Thomas Shaw's picture

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century

Business Leaders, Elected Leaders, and Education Leaders continue to push initiatives to promote, fund and improve Career Technical Education.

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587) -The bill will empower state and local leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing them more flexibility to use those resources to respond to changing education and economic needs. These reforms will help state leaders focus on preparing students for the workforce—not duplicative or overly prescriptive federal requirements—and enable them to determine the best way to do so.

Four C's for Careers Act (H.R. 5663) - This Act may be cited as the ``Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity for Careers Act'' or the ``Four C's for Careers Act'' - To amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to deliver high-quality career and technical education opportunities, and for other purposes.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act - The WIOA Final Rules include reforms that will affect more than a dozen programs receiving $10 billion in annual training and education funding and programs that serve approximately 20 million Americans each year. 

Putting Learner Success First - The vision calls for a systemic revitalization of the education system, and identifies Career Technical Education's (CTE) strengths and role in this transformation. Advance CTE and six national organizations are stepping up to the challenge to continue on the path of fierce dedication to quality and equity, while providing the leadership necessary to continue to re-examine, grow and transform the education system. 

Workstations For The Trades

Construction Zone workstations help students acquire construction skills right in the classroom
and excite them about high-paying jobs in the construction industry.

The Construction Zone product line consists of 33 workstations representing 25 different skilled trades. Each workstation includes a ten hour, hands on work experience and comes complete with curriculum, professional tools, equipment, and supplies.

Curriculum with full color photographs guides the students through the hands-on activities and provides information about the trade as a career.  Math, science, reading, and writing skills are integrated into the curriculum to give students real world examples of their use in daily life and on the job site.

Technology in Action

Manufacturing in the Future

Manufacturing is one of the most important factors to the economy of a country because it affects the wealth of a country and the standard of living its people enjoy. You only have to look at any number of countries and if they have a strong manufacturing base, they in turn also have a high standard of living. If it were possible to gaze into a crystal ball and look into the future of manufacturing, many amazing things are happening now and will happen in the near future. The use of the Internet will continue to play a major role in how manufacturing is conducted throughout the world. Some of the Web-based technologies such as machine tool control, machine diagnostics online, e-Procurement, e-Manufacturing, Virtual Reality and Simulation, etc., are available now. Investments being made now in new technology will pay huge dividends in product quality, increased productivity, decreased time to market, reduced manufacturing costs in the future.  
Steve Krar

Are You a Winner ?

a Winner says, “Let’s find out”
a loser says, “nobody knows”

when a Winner makes a mistake he says,

“I was wrong”
when a loser makes a mistake he says,

“it wasn't my fault”

a Winner goes through a problem.
a loser goes around it, and never gets past it.

a Winner makes commitments.
a loser makes promises.

a Winner says “ I’m good,
but not as good as I ought to be”

a loser says

“I'm not as bad as a lot of other people”

a Winner tries to learn from those who are superior.
a loser tries to tear down those who are superior.

a Winner says “There ought to be a better way”
a loser says “That’s the way its always been done here”

Ioannis Miaoulis- NCTL STEM

We Are the TE in STEM

Click Your State For Local Information

Article for Review

Communication Simulation, Understanding and Implementation

Visualization and model building are skills that technology instructors have been providing their students for some time. Using visualization and the ability to replicate a model are skills that can be enhanced when students are introduced to communication simulation and the process of developing simulated representations of reality. In this article, the authors explain how to develop and design a communication simulation using a physical security analysis of a computer laboratory as the theme of the activity. Communication simulation from the authors’ viewpoint is the use of technology and visualization to allow the student to communicate by using a model

Computer developed simulations are new teaching tools that faculty are starting to use in their classrooms. In this paper, the authors look at one type of simulation, communication, which can be implemented into the classroom using a physical security analysis from a technology/visualization perspective. However, to disseminate this article to a broader audience and to be consistent with the understanding of the terminology used throughout the narrative several terms will be defined using Wikipedia as the resource. As Clark Aldrich states (2009, p. xxxii), “The lack of common terms is a huge problem, and it has substantially hindered the development of the simulation space. Sponsors, developers, and students have not been able to communicate intelligently.”
Sill Hall 3D Image

Follow The Money

National Education Foundation Offers Matching STEM Grants

National Education Foundation (NEF), the national non-profit leader in STEM education as well as assisting schools to find Federal funds, will offer the mandated matching grant to enable any disadvantaged school district anywhere in the nation to receive  $1million to $50 million Federal funds for energy efficiency, renovation, technology, curriculum and teacher training. Any school district with at least 35% of students on free or reduced cost lunch is eligible to apply. Applications are available at www.qzab.org. Grants are awarded on a first-come first-served basis in most states.The little-known Federal Funding program has $700 million available.  NEF has set aside $70 million to provide the required 10% matching grant. NEF would also set up the mandated STEM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, English, Social Studies, SAT/ACT, IT, Business) academy at no cost to the school district. 

Scott Brown


YOUR FUTURE is MADE in MANUFACTURING, An Introduction to Manufacturing, Teachers Guide, recommended for grades 6-12

Dear Teacher,

I am constantly in awe of what you do every day. You inform, you influence, you interact, and most importantly, you inspire young people preparing for the exciting world of learning and work.

Over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap. With your help, we can mitigate this gap and show students the reality of modern manufacturing. Many people of all ages are amazed to learn how much we manufacture in the United States and how diverse the careers are in our dynamic industry. Today’s manufacturing is about new innovation, making an impact, and a chance to design and build the future .Whether they are interested in design, engineering, or even the business side of the industry, there is a place for everyone in manufacturing. Not only does our industry offer a wide variety of demanding and fulfilling roles, it also offers high pay and opportunity for career advancement.

