STORE  |  BLOG  |  SUPPORT  |  DEALER LOGIN  |  CONTACT  |  ESPAÑOL | РУССКИЙ          Follow us on tweeter Follow us on facebook Follow us on Youtube Follow us on Linkedin

Blog

Category Archives

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


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!


Intelitek and Boy Scouts Partner to Promote STEM Education

  • Using EasyC for the Boy Scouts Programming Merit Badge
  • Students using EasyC to complete Programming Badge

New Robotic Programming Merit Badge generates a groundswell of excitement for STEM!

With the motto “Be Prepared”, Boy Scouts of America are devoted to helping youths become tomorrow’s leaders. Part of that effort includes over 130 Merit Badges that Scouts can earn in topics from business to backpacking. Confirming the trend that new skills are required for success in tomorrow’s world, one of the newest available badges is the Programming badge, preparing boys for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“We view STEM as an essential survival skill in the 21st century.”

“Last century, camping was an essential survival skill,” noted Matt Myers, of the Boy Scouts of America STEM initiative, “We view STEM as an essential survival skill in the 21st century.” The Boy Scouts of America introduced the new badge that allows scouts to learn how programming makes digital devices useful and fun, thus generating more interest in STEM among youths. To earn the badge, scouts write three programs in three programming languages for three different industrial applications, including the web, games, embedded controls, factory automation, and more. This allows the scouts to see how real programming is used in the workplace.

Boy Scouts Programming Badge

At the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, the response to the Programming Badge revealed the untapped interest in STEM fields. Over 800 scouts completed the programming portion of the badge – the only merit badge that had a line of kids waiting to get in all day long! Scouts from 49 of the 50 states and from overseas waited as long as 2 to 3 hours to work on the programming badge, which also has requirements in the areas of Safety, History and Careers. In the booth at the Jamboree scouts programmed VEX robotics arms using Intelitek’s easyC programming software.

This initiative demonstrates the high demand for robotics skills among youths. It also shows the success that can be had when educational opportunities are made available to youths: increased enthusiasm and awareness of opportunities in STEM. These are key to fulfilling students’ potential and opening up new pathways to career and lifelong success!

Learn more about the Programming merit badge!


The Limitless Rewards of STEM Education

The value of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is evident: our future is in its hands. STEM education creates new generations of critical thinkers, scientifically literate individuals, and driven innovators. STEM-related occupations are at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, and consequently, these jobs are arguably the most closely bound to a country’s economic growth and sustainability. STEM education across the globe is in higher demand now than ever, and it is vital that STEM programs receive the attention and support that they deserve.

Georgetown University STEM report

This point is bolstered by a 2011 study by Georgetown University asserting that there is a growing demand for STEM talent across a platform of all occupations and fields of study, not just the traditional or “native” STEM industries. Technological advances have called for “more skilled” members of every profession, meaning that STEM education is now often necessary for basic competency. In fact, more non-STEM occupations are seeking students who have obtained STEM skills, so the desirability of individuals with solid STEM proficiency is rapidly increasing.

Moreover, the number of STEM jobs continues to grow worldwide. It is projected that the economic share of these occupations will grow to 5 percent, creating more than a million new jobs by the year 2018 in the U.S. alone. Programs that target both the most elite and highest-performing STEM students as well as those whose talents lie less conspicuously in STEM areas are best positioned to meet this growing demand. By establishing broad-reaching solutions that foster interest in STEM occupations we support universal enrichment and advancement. If we commit to this mission, our world is certain to thank us in return.


Survey Points to Growth in STEM Education Budgets!

Congratulations to our prize winners who participated in our recent survey on the state of STEM education in the USA!

  • iPad winner: Mike Weaver
  • iPod winner: Rick Vaughn
  • iTunes winners: Richard Hill, Tammy Wesson

The survey responses point to encouraging trends in STEM education:

45% of respondents expect their budget for STEM programs to increase.

This is great news! Despite challenging times for many states and districts, STEM education is growing. Only 25% responded that their budgets were shrinking. We know that any growth in this sector is only due to the hard work of those supporting and advocating for STEM – teachers, administrators, public officials, as well as student organizations, parents, mentors and volunteers. We salute all of you!

The fastest growing STEM education program is green technology.

Programs related to alternative energy, sustainability, wind, solar and other green economy topics are on the rise, when measured by definite plans to establish new curriculum. This is more good news! The shortage of skilled workers for the critical green economy is well-documented. Now more students will have the opportunity to develop skills and pursue rewarding, sustainable careers thanks to these new programs. We see this as an example of the education community stepping up to the challenge to provide in-demand skills for tomorrow’s world. We may have a ways to go, but we are on our way!

