On Oct. 17, 2014 nearly 100 girls visited Sierra College, were inspired by entrepreneurial women in tech fields, made hands-on projects in labs and met for round table discussions with mentors from local companies.
Posts Tagged ‘STEM for girls’
Sierra College faculty inspired high school girls, instilled new confidence and invited them to pursue technical careers at the first Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event held on Friday, April 19.
Small groups, hands-on on projects, female role models, encouraging professors and a warm welcome to Sierra College were all part of the strategy to inspire girls at the NEW event according to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technology Center (CACT), Sierra College. Held at the Rocklin campus, girls from Roseville, Nevada City, Truckee and communities in between were introduced to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education and careers paths.
“We wanted these girls to know that they can succeed in nontraditional careers and make a difference for their families, community and the world,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “The event was designed to engage girls, and help them see themselves attending Sierra College and taking computer, design, welding, Mechatronics and other Career Technical Education (CTE) classes.”
On Friday, April 19, at the NEW Event, high school girls, in groups of less than 10, will meet Sierra College faculty, create a project and learn about careers that are nontraditional for women such as welding, mechatronics, automotive and drafting.
This intimate NEW event will give girls a welcoming introduction to a technical education path at Sierra College. They will see labs, use tools, build projects, meet female college students and learn about careers. The event is designed to connect with girls and inspire their career plans.
At the Sierra College Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) Event expect:
- Girls doing hands-on projects using power and hand-tools in college labs.
- Students using diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot basic mechanical issues on a car.
- Women designing with 3D software and seeing 3D printing or additive manufacturing.
- Females learning basic fabrication skills to make their own metal flower vase.
- Girls interacting with faculty and college students at six different labs on campus.
Businesses seek more employees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Women are underrepresented in these fields. Attracting female students to technical careers will help supply workers needed to maintain a global competitiveness and provide living wage employment to women.
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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
Veterans go from Serving the Nation to Building Energy Conservation
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the CCC at www.ccc.ca.gov.
Find an abundance of links and resources on the Wiki CASTEMequity developed by Michael A Kane, Associate Dean, Sciences & Mathematics, Sierra College.
Resources related to the status of women and girls in STEM Education
Use of the School Improvement Process with a focus on CTE (Career Technical Education)
Resources related to the root causes for gender equity discrepancies
Spatial Skills training resources
Links to information on the areas of microinequity, stereotyping, and gender bias
Outreach, recruitment and retention of women in STEM links
Resources relating to Scaling up and Institutionalizing Gender Equity in your organization
The mission of DOT Diva is to create an exciting and positive image of computing for high school girls. Girls can explore their passions and relate them to careers as well as check out profiles of women passionate about their work in computing for a wide variety of industries.
A nationwide survey revealed that not only do the majority of girls think of computing as “boring” and “hard,” but they believe it fails to deliver two crucial benefits: “working with others” and “making a difference in other people’s lives.” DOT Diva’s ultimate goal is to transform this negative perception.
Read a summary of DOT Diva’s research, New Image for Computing: Report on Market Research (PDF)
Dot Diva / New Image for Computing is produced by WGBH Educational Foundation, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) with fuding from the National Science Foundation and Google.