Trinity-Pawling faculty member Bob Reilly

Albert Einstein famously said: “I have no special talent; I am only passionately curious.” This quote just happens to be one of Bob Reilly’s favorites, and it is the foundation of his work and teaching style in the Trinity-Pawling MakerSpace. “I am also passionately curious, and I want to share that curiosity with my students,” shared the MakerSpace Facilitator and Technology Associate. “I want to show them that learning is never, ever boring.”

The MakerSpace is a collaborative work area on the ground level of Gardiner Library where faculty and students can engage in hands-on learning and discovery. The space is equipped with all the tools students may need to design, create, prototype, and test — all within a safe learning environment.

As the MakerSpace Facilitator, Reilly doesn’t teach just one specific class. Instead, he has the opportunity to be a part of every class on campus — from history to physics, Middle School to AP level. The hands-on projects that the boys create in the MakerSpace help to give them a new learning perspective and a real-world application of the concepts they are learning in the classroom. Like building radio-controlled model airplanes that successfully take flight (Middle School Winter Project); constructing mouse trap-controlled cars to learn about momentum, traction, and torque (AP Physics); designing and building Estes model rockets and launching them on campus (8th grade science and math); and so much more. All in a day’s work for Reilly.

Next year, he has even bigger plans for students in the MakerSpace, including building a stereo amplifier from scratch and creating a First Lego League robotics team on campus.

“Light bulb moments have to be my favorite part of this job,” Reilly reflected. “When the boys actually get their race car to move or the rocket to launch. When the material from class starts to click! I love seeing their excitement about learning.”

Reilly certainly wears many hats at Trinity-Pawling. In addition to his work in the MakerSpace, he also serves as the Technology Associate and helps to troubleshoot any technical or printing issues that may arise on campus. He also works closely with the Theater Department to design and build props for the on-stage productions each year. In his spare time this school year, he even programmed and built a jeopardy game study tool for students and faculty to check out of the library. The best part? If you get the question correct, it plays the Trinity-Pawling Fight Song!

As the Spring Term comes to a close, Reilly looks back on the year with gratitude and looks forward to an exciting series of new projects in the fall. And even in the summer months, he can be found in the MakerSpace tinkering, designing, and constructing. What will Reilly build next? We can’t wait to find out.

by Emma Christiantelli