Although many dismiss engineering class as “non educational” or “lacking rigor”, the actuality is quite the opposite. Unlike traditional subjects such as math, science, or history, engineering class with Ms. Oropallo uniquely and undisputedly gives us physical skills which will directly benefit us in the terrifying land of “real world”. I remember first stepping foot into the engineering room, glancing with terror at the huge machines which could remove any of my limbs with ease. This fear was slowly overcome as we learned more about what each individual tool did and used them in different projects.
When the MSEL Engineering class started working on our chicken coops, I was worried that my assignment to a woefully substandard group would inhibit the success of our final product. Mistaken, I was. Not only did my group manage to design and frame our coop with record quality and time, we did so with minimal physical and verbal violence. When defining what the chicken coop project has meant to me, I can’t help but use the word “rewarding”. The amount of effort my group put into this project, if applied to any of our other school work, would necessitate acceptance letters from Stanford itself.
Entertaining as it may be, failure is not what defines my group’s work ethic. Rather, it is our ability to problem solve, delegate tasks, and compromise. While, in its current state at least, my group’s coop, affectionately called “the one next to the really good coop”, lacks visually pleasing aesthetics, we are incessantly satisfied with our ability to overcome any challenge which comes our way.
Summer brought along its challenges, most notably heat and allergens. The sun’s light compounded with the high concentrations of pollen can make it extremely difficult to be productive some days. This ghastly combination, even more unfortunate than that known as my group, has challenged all of us to be focused and push through hardships. This skill is one that I simply could not have attained through any other class.
One of my favorite aspects of the chicken coop process was the use of the hammer tacker. For those who are inexperienced with this amazing tool, it is a hammer-like item which, on impact, extrudes heavy duty staples. I used this while securing the waterproof wrap upon the frame of the chicken coop. Not only does this marvel of humanity serve an important purpose in the assembly of our structure, it also has stress-relieving properties.
Moreover, I love the hands-on aspect of MSEL Engineering. After a long day filled with the memorization of states and capitals, the creation of synthesis essays, and the application of indefinite integrals onto trigonometric quadrinomials, Engineering class is a nice break for all of us. Sometimes hammering in a nail or drilling in a screw is all that it takes to brighten up my day.
Excellent teaching on the part of Ms. Oropallo is really what makes MSEL Engineering stand out. Without someone so motivated, dedicated, and invested, this class could easily mutate into another 10th grade English (you guys know what I mean) ((You are great Ms. Leonhart!!)). In conclusion, what makes our engineering class so special is the people, the skills, and the fun. I would not trade my sixth period for anything else and I sincerely enjoy everything we do. Throughout my life, wherever it may take me, I hope to use what I have learned this year and educate others on what true success means. Thanks Ms. Oropallo!