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ACTE Wrap-up

Thanks for a great ACTE experience!

Intelitek's team at ACTE

CareerTech VISION 2013 was a great success!

Thanks to all who visited us at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2013 event! Your positive response to the many changes happening at Intelitek reinforces our excitement for the coming year!

Certifications

The availability of portable certifications has opened up new possibilities for our programs. To learn more about these new resources visit the links below:

 

Flexible Manufacturing Cart

Motoman integrated vision cart

We are excited about the potential for the integrated Motoman robotic vision system. This system demonstrates our unique capability to work with industrial partners to bring flexible solutions to the classroom that will deliver real-world skills.

New Marketing Resources

Intelitek's 2014 product catalog

We rolled out Intelitek’s first product catalog that includes the entire portfolio of products available globally. The catalog is always available online anywhere anytime:

Product Catalog

You can always find the link in the footer of our website.
More resources are also available on our Resources and Downloads page.

We look forward to the coming year! We expect great things to happen for career and technical education!


Ignite Interest in Math and the Sciences

How Teachers Can Ignite Interest in Math and the Sciences

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are fields that fuel innovation. With this in mind, it is undeniable that the world of academia needs knowledgeable and passionate educators that inspire students’ interest in these subjects. Here are a few tips for effective teachers of STEM classes to ensure that current and future generations of students maintain interest in pursuing educations in the sciences and mathematics.

Bring Enthusiasm to the Classroom

Perhaps the greatest contribution that a teacher can make to his or her students is changing the way they view learning. A teacher may not be able to spur interest in the sciences for every child in every class, but it shouldn’t be for lack of trying. Remember to maintain an enthusiastic and knowledgeable presence in the classroom, so that you can pass your passion on to students. If subjects are conspicuously fascinating to you, students will be able to identify with this fascination and, similarly, express it. It’s important to stay up to date with research and news so that you can incorporate practical uses for the material you teach. Students want to know the meaning behind the concepts they’re learning—how are these applicable to the world around them?

Don’t Remove the Mystery

Much of the apprehension surrounding science and mathematics is caused by students’ hesitancy to explore the unknown and the complex. While students should be taught not to be intimidated by the sciences, this doesn’t necessarily mean they should be given the impression that every curiosity has a proven theory or explanation to back it. Rather, be honest about things that don’t. One of the most common mistakes that teachers of math and science make is presenting only concrete answers and tangible facts. Removing all of the curiosity takes away some STEM subjects’ appeal—the mystery is part of the captivation. Instead, make sure students recognize that certain phenomena aren’t clear-cut and there won’t always be a single correct answer to any one occurrence or formula or oddity. Science is a process of exploring, so encourage students to ask questions about what they’re learning in order to give them the best chance at becoming sincerely interested in classroom material. Ideally, students will begin seeking answers because they want to discover the them for themselves.

Be as Hands-On as Possible

A good teacher makes analogies and tries to make formulas or equations relatable to the real world. Teach with graphics, sounds, and interactive assignments because kids learn best when they can touch, build, and explore by themselves with proper encouragement and support to back them. Try to make science fun by presenting different ideas and concepts like a puzzle that gets easier with practice. When a student finally grasps a difficult concept or discovers something new independently, there is a much better likelihood that this knowledge will truly be learned and not simply stored. In his article Facilitating Teaching and Learning Across STEM Fields, James Ejiwale of Jackson State advises STEM educators to engage students in “motivational activities that integrate the curriculum to promote ‘hands-on’ and other related experiences that would be needed to help solve problems as they relate to their environments.” With this approach, students will gain the self-esteem to help others in the classroom and explain their new knowledge to their peers in a unique way.

Encourage Extracurricular Involvement

It is no secret that all learning cannot be done in the classroom. Furthermore, when students are passionate about a subject, the little time they can devote to it during school isn’t enough to make it a hobby. Encourage kids to get involved in extracurricular STEM activities, groups, and clubs. Let them know that there are chances to explore science and mathematics interactively outside of what they are learning in class. Provide students with information about robotics competitions and Science and Math Olympiads programs. The more exposure students have to extracurricular STEM opportunities, the better their chances of turning an interest into a passion.

Incorporate Teamwork

Many students think they’re alone when it comes to science and math; they believe that they’re the only ones who aren’t grasping the more difficult concepts. Group work helps students to talk about what they don’t comprehend with their peers. With the subsequent realization that others might be struggling as well, students working in groups are more confident asking teachers and professors for assistance. Teamwork emboldens students to bounce ideas off of one another and allows them to inspect and understand things from a multitude of angles. Most importantly, when students see peers interested in learning, they’ll want to contribute and join the crowd.


Visit us at ACTE in Las Vegas!

