Former General Motors worker came to Lakeview

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Former General Motors worker came to Lakeview

Brain Schmitzer, Staff Writer

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   Physics teacher Paul Wilkins, originally worked for General Motors.

  Wilkins originally worked as an Advanced Product Development Manager at General Motors. He also did a little bit of teaching while on the job at GM.  

   “When I worked at GM, I was a college student co-op liaison,” Wilkins stated.       

  After graduating from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, he worked as a test engineer, where he would “Test products and watch them fail,” he said.

  Then he moved up to product design, where he would still watch products fail, but he would also “knew the depths of the products.”

  Finally, he landed himself the position of Advanced Development Manager. In this role, he oversaw everything that had to do with the development of products.

  He received a U.S patent for a product,which was “A four bar linkage  configured in non parallelogram form as a hinge for pivotally guiding a closure panel”, which meant that both doors on a car or truck could be opened without one door already needing to be open. He also helped design several products.

  He was also a part of a global program where he got to travel the world and work with people and work on designs with people from Japan, Europe, and South America. He had a lot going for him, and he still went with teaching.

 When asked why Wilkins went with teaching over GM, he said he had a very specific goal when it came to teaching: to try and understand how we as young adults think. He wanted to know how we think and then see how he could teach to his students.

  “I wanted to use real items that kids have already used and apply certain physics concepts to that item.” He went on to reference toy poppers. “I was in the dollar store and I saw a bunch of toy poppers, and i came up with a lab from that.”

   Many of Wilkins students were unaware of his prior employer. Wilkins had worked for GM for 30 years, Wilkins started to work at LHS in 2010,making this year his 8th year.It also seems that many have enjoyed his class.

  Junior Logan K. said, “ I did enjoy his class and enjoyed him as a teacher. It was a hard class, but it was still fun.”

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Former General Motors worker came to Lakeview