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FANUC America's Teacher Externship Program Highlight - Summer 2019

August 20, 2019

FANUC America's Teacher Externship Program Summer 2019

Science and STEM teacher Sharon Taylor has always been a go-getter, so choosing FANUC's externship program to learn more about the robotics and automation industry was a no brainer.

"Science should be taught by doing. Observing science taught through videos, reading and completing worksheets, and listening to teacher lecturing was not appealing," said Taylor, "Rather than sit back and complain, I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching with an endorsement in Science."

Each summer FANUC America, the world's leading supplier of CNCs, robotics, and ROBOMACHINEs, holds a yearly externship program, where externs from various professions can come into FANUC's headquarters for three weeks and learn more about the industry. This year, FANUC hosted six externs, one being Taylor.

"Teaching is my passion! As educational practices continue to change, I felt this externship was an opportunity to stay current with technological advances in teaching while simultaneously cultivating and enhancing students' needs and interests," Taylor said.

Each extern went through a three-week program: two weeks of classroom training and one week of job shadowing.

"I was able to obtain certification in: Handling Tool Operation and Programming, PaintPRO (Automotive Assembly), PaintPRO 24 Hr (General Industry), and Ethernet IP Setup & Functionality," said Taylor. "However, the most important skills that I learned were computational thinking, data analysis, networking, machine learning, robotics, and interface design."

Taylor will be able to take the skills she learned during her externship back to her classroom at Glenn Levey Middle School in Southfield, MI.

"As an educator, I know that some of my students are not college bound. This externship has allowed me to gain insight on high-tech career paths. I can now equip my students with viable career choices that do not necessitate a college degree," Taylor said.

With the growing skills gap, there is an increasing need for students educated in robotics and automation. To help close the gap, Taylor is using her new certifications to bring a FANUC robot to her school.

"This externship has also given me the incentive to seek grants in order to obtain a FANUC robot for our school. It is my hope to expose not only STEM students to automation, but any student that is interested," said Taylor. "How can a student know what possibilities exist, if they have never been exposed to the opportunities?"

According to Taylor, students need to learn about the past and the future to get an idea of what today's workforce requires.

"Technology continues to advance - becoming an integral portion of today's workforce. In order to prepare our students for their future, we, as educators, need to focus on future technological advancements - automation included," Taylor said.


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