A SMART teacher

Lynbrook computer teacher Jeff Bernhardt to participate in a unique program


Jeff Bernhardt, computer teacher at Lynbrook High School, will be participating in a unique program, called SMART at Polytechnic Institute of NYU. SMART aims to enrich education in middle and high school classrooms. It provides teachers with enhanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational content through a mechatronics training/research program.

Mechatronics is a synergistic integration of mechanical engineering, control theory, computer science, and electronics to manage complexity, uncertainty, and communication in engineered systems. Only ten teachers from the tri-state area are selected for the SMART program.

During the first two weeks, Bernhardt will receive guided training to study and explore hands-on activities in the exciting field of mechatronics. His specific assignment is to develop an iPhone application with button, slider, and accelerometer inputs that can send/receive TCP, UDP, and/or Open Sound Control (OSC) messages over Wi-Fi. Second, he must develop a reliable absolute-positioning system for a mobile robot, and then for a team of robots, in an indoor environment. 

  During the last four weeks, in two-person teams, he will conduct engineering research in a collaborative environment consisting of graduate and undergraduate researchers and university faculty. Bernhardt will have additional milestones including improving the iPhone interface, programming the robots to keep a rigid formation, and commanding/monitoring the formation using the iPhone application that he developed. 

Bernhardt looks forward to integrating these concepts into the computer curriculum at LHS. His students will be exposed to cutting-edge technology with real-world connections. He hopes that after completing robotics units in class, students will be inspired to pursue careers in science and technology.