Posts Tagged ‘CACT’

Ski Resort Lifts Awareness of Applied Math for STEM Careers

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Northstar California Resort gave college faculty a behind the scenes tour of the lift maintence operations so they could gain applied math examples to use in their classrooms. The one day externship was funded by the Sierra College Science,
Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Collaborative.

“Teachers can use simple geometry to demonstrate calculating the angle of the chair suspended from the cable carrying it up the hill,” said Katie Lucero, Math Department Chair, Sierra College. “We saw how data was collected and logged daily; basic math computations were used to confirm that the system is running within safety parameters. A much more complicated series of equations would be used by engineers in the design process to determine the weight per chair for the lift system, with and without people, when it is stopped and when it is moving at maximum speed.”

Learn more at Rocklin and Roseville Today Faculty tour Northstar to Apply Math to Jobs.

 


NSF grant demonstrates how to teach applied math

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a grant that enabled Sierra College to develop a model for teaching applied math while fabricating a catapult project called Tech-Explorer (www.tech-explorer.com).  Findings showed that using hands-on projects, connected to authentic work situations, improves teaching of mathematics. Watch the Tech-Explorer movie on how Sierra College integrated math instruction with a catapult building project.  The Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) received NSF Advanced Technological Education grant #1003259 for $150,000.

A total of 306 students built catapults using mills, lathes, drills and other industrial tools. Then the students captured speed, distance, and height of a launched ball during a competition and used the data in a parabolic equation to determine the best launch angle. In addition, 32 teachers participated in three workshops on using hands-on math projects in the classroom.

According to the project principle investigator, Sandra Scott, integrating practical application into math classes and math into technical classes is imperative. “Students really responded when they realized that the parabolic curve is used in headlights, snowboards and solar collectors,” said Scott. “We need to show students how math is applied.”

The Sierra College Tech-Explorer catapult project has been adopted at College of the Canyons, College of the Sequoias, and San Bernardino Community College. The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing’s Advanced Manufacturing in Tennessee used it at a camp for 8-9th graders. Nebraska’s Columbus Public Schools incorporated Tech-Explorer into SHINE, a NSF funded program.

Learn more about Sierra College NSF Tech-Explorer.

 


Colfax High School Students Receive MIT Invention Grant

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Congratualtions to Jonathan Schwartz and Colfax High School students who have won  a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $7,500 to create the Tri-Metric, a construction layout tool that can be used when building emergency housing to increase structural integrity. Colfax High School is one of 16 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.

Schwartz is active in the Sierra STEM Collaborative and the Sierra College CACT has supported improvements to the Colfax design, engineering and product development Career Technical Education program through grants.

The Colfax students will invent a Tri-Metric tool that can be used when building emergency housing. The goal is to make it easier to lay-out a house. It would allow novice builders to make sure the floor, walls and roof are all square, maximizing support to make the home sturdy. The students hope to design the mechanical device so it can be manufactured for under $20. The idea is to build in all the complex math of trigonometry into the tool so it can be used by anyone.

Schwartz, himself an inventor, says that students will experience working on a team and applying critical thinking skills. “They will design, and repeatedly prototype, test, and rebuild the Tri-Metric construction tool over nine months. They will go through the same experience that inventors go through,” said Schwartz. “In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, MA.”

Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), Sierra College will mentor the team. “This project is an extension of the leadership Jonathan Schwartz and Colfax High School have demonstrated as participants in CACT’s Sierra STEM Collaborative,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “By applying their design, fabrication and math skills to solve a global problem, students, especially young women, will be inspired to consider technical careers.”

Entrepreneur and author Peter Sims, who wrote Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries and coauthored the best-seller True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership with Bill George will also mentor the team. A Colfax High School graduate, Sims has already met with students and inspired them with tales of how industry leaders innovate and produce new products.

 


Engineering Support Technology Lab Tour Oct. 29 Rocklin

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

RHS Grand Opening Invite Oct WEB On October 29, Rocklin High School students will demonstrate the design and manufacturing skills they are learning at the Grand Opening of the Engineering Support Technology lab newly renovated with support from the Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Collaborative (www.sierraschoolworks.com).

Celebration presentations begin at 5:30 in the Tech Lecture Hall at Rocklin High School located at 5301 Victory Lane in Rocklin followed by student demonstrations and tours of the design and fabrication labs (M4 & M3) at 6 PM. The public is invited to the event to see how students are being prepared for college and careers in Advanced Manufacturing.