We are looking forward to exhibiting at the ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2013! We’ll have great news about our latest initiatives in certifications for manufacturing and robotics technicians! We’ll also be demonstrating the ProMill 8000, with an emphasis on how the simulation capabilities of this versatile machine can impact the effectiveness of your advanced manufacturing classroom.

Come visit us in Booth #501 and take a robot for a drive on our VEX competition field or play a game of craps with our FMS while you are there!


Event details:

Booth: #501
Dates: December 5-6, 2013

ACTE CareerTech VISION 2013
CareerTech VISION 2013
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV USA
http://www.acteonline.org


The Matlab Toolbox for the Intelitek Scorbot (MTIS)

An open-source solution for robust integration of the SCORBOT-ER 4u in MATLAB development environments

Intelitek’s SCORBOT line of robots has dominated the educational scene for the past two decades. These versatile articulated robot manipulators for education include the intuitive SCORBASE programming environment. The ability to enable control in any programming language provides advantages, especially in post-secondary settings.

Visit the developers page to learn about and download the MTIS Toolbox!

To that end, Professors Joel Esposito, Carl Wick and Ken Knowles at the United States Naval Academy Systems Engineering Department’s RaVision Group recently developed the MATLAB Toolbox for the Intelitek SCORBOT (MTIS). This open-source toolbox enables user to control the SCORBOT directly using MATLAB®, a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming used by millions of engineers in both industry and education.

A new study presents in-depth research and findings of the development and usage of the MTIS. The article describes the development process and the toolbox’s features, detailing how the toolbox was beta tested in an introductory robotics class and tested for capability with various projects.

The research included three benchmark tests to compare the old SCORBOT serial interface with new USB interface:

    • Encoder readings: the mean time was observed to measure the joint angles across 1000 trials.
    • Movement time: the mean time was recorded to execute 10cm vertical motion with a desired movement time of 1 second, averaged across 60 moves.
    • Sequences of motions: 100 random motion commands were sent to the SCORBOT and the number of missed commands were recorded (note: unlike with the older RS232 interface, there we no missed motions with the ER 4U).

Below: 3 projects highlighted in the study: Towers of Hanoi Puzzle, Defusing and IED, and Cup Crushing.

MATLAB SCORBOT projects

At the end of a semester-long class, students were asked to rate ease of use and stability of the toolbox. For ease of use, the majority rated “easy” on a scale of “very easy,” “easy,” “moderate,” and “hard.” For stability, the majority responded that the SCORBOT was “rock solid” or “stable after bug fixes.”

Excellent projects have been completed using the MTIS, like the example below:


See more projects completed with the MTIS on YouTube!

Ultimately, it was confirmed that the Intelitek SCORBOT-ER 4U could be successfully incorporated into the environment of the MATLAB toolbox. The toolbox can handle the low-level interfacing, allowing instructors with little expertise to integrate the SCORBOT-ER 4u into robust lab exercises. Being open-source, this capability is available to any MATLAB-licensed facility. This opens a whole new door to opportunities for post-secondary students interested in science and engineering, with market leading, widely available development environment like MATLAB.

Have an example of a MATLAB integrated SCORBOT project? Let us know – we’d love to show it off!


Women in STEM Occupations: Still Growing!

U.S. Report shows no decline in female participation in STEM workforce

The US Census Bureau report released in early September contained encouraging news – the growth of women in the the STEM workforce continues! The proportion of women in STEM increased from 23% in 1990 to 26% in 2011. No doubt all would love to see higher rates of growth, we are still moving in the right direction, despite the challenges of image, lack of mentors, and prevailing attitudes, to name just a few.

With renewed efforts to open up more opportunities for women and change the perception of STEM careers, there is great potential to see the participation rate increase in the years ahead.

Female enrollment in STEM

In nearly all other STEM fields, women have seen either a firm hold or steady increase in numbers since 1990. Additionally, the amount of women receiving advanced degrees in STEM is encouraging. In biological sciences, more than half of the individuals receiving advanced degrees are women, and women make up almost half of science and engineering graduates.

The US Office of Science and Technology Policy have more encouraging figures about the rewards available for girls pursuing STEM education: higher pay, exciting work and the ability to make a difference in the world around them.

Women in STEM earn 33 percent more

Possibly the most encouraging sign we see are the great results in the classroom and STEM programs. As STEM programs mature and classroom methodologies improve, girls are discovering the potential and accomplishing great things– just ask the Rochester, NH, girls who earned gold in Automated Manufacturing Technology at the SkillsUSA national competition!

SkillsUSA AMT Gold winners

Exciting achievements by great role models like these will be a great impetus for girls to consider the rewarding possibilities in STEM!


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