Christopher Bunn is the technology education department chair at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts. This summer he is working with Stanley Black & Decker as a teacher extern, through the Maryland Chamber Foundation Teacher Externship Pilot Program.
Bunn has one year under his belt at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts heading up their CTE program and was looking for a way to connect what his students learn in the classroom to the workplace. “I have spent one full year teaching the curriculum I do now and I’m starting to see a lot of connections with what I’m teaching and why I’m teaching it because of how it pertains to the world of manufacturing,” said Bunn. He is already brewing up ideas to implement his experience into the classroom.
Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts introductory CTE class is focused on the goal of developing a product – recognizing that you have your inputs (time, resources and money); then you have your process in building the product; then there are outputs which require feedback; and finally you conduct research to try to determine how you can get your final product to be better. Bunn said he’s finding a lot of parallels to this class, specifically, across different departments at Stanley Black & Decker, even though each approach their goals in a unique way. “Those are the connections I think my students will get the most out of, that what we do in the classroom translates directly to many different areas in this industry.”
One experience Bunn particularly appreciated was working with Habitat for Humanity for the day. “It was great to work with engineers who spend most of their days in their cobble shops creating new tools and get to see them doing field research with the tools they have made,” said Bunn. He is also looking forward to visiting the Stanley Black & Decker advanced manufacturing center in Hartford, Connecticut, and plant in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts next week.
Bunn mentioned his appreciation that Stanley Black & Decker is a “company [that] does a lot to invest in their employees to show their most important asset is their people.” He hopes to continue the relationships with the engineers he has met and bring his students to the Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace or have the engineers come to his school and present about what it is they do.
Bunn still has a week to go until his externship is over, but is looking forward to finding even more ways in which he can incorporate what he learns on the job into the classroom.
In case you missed last week’s spotlight, check out the experience of extern Kyle Thompson over at Volvo Group Trucks Operations.
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.