Thomas Shaw's picture

Youth Want Jobs, Not Antiquated Expensive Degrees

Educators of Technical, Technology and STEM education continue with us, to advocate for hands-on skilled training. Thought leaders from around the country have discussed ways to accomplish this through education reform. C. M. Rubin published a discussion with Charles Fadel.

Contemporary education is failing our students because we are stuck in a curriculum designed for a different century, We need to re-examine college entrance requirements (and their tests). They hold change hostage to antiquated and incomplete requirements. Massive adaptation must be demanded by parents and educators alike. Without these changes, we will be unable to adapt curricula to reflect modern needs. It starts with creating a framework for WHAT we need to teach, which must be comprehensive yet concise and actionable

New Machinist Calculator Increases Productivity, Profits

Calculated Industries, maker of the award-winning Construction Master® calculators, has developed a new handheld calculator specifically designed for machinists. The Machinist Calc Pro is built for efficiency-minded machinists, setters, tool-and-die makers, supervisors and shop owners in small to mid-sized machine shops who want to increase shop productivity and profits in the design, layout and set-up stages of production.

The Machinist Calc Pro is a dedicated handheld machining math and reference tool that provides a complete assortment of essential machine shop solutions and time-saving tap and drill charts that can dramatically increase users’ calculating power, eliminate wasted steps and reduce costly machine-tool wear.

Technology in Action

Technology Phobia

All of us suffer from some sort of phobia, be it high places, closed areas, water, etc., and for most of these there is a cure. The phobia affecting many people over the past 40 to 50 years is Technology Phobia, or the uncertainty of how technology would affect their lives and their work.
Let us be honest with ourselves; all of us suffer from technology phobia to some degree or another.

A Brighter Tomorrow

How often we wish for another chance

To make a fresh beginning,

A chance to blot our mistakes

And change failure into winning--

And it does not take a new year

To make a brand-new start,

It only takes the deep desire

To try with all our heart

To live a little better

And to always be forgiving

And to add a little laughter

To the world in which we're living--

So never give up in despair

And think that you are through,

For there's always a tomorrow

And a chance to start anew.


Ioannis Miaoulis- NCTL STEM

We Are the TE in STEM

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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.”
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Follow The Money

Arkansas Community Colleges Receive $4 Million for Workforce Initiatives

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services awarded Arkansas Community Colleges more than $4 million as part of its Arkansas Sector Partnership initiative. The funds will be used to support the development, or expansion of, work-based training programs within the industries of advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and the skilled construction trades.

“The goal of the Arkansas Sector Partnership initiative is to leverage partnerships and align state and local resources to deliver sector-based training programs that meet the workforce needs of key industries in Arkansas’ regional labor markets,” said ADWS Director Daryl Bassett.
Scott Brown


Indiana Spends $1 Billion on Workforce Development Annually

Just after 4 p.m. on a recent afternoon, Neal Allman was cleaning up the work area around the Haas vertical machining center he'd been working at for the day. The mills, primarily used to machine-cut metal pieces, are a key piece of the advanced manufacturing industry and not enough Hoosiers know how to work them. He was also keeping an eye out for Gov. Eric Holcomb, who had just finished touring Vincennes University's Haas Technical Education Center, where Allman is in the sixth week of a 15-week course called Right Skills Now CNC Machining. 

Holcomb was kicking off a tour of similar facilities around the state, looking for examples of what the governor would like to see Indiana embrace as the state prepares to overhaul its workforce development initiatives next year. "You don't have to recreate something that's working, but you can expand on it," Holcomb said. "We're looking at 2018-19 as a pivotal time for the state of Indiana."

By the time Allman and his six classmates finish their course, they will have earned up to nine different industry credentials and will be ready to go to work operating a computer-controlled machine in an automotive, health care or other manufacturing facility. 

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The Art of the Future

jim brazell's picture

The Art of the Future

These are stories of high school students and teachers (and public and private partners acting through networks) to do “real world” scientific research and development (R&D) and engineering design. This is the new face of advanced technological education in America’s high schools and community colleges. Job profiles are provided by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education initiative.


Fixing Automated Vehicles

As automated vehicles slowly populate selected urban areas, the question persists: Who will repair and maintain these robotic and technological marvels? "It's not something that immediately comes to mind when we think about all the research and development that comes with automated driving," says Kay Stepper, vice president of driver assistance systems and automated driving at Robert Bosch.

As a first mover in automated vehicle technology, Bosch is addressing a need that might be five or 10 years from reaching critical mass. But automakers, dealers, industry groups and academics agree that a significant gap exists in education and marketing of careers for automated vehicle service technicians.

For the past 18 months at Stepper's direction, Bosch has opened its automated vehicle testing labs in Plymouth, Mich., to electronics students from Schoolcraft College in nearby Livonia.