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The Art of the Future

jim brazell's picture

It Takes a Village to Educate a Child

The economy is the single most important issue for a sizable majority of voters in the 2012 presidential race according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll. Similarly, U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation are the hot topics in politics and business. On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, Harvard released a survey of approximately 10,000 alumni, from the  Harvard Competitiveness project, indicating American competitiveness will decline over the next three years, according to 71% of those surveyed.


Engaging Students with Hands-On Learning

About five years ago, I noticed it was getting more and more difficult for my students to retain the information presented in my CNC Machining Program. You see, at that time, I was making widgets in class that demonstrated the basic processes performed on CNC machines. These widgets, though, had no meaning to my students because they weren’t part of anything real or usable.

The result? Students were disinterested.
One day, while shopping for a remote control (RC) car, it occurred to me these cars are like an actual vehicle, with four-wheel, independent suspension and transmissions with front and rear differentials. As a CNC manufacturing engineer, before I entered teaching, I machined driveline components for agricultural and military applications. So, as a teacher, I knew the driveline components on the remote-controlled cars were machined and closely represented a real-life driveline. A closer examination of the RC car revealed to me I could use the resources in my CNC lab to design, re-engineer, set up, program and run almost the entire RC car as a class project.
Hands-On Learning

NATEF Introduces Guide for New Automotive Instructors

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has developed an online guide targeted toward automotive technicians who are interested in transitioning to an instructor role. The guide covers such teaching topics as lesson planning, lesson delivery, student assessment and useful resources for new instructors. The NATEF New Instructor Guide, which is available free to all instructors, was developed through a grant from Ingersoll Rand.

NATEF said it created this guide to help new automotive instructors be more successful in making the transition from doing to teaching. It also provides resources for instructors already in the field.

Mastercam University Prepares Machine Shop Teacher to Stay Ahead of Computer-Savvy Students

When Gene Hickey began teaching the art of machining in 1977, computer-aided manufacturing wasn’t a part of the curriculum. The Atari 2600 video gaming system was introduced that same year and, at $265 was a luxury for most households.  When Hickey decided to return to the classroom in 2006 – after a 15-year hiatus – he entered an environment where his students were computer-literate, having grown up using gaming systems that had gone mainstream with graphics that rivaled those in animated films.

Mastercam University

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

About one-third of American workers are now engaged in some kind of freelance, or project-based, work. Students are graduating into a working world that encourages short term projects or “gigs” over full time employment. And, for those who do work in full time jobs, they often organize their work into projects, work collaboratively in teams and solve unique and pressing problems. In this year long campaign titled “It’s a Project-Based World,” Getting Smart is exploring the economic realities of a project-based world as part of the equity movement to ensure all students are prepared for college, career and citizenship.

Students are Skipping Science and Math Because They Don't Understand Vast Career Opportunities

It’s the missed opportunity of a generation: demand for scientists and engineers has never been stronger, but many young people in the U.S. are avoiding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education because they don’t understand the opportunities, according to a recent survey by Emerson. - See more at: http://www.emerson.com/en-us/careers/Pages/STEM-survey-results.aspx?cm

The survey* revealed that 42 percent of respondents would have considered a career in STEM fields had they better understood a potential career path, and one-third of respondents didn’t pursue a STEM career because it seemed too hard.

Tech Firms Call on Lawmakers to Invest in STEM Education

Tech companies called for the federal government to invest in more STEM Education. An issue the industry hopes to influence in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Representatives of Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon said they face difficulties finding qualified staff, a handicap they believe other US companies face and that threatens the strength of American industry. The issue is so widespread that it affects fields outside of technology, including pharmaceuticals and health care, they said.

"This is no longer a Microsoft, Facebook or Amazon issue," Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief legal officer said at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's panel in Philadelphia. "Companies are only as good as the people we hire."

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All American Soap Box Derby

Gravity Racing Challenge

With Soap Box Derby cars being used in over 300 schools in 13 states and in classrooms in Singapore, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Japan, the International Soap Box Derby continues its mission to develop and provide educational opportunities for K-12 youth worldwide.

Promoting the S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative in education through gravity racing, the Gravity Racing Challenge (GRC) program is designed to provide K-12 educators and students  with  meaningful, project and standards based, intercurricular  learning opportunities. Educators are successfully implementing the GRC program in classrooms,  after-school, summer or enrichment programs and clubs worldwide.

Solar engineering

Grade Level: 
High School
Engineering, STEM

Provided by TryEngineering - http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=16

Lesson Synopsis 
The Here Comes the Sun activity explores the concept of how solar energy is gathered by solar panels and adapted to provide power to a variety of machines, from calculators to spacecraft. Students disassemble a solar powered calculator and explore the component parts. Students work in teams to suggest design enhancements to the calculator to improve performance.  
Lesson Focus
Lesson focuses on solar panel design, and its application in the standard calculator. It explores how both solar panels and calculators operate and explores simple circuits using solar power.


Northrup Grumman Foundation Launches Middle School Contest to Promote STEM Innovation

Northrop Grumman Foundation announced it is launching an online contest to encourage today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators by creating classrooms and science labs that inspire. The Fab School Labs contest is open to public middle schools and will make five grants of up to $100,000 available to five winning schools to fund a school lab makeover. Beginning May 4 and continuing through June 12, 2015, teachers, principals and school administrators can enter their eligible school by visiting www.FabSchoolLabs.com, where they can learn about the contest and submit their application, along with photos and video to help tell their story. Semi-finalist schools will be chosen and their videos will receive online votes of support to assist with the final selection process. The winning schools will team up with Fab School Labs contest partner Flinn Scientific Inc. to design a state-of-the-art lab complete with all of the tools, resources and furnishings needed.