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CATE students teach their peers

Nick Baker demonstrates how the engine uses energy sources. Students in the IPC classes at Princeton High School were surprised recently to find their teachers had been replaced. Taking over the lesson were fellow students from the Bodwell CATE Center.

 Auto tech trainees and students studying heating, ventilation and air conditioning brought their expertise from the shop to the classroom as they helped make a connection between advanced science concepts and real world applications.

“The best part about teaching science to other kids was being able to share information with students so that what they were learning made more sense,” advanced auto tech student Kai Brinkerhoff said.

Brinkerhoff was joined by fellow advanced students Nick Baker and Jesus Olivas and HVAC student Benny Montoya.

“I really liked it when the class got involved,” Nick said. “It was good when they asked questions and furthered the lesson.”

Science team lead teacher Naureen Fielding came up with the idea as a way to allow students to see the benefits of learning science concepts.

“The activity provided leadership and recruiting opportunities to the CATE program while demonstrating real-life applications of classroom concepts for the IPC students from peers that have set goals and worked to achieve those goals,” Fielding said.

The CATE students carefully explained how science applied to their respective fields, while adding a little humor to keep the IPC students paying close attention.

“We invited the CATE auto tech and HVAC students and teachers to present applications of thermal energy concepts,” Fielding said.

The CATE students explained the transfer of heat energy into mechanical energy for a combustion engine and provided examples of potential energy sources in a vehicle. Students also learned an energy source can be activated to generate heat, electricity and motion.

Benny, representing HVAC, detailed the removal of heat energy by work and pressure in a heating and air conditioning system.

“The coolest part about having a lesson taught by the CATE program students was how they explained chemical, kinetic and mechanical energy by showing us a part from a car,” IPC student Iris Carrillo said. “They were able to teach IPC by explaining the different types of energies in ways we can understand. It was eye opening.”

The project did offer some difficulty to the presenters.

“The biggest challenge was making sure we explained it in a way they could comprehend and connect to what they had learned in class,” Kai said.

Nick agreed, adding that the thought of teaching was a little stressful.

“I was worried about making the lesson interesting and entertaining so the kids would stay on topic and be actively listening,” he said.

Jesus Olivas teaches the IPC students. Fielding acknowledged the instructors learned a few things in the process.

“Overall, I believe that the experience was enjoyable for both sets of students though I could see the exhaustion of seven repetitions on the faces and in the body language of the CATE presenters,” she said.

This project also introduced the students to programs at the CATE Center, and Fielding wants to expand to include cosmetology students as presenters next year.

“Cosmetology can illustrate chemical changes vs. physical changes,” she said. “They can demonstrate properties of chemical changes with hair dye since it changes hair color and texture and creates an odor. Physical properties can be demonstrated with hair cutting and styling. We may have a manicure day as nail procedures support both chemical and physical changes as well.”Benny Montoya goes over HVAC principles.