Josh: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Tech Club meets to work on projects. Today, we interviewed Mr. Hayes. From The Panther Eye, this is Roar.
What are some life lessons you want students to take away from Tech Club?
Hayes: I’d look at the Tech Club as an opportunity for students to see actual classwork in action when we don’t have the time [in classroom]. So, one of the things we like to look at is that learning new things can be fun. Tech Wars, we do some of the classroom activities and we put them in a more enjoyable atmosphere.
Competition, you’re building a robot not because you want to just build it and learn how to program, but you’re building a robot so yours is better than somebody’s from Williamsville East or something.
Although, people, when you think technology, they all say it’s computers it’s not. Technology is anything! Any tool that exists and learning how to use those tools is an important part of being apart of the real world.
Josh: What do you think are some of the best aspects of Tech Club?
Hayes: I’d have to go back to one of the things I said right there in the beginning, the first question. It really is about seeing how all of your classes interact and how they actually apply to real situations.
Math is important, science is important, and how does this apply to making something that actually does something? It’s graded, the molecular bond of carbon and whatever creates one thing, but y’know, how does that relate to a diamond? Or a diamond cutting tool or why is diamond so hard? So actually taking a look and seeing how other classes [relate].
How could I use English? Y’know, you make me take four years of it. What am I supposed to do with it? Well, y’know, if you’re able to communicate well, your ideas, technology is all about ideas. So you’re able to communicate them, that becomes important.
Josh: What are some of your favorite projects you’ve done over the years?
Hayes: There’s been some really exciting projects that we’ve done, some real cool stuff. If I go back to a few years ago. We built an electric car that, we actually, we had it race in the back along the long tennis courts are. We used to get up to sixty miles an hour in about three seconds and then after building it we took it on tour. We went to the state conference for technology and did a demonstration of the car in front of lot of teachers from various points of that state.
We also had cardboard boat one year and an all-girls team decided they wanted to build a cardboard boat and they raced it and we came in third, but the girls really had a great time with it, learned a lot of things about buoyancy and all those different things that they heard about in science, but never really experienced. Plus, it was a lot of fun it was just a real kick.
Josh: How would you argue Tech Club is worth coming to?
Hayes: Well that all depends on your interests. We cover a lot of different things. We get involved in escape rooms, we get involved in bridge building, we get involved in robotics and programming!
But, y’know it all comes down to what is your interest?
One of our members, strongly involved in keeping track of all of our design work. In fact his engineering notebook is where we keep everything, actually won an award the last couple of yours in a row! For his maintaining of all the materials, all of the ideas, y’know he’ll keep track of all that.
So tech is not just, y’know, I gotta go there and I gotta, I gotta build a robot. No, it’s about finding something that you have an interest in and then just being able to have the time to do it.
Josh: Why did you start Tech Club?
Hayes: Well, I’m going to borrow a saying, something that I’ve hear a couple other tech teachers say, there’s so many toys and so little time. Just providing the amount of little extra time at the end of the day to play with all of the stuff we’ve got.
I mean, we’ve got stuff that we’ve put up in boxes because we don’t have time to use it in class. Well during Tech Club, we can bring it down.
Like I say trying to involved students in something that they may not know that existed or they may not of a found or thought they had an interest is really kinda cool.
Josh: How has the club evolved since it first started?
Hayes: Well, when it first started, we were really working only on one project, the electric car. And then we built an injection molding machine and although they were very, y’know, cool projects, we wanted to do more projects with more of a variety.
So we’re doing more projects now. We’re involved in a lot more competitions across the state. We’ve really picked up on the game a little bit.
Music by Verified Picasso.
Josh is a host of the Eye‘s podcast, Roar.