

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