Have a real-life problem? Mr. Hoge of Patapsco High will help you solve it!


When you walk into Mr. Hoge’s classroom at Patapsco High School, you’ll notice that students are engaged in learning everywhere. Whether they’re on computers, working with their hands, or trying out their robots in the "ring," it’s obvious these kids are learning among the organized chaos.

It’s Mr. Hoge’s philosophy that everything students do in his classroom should be applicable to real life, which is why Matthew Gray breaking his glasses during band practice ended up being a happy accident. Matt’s broken glasses created a learning opportunity.

"Matthew came to me and his glasses were a mess," Hoge said. "So we decided to test out printing glasses on the 3-D printer. We printed them out and resized them. Matthew took them home a couple of times to get them just right, but eventually they worked."

The benefits of trial and error and critical thinking are the things Mr. Hoge banks on his students learning while they are in his class. As a veteran teacher who currently teaches engineering, foundations in technology and art, Mr. Hoge enjoys bringing creative problem solving into the mix whenever he can.

"The first design went miserably wrong,” Gray said. “But the second went a lot better…I like how Mr. Hoge teaches, he won’t let a kid fail that he knows has potential."

According to Mr. Hoge, having the confidence to problem solve is the first step.

"One thing I always ask is if you’ve got a problem how are you going to solve it with the resources and the knowledge that you have? In this case Matt knew he had the resource of the printer so it worked out really well."

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