Using industrial design software and fabrication equipment, Engineering Support Technology students explore how to make a better model of an excavation robot that could work on the moon, produce community service projects such as a bean bag toss cutout for Valley View Elementary School and make beautiful customized projects they can use and display. At the event, students will demonstrate drafting skills in parametric 3D modeling software and fabrication skills using standard and advanced manufacturing equipment:

• CNC Mill Domino Project — 2D tool path & machine set-up

• CNC Router Trivet Project – Effects of bit diameter, bit profile & depth of cuts

• Big Dog Mill Aluminum Door Sign Project – 3D tool paths & programing from solid models

• Laser Cutter Business Card Project – Engraving and cutting

• Trivet Design — Drafting using solid modeling

• Lego Introductory Design – Build part, modify, assemble and print (Engineering Design Tools and Workflow)

• NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition Trophy Design – Students design trophies for NASA and they are produced on the Sierra College rapid prototype 3D printer for presentation to winners of the competition (Engineering Design Process)

• Team Building Activities – Students develop skills to work effectively together in the labs (Employability and Workforce Development Skills – Soft Skills)

Dan Frank, Engineering Support Technology teacher, has a passion for giving students the confidence to turn their ideas into a concept, develop the design and then produce a finished product. “When I was a student, I worked in the UC Davis engineering shop making projects for research,” said Frank. “I discovered how fun it was to work with metal, figure something out, and see the resulting product being used. In this class, I mentor and challenge students while I share the thrill of using advanced Manufacturing equipment to convert a scrap of metal into an amazing project.”

Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), explained that the Sierra STEM Collaborative works with high schools to prepare students to study mechatronics, welding, engineering, or drafting and engineering support at Sierra College. “The new lab at Rocklin High School introduces students to the exciting career opportunities in design and manufacturing,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Dan Frank is inspiring students by giving them real world experiences to channel their creativity. His students have a jump start on making career plans.”

The Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies serves manufacturers and technology companies with customized training & technical support; provides entrepreneurs with access to rapid prototyping and other manufacturing technologies; and through the Sierra STEM Collaborative supports career technical education programs in manufacturing & product development, engineering & design pathways at the high school and college level. Additional information is available at www.sierracollegetraining.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu.

 


Harris & Bruno encourages manufacturing careers

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Roseville-based Harris & Bruno International hosted a tour for Rocklin High School students in Dan Frank’s Engineering Support Technology classes on October 18.

In addition to touring the facility, meeting engineers and talking to employees about the equipment they operate, students benefited from advice from Harris and Bruno managers. Jim Riga, Director of Engineering & Service, explained how getting involved in campus clubs and competitions exposed him to companies seeking interns and to professors who often are aware of employment opportunities. An internship led to a job after he graduated. He was able to advance his career through several promotions by demonstrating his desire to contribute to the company.

“Businesses are looking for employees with good attitudes, who are happy to come to work,” said Riga. “You must have a desire to add value, demonstrate a good work ethic, believe that ‘good enough’ is not ‘good enough,’ be solution oriented and ask, ‘what can I do to help the company be successful?’”

Ed Lee, COO/CFO, urged students to do well in school. “Your grades tell others your ability to learn,” said Lee. “Good grades create opportunity.” He also urged students to demonstrate through their actions that they have a good attitude about work. “Don’t waste your time; do everything you can to be a valuable employee. If your contribution results in a 50 cent raise early in your career, that is equal to $1000 per year and $30-40,000 over your career,” said Lee.

Students gained interview advice from Courtney Wickens, Human Resources Manager. “When you are being considered for a job, you are likely to talk with Human Resources first,” said Wickens. “Making it through to the next interview is about character and drive to be part of the team as well as your ability to do the work. Show your passion, be dynamic and communicate that you want to contribute to the company.”

Learn more by watching the Harris & Bruno International corporate movie.

The tour for Rocklin High School was supported by the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) and the Sierra STEM Collaborative to encourage students to consider STEM careers in design, engineering and manufacturing. This is one of several tours being offered by local employers as an extension of Manufacturing Day 2012. Thanks to Harris & Bruno for giving students this opportunity to see real world application of the skills they are learning in school as well as advice on how to pursue technical education and careers.


National Manufacturing Day — Student tours

Monday, October 1st, 2012

To attract students to highly paid, in-demand manufacturing careers, Sierra College is collaborating with businesses, high schools, Placer County and local cities to celebrate Manufacturing Day on October 5 and throughout the month. Businesses across the nation are hosting Manufacturing Day (www.mfgday.org) events to promote manufacturing careers and manufacturing’s value to the U.S. economy.

