David Wise

Content Developer

1.     What’s your experience in STEM professions?
While at MIT, I worked as a research assistant in the underwater vehicles lab on an underwater glider project designed for tracking and tracing oil plumes. After graduating, I worked as an ocean engineer for a startup in the SF Bay area. I designed and prototyped components for the electrical systems on unmanned underwater vehicles, as well as working with sonar and remote operated vehiches (ROVs).

2.     What’s your experience in STEM education?
I’ve worked for multiple summer camps as both a STEM curriculum developer and an instructor, both in college and after graduating. I also was a TA for Intro to Design and Manufacturing and Electronics for Mechanical Engineers.

3.     What makes you passionate about STEM education?
I firmly believe STEM skills like critical thinking or problem solving are invaluable for students to learn. I love how excited and enthusiastic students get when their design works for the first time or how amazed they are when their circuit or program actually does what they want it to.

4.     What’s your favorite STEM project you’ve done with students?
I’ve built dozens of small underwater vehicles called sea perches with students. I always love the final day of testing, where they literally get to see if their designs sink or swim and how excited they are to explore and run a simulated mission with their robots.

5.     What’s your favorite STEM project you’ve done for yourself?
I’ve been working on making a full-size animatronic R2-D2 using a 3D printer. I like how it not only combines mechanical, software, and electrical elements, but I also get to learn more artistic techniques, like painting and weathering.

6.     What’s the funniest thing that’s gone wrong on a project?
We were testing out water rocket launchers for a STEM class and a kinematics analysis project, and the comment “it can’t be that much force if we just test with air at a low pressure” was made. Needless to say, we almost immediately launched a rocket partially through a ceiling tile.

7.     What tool or technology do you think every STEM teacher should know how to use?
I think every STEM teacher should know how to operate a multimeter. Circuits and electronics can be black magic to many students, and a multimeter is one of the easiest ways for students to actually “see” what is going on.

8.     What is something (not work-related) you know more about than most people?
I’ve been crocheting for over 15 years and have pretty extensive experience when it comes to making amigurumi (small stuffed animals). Also, Star Wars.

9.  What is a unique skill or perspective you bring to our STEM team?
I think I have a very diverse range of experience and skills, which helps me create content and projects that draws on both STEM and CTE topics.

10.  Where do you work from?
Lake Tahoe, California

11.     Do you have any furry coworkers?
Two dogs – Avalanche and Shasta and three cats- Vader, Chewy, and Solo