Meet Mrs. Golecki, Upper School Science
What is a favorite engineering project that you spearheaded?
As a graduate student at Harvard, I taught a capstone engineering and fashion design course for undergraduates. We worked with American luxury label Rodarte to put on a fashion show that incorporated technology into dresses. The dresses were equipped with LED lights, which changed based on things like the beat of the music or the model's heart rate.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching at Haverford?
I like the freedom we have to teach in the way we think is best suited for students, and the support we have to try new things. Students learn better in hands-on situations and not from lecture-based learning; the parents, students, and administration embrace that philosophy. Every project in my class harnesses boys' natural drive to compete and they do better in class as a result.
How do you teach problem solving skills?
I want every boy to learn how to take a question and formulate an answer - whether it's right or not. When students encounter an unknown problem, they tend to back away and think it's impossible to start. I want them to understand they can draw on all of the things they know, and experiences they've had, to figure out how to solve unknown problems.
In Honors Engineering, the boys come up with their own question, answer it by designing a physics experiment using our high-speed camera and/or electron microscope, and then think about how those principles can be applied to new technology. For example, one student was looking at how the spin of a tennis ball is affected by different racquets. The high-speed camera revealed that his racquet wobbled after hitting the ball, so he started looking into different shock absorbers.
What do you hope to accomplish as the Director of Robotics?
Three things already exist: the students' dedication, their enthusiasm, and the success of the program. I'm hoping to create a community around the program as well as a cohesive team. I'd like to look deeper into new and other ways to approach programming as well as look into the sub-field of soft robotics. I want to expose them to different competitions and different applications of robotics.
I want every boy to learn how to take a question and formulate an answer - whether it's right or not.
Holly Golecki joined The Haverford School in 2014 as an Upper School science teacher and added the role of Director of Robotics in 2016. She holds a bachelor's degree in materials engineering from Drexel University and a master's degree in biomedical engineering from Harvard University.