Progressive Technology Inc. (www.prgtech.com), a Rocklin–based ceramics manufacturer that makes transparent Sapphire Orthodontic Braces and components for the Aerospace, Dental, Medical, Automotive, Laser, Electronics and Analytical equipment industries, will welcome Rocklin High School Engineering Support Technology students on a tour later in October.

According to Carol Rogers, Vice President, Progressive Technology Inc. is participating because students are unaware of the interesting work in product development and manufacturing. “Manufacturing today is a highly skilled, technical career where employees work on a variety of intriguing assignments throughout the day,” said Rogers. “We hope by offering tours, all students, especially girls, become aware that working in this industry can be very satisfying and well paid.”

Other local manufacturers are hosting similar tours:

October 3 – Sierra Pacific Industries hosts Colfax High School Project Lead The Way

October 18 – Harris & Bruno hosts Rocklin High School Engineering Support Technology program

November 5 – RobbJack Corp hosts Rocklin High School Engineering Support Technology program

November 28 – Harris & Bruno hosts Oakmont High School Design Tech IB program

Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), helped facilitate the tours. “Students are inspired when they see appealing work environments and hear about interesting projects from employees,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Our goal is to give students a memorable experience that motivates them to pursue mechatronics, welding, engineering, or drafting and engineering support at Sierra College and acquire the skills needed to work for local manufacturers.”

“Local high schools are offering excellent career technical education courses where students are exposed to design, drafting and fabrication using industry 3D design software and manufacturing tools,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “The tours make manufacturers aware that students are earning welding industry certifications, making robotic projects, programming CNC equipment and producing amazing designs.”

Placer County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed October 5 as Manufacturers Day explained Dave Snyder, Economic Development Director. “There are approximately 270 manufacturers in Placer County, with an annual payroll of $547 million that employ more than 7,000 residents,” said Snyder. “The Placer County Economic Development Board is hosting the 2012 Manufacturer’s Forum on Tuesday, October 30 to bring together manufacturers and elected officials.” The City of Roseville, City of Auburn, City of Colfax and Town of Loomis have also proclaimed Oct 5 as Manufacturing Day.

The Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies serves manufacturers and technology companies with customized training & technical support; provides entrepreneurs with access to rapid prototyping and other manufacturing technologies; and supports career technical education programs in manufacturing & product development, engineering & design pathways at the high school and college level. Additional information is available at www.sierracollegetraining.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu.

 


Colfax Record: Engineers in Training

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor, wrote Engineers in training at Colfax High on May 24 about the Weimar Hills students’ experience building Sierra College CACT Tech-Explorer catapults.

From the article: “Teachers and administrators hope a recent visit to Colfax High School will catapult Weimar Hills Elementary School students into technical careers. On May 15, the eighth-graders were introduced to design, engineering and manufacturing concepts at the Tech-Explorer event in the classroom of Jonathan Schwartz, Colfax High math and pre-engineering teacher. Students used lathes, mills and other power and hand tools to build and assemble catapults.

The event was made possible through a Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Collaborative Grant from Sierra College. The program not only introduces students to Colfax High, it also aims to make them aware of opportunities in high-paid local careers and education paths at Sierra College in mechatronics, engineering, welding, energy technology and drafting and engineering support.

Schwartz said the Weimar Hills students first worked on their math skills using the fraction contraption, a game Schwartz developed as a tool for learning math. Last week, the 60-plus students spent the day in Schwartz’s classroom building catapults out of aluminum and wood. ‘They used all sorts of shop tools from a mill to a metal lathe, they got a taste of the high school … and they got an introduction into pre-engineering,’ Schwartz said. …” Read more on the Colfax Record

 


Architecture Student Inspired by STEM Collaborative

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

When Peter Sushch signed up for Engineering Support Technology as a sophomore at Rocklin High School, it put him on a path that would focus his education and career plans. He benefited from the Engineering Support Technology (EST) course taught by Dan Frank of Rocklin High School. It whet his appetite for design and when Granite Bay High School’s Steve Dolan visited the EST class to describe the Architecture, Construction and Engineering ROP course, Sushch decided to enroll as a senior. As a result, Sushch is gaining work experience as an intern at Williams + Paddon (www.williamspluspaddon.com), a nationally recognized architectural firm based in Roseville, and is making plans to study architecture in college.

“I was always interested in design, art and architecture,” said Sushch. “In Mr. Frank’s class at Rocklin High School, I realized how much I enjoyed it as I got familiar with Autodesk 3D design software. In the Engineering Support Technology class, I completed projects that I eventually used to demonstrate my skills in the interview for the internship.’’

Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) has been supporting the Rocklin High School Engineering Support Technology program for several years according to instructor Dan Frank. “The engineering lab was updated substantially this year through a sub-grant from the Sierra STEM Community Collaborative, managed by Sierra College CACT,” said Frank. “The funding was used to purchase and install new Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines that cut materials in three dimensions as well as create a tool room modeled on industry standard practices.”

Encouraging educators and business leaders to work together to inspire students, provide technical education and prepare them for employment is the goal of the Sierra STEM Community Collaborative, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College CACT Director. “Sierra College, through the Sierra STEM grant provided by California Community College Chancellor’s Office, supports college and high school programs to attract students to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” said Pepper-Kittredge. “The Sierra STEM Collaborative updates equipment, provides professional development for instructors, coordinates teacher externships and encourages partnerships between schools and employers.”

Brian Whitmore, Associate Principle, Williams + Paddon, is familiar with Frank’s program. “I am very impressed with what Sierra STEM and Rocklin High School have done for Peter’s skill set,” said Whitmore. “It was clear to us after seeing Peter’s portfolio that these programs offer a robust design experience that fits seamlessly with the same computer programs and skills we use here at Williams + Paddon on a daily basis.”

According to Sushch, the ROP course gave him the skills that helped land the internship. “We learned how to make an appropriate resume, how to put together a portfolio, and what to wear to an interview,” said Sushch. “Mr. Dolan helped me prepare to answer questions about my experience and advised me on what questions to ask during an interview.”

Steve Dolan explained that the Architecture, Construction and Engineering ROP program at Granite Bay High School prepares students from several area high schools to go into architecture, the trades or construction management. Through his relationships with employers, Dolan places students in internships where they can gage their interest in pursuing further training to succeed in the building industry.

“I’ve been working with Williams + Paddon since 2000,” said Dolan. “The experience provided by Williams + Paddon lights a fire that motivates students to go into careers in architecture. I saw that Peter was ready to get serious and knew he had excellent design skills so I recommended that he interview for an internship.”

Whitmore explained that Williams + Paddon is committed to exposing students to the field of architecture. “Our interest is primarily in ensuring that the future of our career remains intriguing,” said Whitmore. “We believe that by offering students an opportunity to engage with what we do, we often make a positive impression that keeps that student on that career path and eventually makes a strong addition to our industry.”

According to Whitmore, “Peter works in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) programs to make changes requested by our quality assurance staff and uses SketchUp, a 3D modeling program, to develop base models for project designs. Peter’s work ethic and strong skills have made him an integral part of our team.”

Sushch says that he is grateful for the internship experience. “The people are great,” said Sushch. “They know my skill level so they will rarely give me something that is too difficult for me to accomplish. I like the variety of the work and they taught me many new skills, revealing the full potential of the design programs. I am very grateful for the opportunity Williams + Paddon gave me to see how work is done, and design is applied, in the real world.”

Peter plans on attending Cosumnes River College, a California Community College, to complete a two year architecture program and then transferring to Cal Poly or California College of the Arts to complete his degree in architecture. “The experience at Williams + Paddon has definitely strengthened my desire to pursue architecture as my career,” said Sushch.

Learn about the Sierra STEM Community Collaborative at www.sierraschoolworks.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Sierra College, at cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu or (916) 660-7801.


CCC Veterans Crew Graduates Jan. 20 from Sierra College Energy Training

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Veterans go from Serving the Nation to Building Energy Conservation

Alexandra Warner does wire stripping for installing an exterior light.

Veterans who served as medics, ammunition specialists and security forces are transitioning to civilian employment as the result of a Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) and California Conservation Corps (CCC) partnership. Nine veterans who are on the CCC crew will be awarded Energy Technology and Lighting Systems Completion Certificates from Sierra College CACT (www.sierracollegetraining.com).

The graduation will be held at the CCC Placer Energy Center at 3710 Christian Valley Road in Auburn at 1:00 PM on Friday, January 20.

The Energy Technology and Lighting Systems training program developed by Sierra College CACT covers energy systems, electricity, lighting, photovoltaic systems, energy efficiency retrofits and safety. After graduation, they’ll work on the only CCC Veterans crew in the state focused on energy efficiency.

Rod Thornhill, center director, CCC Sacramento & Placer, explained that the CCC has a contract agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). “The graduates will do energy lighting retrofits and maintenance throughout DMV’s many offices in the state,” said Thornhill. Through this work, crew members will gain valuable field experience that is the conduit to highly paid, in-demand local careers. The Sierra College CACT will also provide coaching in resume development, interview skills and job search techniques.

