Computer and Engineering at its Finest


Nathan Otazu

Ms. McGovney instructing her Advanced Computers and Engineering class.

Nathan Otazu, Staff Writer

Ms. McGovney is running a brand-new advanced computer and engineering class this year here at McAuliffe Middle School for experienced eighth graders. 

In order to join Ms. McGovney’s advanced course, you must have taken her class the year before. This higher-level class requires some foundational skills. In computers and engineering, you need math skills, know how to present and work well with others, and know your way around a computer. In Ms. McGovney’s basic class, students learn about robotics, 3D design, programming software, and basic digital media skills. In the advanced class students build on these skills and are currently working on an app creator for an Android device.

According to Ms. McGovney, “My greatest challenge in this class is the materials. I wish we had more hardware for the things my kids built, mainly because they have to take it apart and rebuild it. That’s when things break and when we are in need of materials the most.”

Brandon Rodriguez, a freshman at Los Alamitos High School, advises the students, “I had Ms. McGovney’s computers and engineering class for 2 years and my tips are to listen to what the teacher is saying, especially when she is speaking about the computer, cause she might be pointing out a tip for your way around the computer,” Rodriguez stated. “Think outside the box, work with your classmates well, don’t try doing things by yourself in a group project, and try to be a team leader.”

Ms. McGovney took specialized training and worked with other teachers at Oak, such as Mr. Schielle, to learn how to become a robotics teacher. Taking both of her classes will impact your life if you are committed to one day working in the robotics field. Knowing the design process, and knowing the basics of computers and engineering will prepare you for jobs related to this elective.