As an instructor of the PLTW Gateway unit Automation and Robotics, I am tasked with providing students with essential knowledge and skills. Though many students cannot foresee the benefit of taking the course, they leave Automation and Robotics with a greater sense of understanding how to undertake and solve any problem they encounter.
The Project Lead The Way Automation and Robotics unit ensures students depart with a greater sense of critical-thinking and analytical skills that they can take with them to boost their future careers. The systematic thinking students leave Automation and Robotics with is essential in the employment market and entrepreneurial ventures today. The open-endedness students face in the unit is very different from prior educational experiences and results in students having to think outside of the box, knowing there could be multiple correct answers. All in all, students are gaining more than just an engineering foundation – they are gaining skills they are able to use to propel their career choices.
In essence, students become superior critical thinkers who are ready to diagnose various problems thrown at them. While not every student who takes Automation and Robotics will become a roboticist or engineer, every student is going to encounter a problem they are going to have to solve. After taking Automation and Robotics, students have the skillset to solve and analyze these problems.
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