How does your robotics class provide an unusual teaching experience?
Robotics is a student-directed course. Using a textbook that I developed with my first robotics classes, students complete core requirements at their own pace and then can work on anything that interests them in robotics. They’re only limited by their imaginations.
We’ve had students build soccer-playing robots. One girl programmed a facial-expression robot to interact with a child with autism. My classes actively collaborate with artists, scientists, and companies around the US and provide them with robotic and technological solutions to a wide variety of problems.
We compete in a number of competitions, including the International Firefighting Contest at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, as well as the US Navy-sponsored SeaPerch (underwater robotics) competition at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.
What do you think is special about George School?
Before coming to George School, I taught at both the high school and university levels. I liked the energy of the high school students and the sophistication of the university students. But at George School, I lucked out. Here students are mature and ‘collegiate,’ but they’re also motivated, excited, and wide-eyed. It’s the best of both worlds.
More about Chris:
With a BS from Millsaps College and an MS from Clemson University, Chris formerly worked as a rocket scientist for NASA. He came to George School in 2002. Chris coaches developmental softball and mentors the outdoor and astronomy clubs. He enjoys spending time outdoors—scuba diving, canoeing, hiking, and backpacking—with his wife Kathleen O’Neal (also a George School teacher) and two children. During his sabbatical in 2012, Chris completed his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.