High School, Engineering Essentials
“God is the original engineer who designed the world in all its complexity. It’s a joy to help students learn to use His concepts and the creativity He’s given them to help other people.”—Michelle Crose
Michelle began teaching the high school Engineering Essentials class, an integral part of our high school STEM focus, in 2015-16. A third-generation Purdue engineer (her father, three grandparents, and two siblings are also Purdue engineers), Michelle loves introducing students to engineering, “I want to expose students to the breadth of options within this discipline. By the time students complete this course, they should have a good idea of what engineering is and whether they’d like to pursue it.”.
Michelle’s work experience at McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Martin enables her to give her students a real-world view of the kinds of tasks and projects engineers face in the workplace. This year, students in her Essentials class completed an engineering design project through the Georgia Tech InVenture Challenge. They identified a problem, brainstormed solutions, created a prototype, and tested their model. Guest speakers expose students to different career opportunities in the field. Since engineering is such a hands-on experience, students spend plenty of time testing concepts by making models: straw rockets, hot air balloons, parachutes, homopolar motors, and more. Michelle also teaches engineering rotations on our week-long STEM-focused field trips for high school and middle school students.
Besides engineering, Michelle’s family has a three-generation aviation heritage. Her grandmother was the youngest female pilot in the U.S. when she got her license at age 17 as a member of the same Purdue flying club as Amelia Earhart. Michelle’s father also has a private pilot’s license. Michelle followed in their footsteps getting her license while at Purdue. She is looking forward to sharing her aviation knowledge with the 8th-grade engineering class that she will be teaching next year as well.