Highland High School students make rover copy

Posted at 8:17 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 23:17:04-05

From Mars to the classroom, one Highland High teacher is getting some help from Hollywood.

Teachers are always looking for ways to engage their students.

I caught up with a Highland High engineering class using a blockbuster hit to learn lessons on engineering.

Students at highland high school have figured out how to take Hollywood and California teaching standards and make them interactive.

Engineering and statistics teacher, Aaron Whitfield had a great idea to get creative and play to the creative side.

"My engineering classes we're looking to try to find a way to bring the movie "The Martian" into our curriculum," said Whitfield.

The 2015 blockbuster staring Matt Damon is nominated for seven Oscars this year and one scene in particular has peaked the students interest.

They recreated a scene for the purpose of understanding the complex world of science and space.

"There's a big push in the united states to take stem education: Science, technology, engineering and mathematics and incorporate the arts into it. It's called stem to steam." said Whitfield

It's a tough class, but thanks to Mr. Whitfield and his interactive curriculum, it's something Stephen Marve is looking to pursue after high school.

"I like this because one day i would like to become an aerospace engineer. And i like how using hexadecimal further my career," said Marve.

"This kind of a class with this kind of curriculum opens that up and lets students realize what's out there and that it's a great paying profession, high demand and its something that they'd be good at and that they're interested in," said Whitfield.

Student, Tomas Garcia, explained that the stationary rover was used to communicate a special code from Mars to mission control, or in this case a storage closet back to the class room.

"So we'd come up with two back-to-back usually and then that would spell out a number or letter or whatever and then from that we would create a whole message," said Garcia.

And today's message in class?

The same as the movie.

The project in mr.Whitfield's class is about a month old and both the teacher and the students say the "out of this world lesson" is one they won't forget.