NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) Amber Dobbs has a really cool classroom. Her students get to master Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

“It’s mainly just about helping students figure out those critical thinking skills, collaboration, those skills they need for the workforce,” Dobbs says.

Their middle school years are packed with projects that will give them lifelong skills.

“My 6th grade students actually learn how to do 3D printing, 3D design. And so I have a printer for them to be able to bring their creations to life. My 8th grade students actually do a robotics class. That’s what they’re working on. We just started programming. They’re learning how to make their robots move.”

And you can apply that kind of expertise to any career path.

“Robotics doesn’t just teach a student to be a robotic engineer one day. It teaches them those critical thinking skills and problem-solving. And so I have students who go into all fields, from biomedical science to engineering, to the trades. I have several students at Strom Thurmond in the career center who are learning welding or automotive.”

And who knows? Maybe one of Mrs. Dobbs’ students is a future Mrs. Dobbs.

“I actually took this type of class when I was in middle school too. And it really inspired me to want to help kids figure out what their passions are and kind of give them that hands-on education.”

An education that will serve them well long after they leave the campus of Merriwether Middle School.

“I really enjoy doing this job,” she says. “I tell everybody, people always say teaching his hard, teaching middle school is harder. But I would not trade it for the world. I love what I do. I enjoy coming to work everyday. Because I get to see the growth that my students make and I get to see the impact that I get to have. It just makes it worth it to get to know that I’m helping them.”