Brad Gentry

Robotics and pre-engineering, Greene Technology Center, Greeneville City Schools

Pre-engineering and robotics. Two subjects that cause intellectual cowering among even some of the highly-educated.

But in Brad Gentry’s classroom, these two notoriously difficult subjects are accessible and, he argues, important for success.

“The subjects I teach impact my student’s future,” he explains, “each of my classes requires considerable amounts of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students learn to think logically and critically about a problem and then follow a process to solve the problem.”

But it’s not always easy. So, Mr. Gentry experiments with different types of classroom strategies. One new method he’s trying is peer review.

“The peer review process adds a new depth to the classroom because now students can see other projects, improve their project based on what they see, and better recognize mistakes when they occur,” he says.

Mr. Gentry loves helping his students create new things and setting them up for future success. He teaches robotics and engineering, in part, because of the growing workforce demands those type of workers.

“If America is to reemerge as a manufacturing hub,” he says, “then, she will need trained employees to design the factories, machines, and products, as well as, needing robotics specialists to build and program the robots to perform many of the functions in the facilities.”

And even, for a student who decide not to pursue a future in robotics or engineering, he feels confident that his class will still give them the tools for success.

“The skills used [in robotics and engineering] will remain constant in any career my students choose.”

Bio: Brad Gentry has been a teacher for five years. He teaches pre-engineering and robotics at the Greene Technology Center in Greene County Schools. He holds his Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University. He is a 2015-16 SCORE Tennessee Educator Fellow. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys spending time with his son and newborn daughter, programming and building computers, working with his church, and watching sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @mrbradgentry.

The SCORE Sheet is the online conversation on public education reform in Tennessee and is hosted by SCORE. The blog mirrors SCORE’s collaborative nature and features contributors from Tennessee and across the country including students, parents, teachers, policymakers, community groups, and members of SCORE’s team. Regardless of perspective, contributors share a common goal: that every child graduates from high school prepared for college or the workforce.

Posts on The SCORE Sheet are the opinions of the individual contributors and are not necessarily reflective of the opinions and positions of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).