Engineering: Expanding Options for STEM

Engineering: Expanding Options for STEM

By: Jocelyn Martinez ’19


Passaic Valley offers various different courses and electives that enhance the learning environment for students. Engineering, a new course for the 2018-19 school year, provides another important STEM pathway for interested and eager students.

The Engineering Class, which is offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, is currently taught by Mr. Phillian. Although it is only his first year teaching this course, he has been teaching Chemistry for many years and started teaching Chemistry Honors this year as well. Due to his experience, Mr. Phillian is the perfect fit to teach this class. 

Mr. Phillian is grateful for the challenge and confident in his abilities. “I was honored to be given the responsibility to develop this new course,” he said. “I very much wanted it to be a success.” 

Engineering is a very broad course that allows students to explore multiple branches. “The class was added in order to strengthen our STEM program and to offer students another important career pathway,” mentioned Mr. Phillian.

The students in this class consistently learn intriguing information about the world of engineering. “We started out the year learning the basics, but as we moved along, we learned more complex material, such as projectile motion,” stated Joseph Valencia ’19. 

Engineering is a unique course, for it allows the students to learn by taking action and completing physical tasks. “In this class, we get to explore the course of engineering by actually building machines with our fellow peers, hands on,” explained Mounir Sakhat ’19. 

This class not only teaches the students how to build and operate machines from scratch but how to troubleshoot malfunctions in the machines as well. “I have led my students to discover how to modify their designs to improve their performance,” said Phillian.

This class also allows the students to learn patience and to be more open to new ideas through its focus on group work. Although this class is considered rather challenging, “The students are doing very well and exceeding my expectations, ” Phillian stated.

The engineering field is ever-growing and its inclusion in PV’s curriculum has proved successful. “I was inspired to take this class because I wanted to become an engineer,” Sakhat clarified. “I feel that I have gotten a better understanding of how machines operate in our everyday lives.” 

In addition, the depth of the class offers much to those already familiar with the subject. “I had a decent understanding of what engineering was before taking this class, but it has showed me the smaller yet very important work that goes into engineering,” declared Valencia.

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