Ms. Tracy L. Smith
Tracy Smith has been teaching Physics at Upper St Clair High School since 2003. In 2020, her courses grew to include robotics education. With a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Master's Degree in Automotive Systems from the University of Michigan, her engineering background had her excited to embark on this new educational journey. Prior to teaching, Tracy worked at Chrysler for four years where she had the opportunity to see how classroom education translated into the workforce. With this background along with her recent journey into the realm of robotics, Tracy found herself endlessly questioning the best ways to prepare students to become future innovators. Over the past several years, she has been connecting with teachers, students, parents, community members, and businesses to provide new and exciting opportunities for students to learn technical skills and apply them in exciting and diverse arenas.
Feel Free to contact Tracy:
Phone: 412.833.1600 X2650
Technology Now and Tomorrow (TNT)
The Technology Now and Tomorrow course is a full year course that will introduce students to a variety of technology-related topics including engineering, robotics and computer science. This course will provide foundational technology skills needed for careers in the future. Students will complete 12-week rotations through each of the three components. Completion of this introductory level program is required for students to enroll in further studies of engineering, robotics and computer science. In the engineering cycle, students will learn to interpret and develop technical drawings, gain experience using 3D solid modeling software and build 3-dimensional objects using 3D printers. Finally, students will be introduced to the Engineering Design Process and FabLab equipment for use in hands-on problem solving exercises. In the robotics cycle, students will be introduced to the hardware and software systems of a typical robot. Students will work with both virtual and physical robots, programming them to perform various tasks. In the process, students will learn about how robots sense, move through, and make changes to their environments. In the process, students will learn how robots sense, move through, and make changes to their environments. In the computer science cycle, students will learn to develop problem-solving techniques commonly used in programming using the Python programming language. Topics covered will include variables, conditionals, loops, and functions.
Intermediate Robotics is a semester-long course that builds on the robotics skills from Technology Now and Tomorrow (TNT). Students will use VEX V5 robotics kits in this course. Programming the robot can be accomplished by using VEXcode, a block based programming language, or Python, a text based programming language. Students will build and program robots to perform various tasks. In the process, students will learn how robots sense, move through, and make changes to their environments. Current events and practical applications of robotics technology are highlighted throughout the course to emphasize the relevance of robotics in our daily lives.
Advanced Robotics is a year-long course that focuses on competition-level robotics challenges. This class will require students to integrate prior engineering, programming, and robotics knowledge to work through countless scenarios. In addition to building and programming robots, students will focus on competition strategy, community outreach, and fundraising, as well as building relationships with local robotics businesses. This course may include some travel to compete in state/national robotics competitions.