Posts Tagged ‘Sierra STEM’

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.

 


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.


Teachers learn new team building activities

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Math and Career Technical Education teachers gathered in August to learn new team building activities to help with classroom management in the coming school year. Dan Frank, who teaches Engineering Support Technology at Rocklin High School hosted the Sierra STEM Collaborative workshop.


Dicus develops guitar projects

Monday, September 10th, 2012


Steve Dicus, a teacher of the Design Tech International Baccalaureate program at Oakmont High School and member of the Sierra STEM Collaborative, developed two guitar projects this summer.

In addition, he worked on new projects using the laser cutter.


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

 


Project Based Learning Conference in Napa this June

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

PBL World!, a Project Based Learning conference to be held June 18-22, 2012, will bring 400 teachers together to share ideas, listen to keynote speakers, and attend workshops and coaching sessions. Visit www.pblworld.org for more information.


Del Oro hosts Sierra STEM Instructors at SketchUp workshop

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

College and high school instructors spent Saturday, April 14 together at Del Oro High School to learn how their classes might use the free Google SketchUp  3D modeling program combined with the sketchyphysics  plug in that animates designs. The Sierra STEM Collaborative at Sierra College, dedicated to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers, organized the event. Instructors from Sierra College as well as Placer, Woodcreek and Del Oro high schools also shared best practices and toured the Tech Essentials, Welding and Wood labs to see equipment and student projects.

According to participants, sharing ideas with other Career Technical Education teachers is one of the best forms of professional development. Participants said that what they learned was relevant, they could see their classes importing sketches and CAD drawings into SketchUp and that sharing concepts, projects and teaching tools was very valuable.

Tom Stargaard, Tech Essentials teacher at Del Oro, demonstrated SketchUp, explained how he integrated it into the Tech Essentials class required for freshmen and then helped participants try it themselves. See Tom’s projects at https://sites.google.com/a/puhsd.k12.ca.us/sketchup/. In addition, the teachers discussed assignments using the Career Cruising program supplied to the schools through the Sierra STEM Collaborative to help students identify careers and the education path to get to their goals.

Sierra College’s goal is to attract students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education and careers explained Carol-Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College CACT director, who administers the Sierra STEM Collaborative. “College and high school instructors told us that they want to see labs, share projects and find out about other teaching tools,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “When college and high school instructors collaborate, many students benefit and it contributes to a smoother transition to college.”

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office awarded grants to Sierra College to create a pipeline of students prepared to fill the need for skilled technical employees. For information, go to 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.

 

 

 


Roseville Geometry & Construction builds in Math

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Roseville High School teachers, Tyson Maytanes (Geometry) and Jeff Bailey (Industrial Technology), are co-teaching Geometry and Construction in an applied mathematics course where students learn practical application of math while building a house. The program was featured in the Roseville Press Tribune on 2-15-2012, Roseville High School students learn math by building a house — Geometry in Construction class teaches math concepts applied in real world.

The Sierra College STEM Collaborative has provided support to this applied mathematics project.

Learn more at www.rhsgeometryinconstruction.org.


Loomis News: Grant catapults Del Oro students

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Check out the 1/19/2012 issue of the Loomis News Grant catapults Del Oro students to see how Del Oro High School students are exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and benefiting from a partnership with the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT). The students built Tech-Explorer catapults in a hands-on learning experience that introduces product development careers.


Colax Record: Students get taste of engineering in tech class

Friday, January 13th, 2012

On January 5, the Colfax Record reported “With the help and guidance of Sierra College staff, Colfax High teachers Christian Kinsey and Wade Wolff recreated the Tech Essentials class, which incorporates Fraction Contraption, created by Jonathon Schwartz. Fraction Contraption seeks to spark students’ interest in math with games and by making connections with math use. … Students had to fabricate a battery-operated car built on a chassis with a motherboard while using tools and programs on the Internet to design and draft the body.”

Read more at http://colfaxrecord.com/detail/196957.html