Virtual Reality - Enhancing Learning Outcomes

Virtual reality (VR) is one of the major contemporary technologies being implemented in teaching today, with examples emerging that hint at how it could play a role in the future of education. It is one of the key innovations that have gathered significant attention, and current examples of VR in the marketplace include HTC’s Vive, Oculus Rift and SteamVR.

As a consumer product, VR is a seemingly magical form of entertainment made possible by emerging technology. The nature of VR changes the way people interact with digital information, including data, knowledge and alternative scenarios. The many potential benefits of VR in teaching are only beginning to emerge. 

Career and Technical Education Center to Provide High-Demand workforce Training to High School

The Career and Technical Education Center will enable Baton Rouge area high school juniors and seniors to get workforce training in high-demand jobs while also pursuing their high school diploma. It will address two challenges: the lack of skilled workers needed to fill positions at local companies and plants and the gap between young people and well-paying jobs. The center will offer high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn a diploma from their regular high school while also receiving workforce training and industry certification in high-demand fields.The dual-enrollment facility is a proverbial win-win for the community and promises to put a dent in one of the area’s most pressing challenges.

The $17 million facility, under construction next to the McKay Automotive Training Center at Ardendale, has been in the works for more than a decade and is the product of a collaborative effort between multiple agencies and organizations led by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. 

Caterpillar to Strengthen STEM Pipeline; Drive Innovation in the Workforce

“Through the company’s dedication to building a STEM pipeline, Caterpillar has a long history of supporting FIRST by providing team sponsorship's and valuable mentor-ship from employee volunteers,” said FIRST President Donald E. Bossi. “FIRST is proud to call Caterpillar a strategic partner in our mission to inspire young people to become innovators, leaders, and creative problem solvers. Together, we can help even more students gain both the STEM and soft skills they need to achieve successful careers in the 21st century.”

Students Career Ambitions Shaped by Television, Movies and YouTube

A joint study conducted by the New York Life Insurance Company and Fatherly–an online parenting resource for men–recently surveyed over 1,000 kids under the age of 12 in hopes of understanding their career ambitions as well as the motivations behind them.The study found that the most desired job for children in the U.S. is doctor, followed by veterinarian, though both professions inspired significantly more interest from young girls than boys. The next most desired jobs, police officer and firefighter, were primarily chosen by boys.

IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft Now Have Apprenticeship Programs

IBM now has several hundred open jobs in the U.S. for people early in their IT careers — a number expected to grow over time — and is tackling the vacancies with its new apprenticeship program, vice president for talent Joanna Daly said.

 "It's not just IBM," Daly said. "When you look at nationally, there's a half-million open technology jobs in this country and we're only producing 50,000 computer science graduates each year. So for the industry, we have a technology skills gap."

IBM has long had apprenticeships at its operations in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, Daly said. The tech giant hired hundreds of people who've completed those apprenticeships, but hasn't pinpointed if the program is mainly responsible for greater talent supply, she said.

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Sikorsky Challenges Students to Envision a Helicopter Responsive to 2050 Global Issues

Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. has launched the 2013 Sikorsky Helicopter 2050 Challenge, a national competition that invites youths ages 9-16 to envision a helicopter capable of addressing global issues likely to be encountered by mid century. Winner of the grand prize — the Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award — will receive a $1,000 scholarship check, meet with Sikorsky rotorcraft engineers, and receive an expenses-paid tour of the BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK® helicopter assembly lines at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Conn., headquarters.
“We’re challenging kids across the U.S. to think globally about their future and how they can make a difference,” said Judy Bankowski, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sikorsky. “This year’s objective is to design a helicopter that can have far-reaching positive impact for our planet and its inhabitants.”

Rubber Band Racecars

Grade Level: 
High School
Automotive engineering, STEM
Provided by TryEngineering -
Lesson Synopsis 
The "Rubber Band Racers" lesson explores the design of rubber band powered cars. Students work in teams of "engineers" to design and build their own rubber band cars out of everyday items. They test their rubber band cars, evaluate their results, and present to the class.
Lesson Focus
The focus of this lesson is on rubber band powered car design. Teams of students construct rubber band powered cars from everyday materials. Students must design their cars to travel a distance of at least 3 meters within a 1 meter wide track. 
During this lesson, students will:
- Design and construct a rubber band car
- Measure distance and calculate speed
- Test and refine their designs
- Communicate their design process and results


Honeywell, NASA and The Department of Defense Education Activity Join Forces to Provide STEM Focused Educational Assistance

"It is critically important to get middle school-aged students aware of and excited about STEM topics—especially physics. We've seen FMA Live! make the introduction easier," said Donald James, NASA's associate administrator for Education. "Thanks to our collaboration with Honeywell, we're inspiring students to set their sights on future careers in the critical STEM field."

Each performance focuses on Newton's Universal Law of Gravity and Three Laws of Motion. Named after Newton's Second Law of Motion [Force equals Mass times Acceleration], FMA Live! uses music videos and interactive scientific demonstrations to teach and inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

Forces In Motion