Behind the Scenes: Mr. Foster’s Engineering and Robotics

Photo depicts lamps modeled and put together by the 2021-22 IED classes

Photo depicts lamps modeled and put together by the 2021-22 IED classes

Ryan Bendersky, Editorial Staff

While exploring MV’s D-wing, students may have stumbled across the unique and fun scenery inside of D105: the classroom of Mr. Dustin Foster. 

Mr. Foster spends his days teaching the PLTW (Project Lead The Way) Engineering courses and the Robotics Class. Mr. Foster, a passionate teacher in all respects, shared his favorite part of teaching these topics at MV.

“I get to watch students grow every day,” Mr. Foster expressed. “Challenging a student to actually create something and watching them push themselves to complete it is simply awesome.”

The first class students may encounter Mr. Foster in is his PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design, otherwise known as IED.

Mr. Foster explained, “IED is my design and 3-D printing class. I teach students how to think creatively using the design process and how to communicate at a professional level using CAD (Computer-Aided Design). Finally, they can bring those skills together to create projects at a level they couldn’t have dreamed of before.”

For curious or creative students who like the idea of being evaluated on what they create rather than what they score, Mr. Foster suggests that this class is for them.

Current IED student, Joseph Jones, ‘25, shared, “When I first started IED I thought that it would be a little boring, but the first day sent me a massive curveball. I learned so much about engineering, drawing, and 3D modeling. It’s been a breathtaking experience, and I would tell any incoming student to take IED.”

Students may be wondering how this class would benefit them in the future after high school compared to the many other options at MV.

Mr. Foster answered, “IED lets you learn skills in preparation for engineering, design, or architecture. However, any creative student can benefit. The design process can be applied to almost any problem in life.”

Shifting away from IED, MV also offers Robotics Class. Starting sophomore year, students have the opportunity to sign up for Robotics Class with Mr. Foster.

“Students in Robotics class are put in teams of 3-4 students. These teams create a competition robot to compete in our MTVRC tournament held at Changnon”, Mr. Foster shared.

Why should students want to take Robotics class?

Mr. Foster answered, “I believe it’s some of the most fun you can have in a classroom setting. Being able to say that you programmed or built a robot is not a bad thing to include on a resume’ as well.  Tinkering and experimenting lead to prototyping, testing, and competition.”

A unique aspect of this class compared to others is that students are always in a team with others, so their success also depends on cooperation with peers.

Mr. Foster expressed, “The team dynamic is usually the most challenging skill students must learn. Those teams that learn to play to each other’s strengths and build themselves up are always going to come out on top.”

From teamwork to competing, Robotics class is full of experience not present in other classes. With this and the great experience in IED in mind, what’s the delay? Give Mr. Foster’s classes a try!