Etnier and Engineering


Meet Ms. Etnier: Chicago native, science enthusiast, and first-year engineering teacher in the Mariemont School District.

Etnier has always been a teacher and loves what she does. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Biology. She considers herself a “sciency” person.

Each student has a sketchbook that helps them design and calculate dimensions (PHOTO BY RENNER)
Each student has a sketchbook that helps them design and calculate dimensions (PHOTO BY RENNER)

During second bell at the high school, she teaches Intro to Engineering.

“It’s a collaboration between Great Oaks, Mariemont, and Project Lead the Way,” she says.

Project Lead the Way is a national program that includes students K-12 and empowers them through hands on learning.

In the class, the students use the design process and all of their assignments are project-based.

Mistakes are common, but it is all part of the process of building better engineers, according Etnier.

A project students enjoyed doing was making a puzzle cube for a hypothetical company that hired them.

“Doing projects like this gives students ownership of what they are doing,” says Etiner. “In hands-on projects, they are learning about designing, inventing, and collaborating with others,” she says.

“I really liked the puzzle project,” says junior Josh Cook. “I thought it was cool how we collected data on how fast people could solve it,” he says.

In the class, the students also use a program called Tynker, a website that helps them with programming and coding.

Max Christopher, Jack Wilder, Chris Taylor, and Cam’ron work on their designs using the Tynker program on their computer (PHOTO BY RENNER).

“Coding is what makes websites and programs work how they’re supposed to,” says senior Chris Taylor.

Another component of the engineering program is the ability to be creative. Students can come up with their own designs and request them through online submission to be 3-D printed.

“We use the computers and our notebooks to design 3-D objects and give the dimensions to Ms. Etiner who takes them to the junior high to be printed,” says senior Jack Wilder.

Etiner hopes students will have the opportunity to take the course as a 4-year elective in the future.

Next year, the agenda is to have a Level 2 class, Principles of Engineering, where the students will be experimenting with task-performing robots and power tools.