Putting discharged veterans to work is the goal of the program, partially funded by the California State Assembly Speaker’s Office according to David Muraki, CCC director. “The training provided by Sierra College CACT, together with the hands-on experience the veterans will get installing energy conservation measures at DMV offices, will give them skills needed to qualify for a good job after the CCC,” said Muraki.

Alexandra Warner served in the Army for nearly two years, specializing in ammunitions and special explosives, based in Fort Hood, Texas. Her interest in joining the CCC resulted in discovering the Energy Technology and Lighting Systems program at the CCC’s Placer Energy Center. “I didn’t know anything about electricity but I was intrigued by solar energy,” said Warner. “This program is much more than I expected and now I have a passion for learning about energy systems, especially solar, and how people can save money.”

Warner also says that as a woman she has no problem keeping up with the men in the class. “This course covers the basics with hands-on practice, so I’d tell others, don’t hesitate about trying it. If you make a mistake while installing electrical wiring and lighting systems in the lab, you learn from it and will be confident doing the work correctly on the job site,” said Warner.

According to Brian Hurd, CACT instructor and president of Hands On Solar Inc., who is co-teaching the class with Aaron Fry of the CCC, the Corps members in this program are gaining skills that prepare them for employment. “Manufacturers, utilities, solar installers, electricians and contractors would benefit from hiring these veterans for entry level electrical repair, maintenance, retrofit and construction positions,” said Hurd. “Their military experience makes them ideal employees as they know how to work as a team, arrive on time, show respect, take instruction and complete the mission.”

Isaac Hall served three years in security forces, stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and says that this program is a great opportunity for him. “I’m getting paid to learn and get practical experience through the CCC,” said Hall. “I love what I’m doing and am really glad to be in this program. The teacher is great, the class size is small so you get the attention you need and I like the hands-on lab where you do work like you’d do on the job site. Now I’m looking at the possibility of a career as an electrician.”

For three years, Eric Juhnke was a medic in the Army deployed to Iraq before joining the CCC. He says that he is excited about working in alternative energy. “I have a passion for solar energy and want to help the world move forward in using renewable energy,” said Juhnke. “I’m excited to get into the energy efficiency field just as it is taking off.”

Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director, Sierra College CACT, explained that the partnership with CCC benefits the regional economy. “This program puts veterans to work while they gain electrical skills that are transferable to a variety of careers,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Businesses become more competitive by employing these skilled Corps members who’ve acquired practical experience through this program. Energy costs are also reduced by retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient.”

The Sierra College CACT is funded through the Economic and Workforce Development program of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Since 1992, the Sierra College CACT has provided training for organizations, manufacturers and technology companies throughout Northern California. Additional information is available at sierracollegetraining.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu. Contact the CCC at www.ccc.ca.gov.


Sierra College and the California Conservation Corps Join Forces to Train and Employ Veterans

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Sierra College Center for Applied Technologies (CACT) and the California Conservation Corps (CCC) are teaming up to provide energy efficiency and construction training and employment opportunities for recently discharged veterans.

Sacramento Vet flyer (2) Sacra mento-with McClellan 11 04 11

The CCC Placer Energy Center in Auburn and Sacramento asks interested veterans, who must be recently discharged and under the age of 25, to apply for employment by contacting Renee Podris at the CCC at 916-341-3107 or renee.podris@ccc.ca.com. Successful applicants will begin working December 5, 2011.

The newly-hired veterans will receive Technical Education in Energy Efficiency and Construction (TE³C) training from the CACT and earn a lighting and electrical technology completion certificate. As CCC employees, they will gain hands-on experience in construction, lighting and electricity through energy efficiency projects at state agencies such as the DMV. State-wide projects in residential and commercial construction, landscaping and tree maintenance may provide additional experience.

The CACT will also provide employment skills training in resume development, interview skills and job search techniques with a focus on future employment in the energy efficiency construction industry. More than 50 CCC employees have already taken at least one of the five classes and 128 hours of TE³C courses offered by the CACT. The courses, featuring lectures and hands-on training, include weatherization, worker safety and alternative energy fundamentals.

The Sierra College CACT is funded through the Economic and Workforce Development program of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. In operation since 1992, the Sierra College CACT has provided training for organizations, manufacturers and technology companies throughout Northern California. Additional information is available at sierracollegetraining.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu. Contact the CCC at www.ccc.ca.gov.