Mechatronics comes to RHS


Meghan Gannon, Copy Editor

Mechatronics is a new class started this school year that involves an introduction to coding, 3D design and printing, and designing and putting together robots taught by head of Roseville High School’s science department Robert Smitka.

During the first trimester of this course, Smitka has introduced the basics to coding and 3D designing. Throughout the rest of the course, Smitka will be implementing challenges and progressing into 3D design and the building of robots.

“The mechatronics class is originally meant to be a hands-on learning class that involves lots of teamwork. I’ve had to try to find online alternatives to things that we would normally be doing in class.” Smitka said.

Smitka has had to find new, inventive ways to work around virtual learning and not being able to use the resources he would normally have to do interactive activities within the class.

“We did, however, send home a micro bit pocket computer to each student so they could work on these projects while virtual.” Smitka said.

The mechatronics class welcomes beginner, intermediate, and experienced coders, and designers to participate and grow throughout the course.

Senior and REST Club member Zoey Carter expressed how she takes a role within the mechatronics class.

“I do have experience with coding prior to taking the class because I was in REST Club, which is why I was interested in the class.”

Carter also takes a role in presenting new ideas and assisting students who may be new to coding or by presenting new ideas for the class.

“I usually take a leadership role in the class by either presenting my own ideas to Mr. Smitka during class while working on assignments as a class or when we split up into breakout rooms for projects. I try to help gather everyone’s ideas and then help put it into code when my classmates have trouble understanding what to do.”

This new class is adapting to virtual learning by teamwork and building stronger relationships throughout the classmates.

“Initially the class is a lot of individual work, while each student learns how to code, do 3D design, etc. When the students get good at learning these skills, they are usually teamed up to work as cooperative groups…” Smitka said.

The mechatronics class will be working to improve their skills and talents in 3D design as well as growing and adapting through virtual learning.