David Miles is an engineering teacher at Parkside High School in Wicomico County. He partnered with Toroid Corporation in Salisbury, MD, for his teacher externship this summer and is excited to bring what he has learned back to the classroom.
“When I first came a couple of weeks ago they put me right in the fire. I started out working on the floor and they let me assemble and make parts, which I think was a fantastic idea. Toroid makes transformers for electronic circuits and equipment and they wanted me to kick off the experience by getting right to the heart of what they produce. I went through the process of making the transformers from the core, to wrapping wires, all the way through shipping the product out the door,” said Miles.
Throughout the course of his externship, Miles has been writing lesson plans and has seen multiple ways in which he can incorporate what he’s learning at Toroid into his classroom. Most notably, Miles plans to structure a one to two week project for the senior engineering capstone class around his work. The company has generously donated 23 transformers for this purpose.
“There are two parts to the transformers. The students will be given one part and will be able to design the other portion on their own.” Miles noted that a lot of his students are interested in car audio systems, for which transformers are used. He is looking forward to integrating their outside interests into the project.
He is hoping the engineers at Toroid can get involved too, if their time allows. Miles said they would love to have field trips to Parkside High School while students are in the process of designing their transformers and assist where they can.
Miles also had the opportunity to shadow at Toroid’s sister company, Arcon Welding, and experience the differences in manufacturing a multi-part assembly compared to a single part component. Bringing multiple perspectives back to school will help his students realize an array of paths they can take with engineering.
Miles found that the hands-on experience on the floor might be the most obvious connection to his engineering classroom, but he also appreciated spending time with the sales department, meeting with customers, learning how to make quotes and putting in work orders.
While most of Miles’ students are heading to college as the next step in becoming engineers, Toroid does offer internships to help build upon what they learn in the classroom and he hopes some of his students might be able to fill those slots in the future.
Miles is finishing up his externship this week. He is excited to start his new school year in just over a month, bringing fresh ideas to his students. His time at Toroid may be coming to an end but he has had an incredible experience and looking forward to the next phase of the program…implementation.
“I’m so happy I had this opportunity!” – David Miles
What is the Teacher Externship Pilot program? The Teacher Externship Pilot offers an additional pathway to improve workforce development and the talent pipeline in Maryland. This pilot was designed to integrate teachers into the workforce for four weeks over the summer break, to give them hands-on experience in the field that complements what they teach. The objective is for teachers to glean the hard and soft skills necessary to join the 21st century workforce and to integrate what they learn into their curriculum.