The most important criteria for selecting new equipment for STEM labs is quality of the equipment.

The quality of the lab equipment directly affects the sustainability of a STEM program. Poor quality equipment can undermine the vigorous efforts it takes to get STEM programs off the ground and engage students. High quality equipment can help keep programs thriving and effective. Our survey respondents reflected this fact by consistently rating quality as the most important factor when selecting equipment.

Thanks again to all who took our survey and congratulations to our winners!


VEX World Champion Interview: Joshua Wade

One of the most successful Vex Robotics Competition teams ever has a unique aspect – it has only one member. Joshua Wade, from Orwell, OH, the sole member of Team 1103, went on to become 2010 Vex Robotics Programming Skills Challenge World Champion and the 2011 Vex Robotics National Champion.

What helped Josh become so successful? One of the tools in Joshua’s arsenal was easyC, Intelitek’s intuitive robotic programming software. With it he accomplished some exceptional robotic programming feats. We asked Josh to give us his perspective on his accomplishments.

What got you interested in VEX Robotics?
Even at a very young age, I had an interest in robotics and engineering. In 2006, when I was 12 years old, my Dad bought me an original VEX starter kit for Christmas. I can say without a doubt that it was the best Christmas present I ever received. Over the next few years I received several additional VEX kits and spent a great deal of time programming the hobbyist robots that I designed.

How did you develop your programming skills?
When I was 14, having worked with VEX robots for about a year, I was introduced to programming VEX robots. At that time, programming in general was completely new to me. I found easyC to be very user-friendly and quickly learned how to write basic programs. Though programming always came very naturally to me, I spent a great deal of time working with easyC before I was able to write more advanced programs.

How did you come up with your design? What were some other ideas you had?
Before starting on my 2010-2011 robot, I spent many long hours at the drawing board considering various design concepts. Early on I knew that I wanted a purely-vertical lifting mechanism. I did consider using a scissor
lift but later rejected that idea in favor of the chained linear slide lift that I had thought of following the 2010 VRC World Championships.

Because I was very interested in the two skills challenges, particularly the Programming Skills, a claw seemed like the best choice for actually manipulating the tubes. The inspiration for the passive high hanging mechanism actually came from rock climbing equipment. I needed a hook that would easily attach to the side of the Ladder even if the base of the robot was imperfectly positioned. The idea to tilt the lift mechanism using pneumatic pistons came after seeing a similar tilting mechanism on a forklift.

How much time did you spend working on your robot?
I began building my VEX Round Up robot in August of 2010. Throughout the competition season I worked 30-40 hours a week building, programming and practicing with the robot. By April of 2011, I had logged roughly 1200 hours.

What are your plans for the future?
In college I would like to take mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. Right now I am considering Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. After college I plan to go into robotics.

As the sole member of one of the most successful VRC teams ever, what advice do you have for other students who participate in the program?
I feel that the most important advice I can give to another is to work hard and be committed. To quote Thomas Edison, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

***
Team 1103 is a great example of the unlimited potential students have when engaged and motivated by their educational environment. Joshua’s success also shows that competitive robotics is an excellent way to provide that environment for more students!


2011 SkillsUSA Recap

This year’s 2011 Skills USA Championship in Kansas City, Missouri, was very
exciting! The students were prepared, they were energized and proved to be
GREAT competitors. This year’s AMT (Automated Manufacturing Technology)
challenge was a five piece game based after the childhood classic Connect-4
game.

SkillsUSA Connect4 project

After drawing the part and generating the CAM (Computer Integrated
Manufacturing) CNC code, they then prepared blank stock and made the parts.
This year’s challenge included the 5 part assembly. Those students who finished
the 5 parts, turned them in and got a change order for the top (the sixth
part).

In talking with one of the teams, I learned they competed last year and were
coming back for medals this year. This team event tests the skills these
students have under pressure while competing with the best in the nation. These
student’s have the right stuff! They are going to work and on for more
schooling to keep America competitive. For those who haven’t been to a National
Skills Leadership Competition (NSLC), seeing is believing. Pictures are good
but do yourself a favor, get there. There are over 18 acres of competitions on
just one of the floors with students competing on skills challenges from
Carpentry, Household Wiring, Masonry, to Cosmetology, Nail Care, Culinary Arts,
Automotive Body Repair, Robotics and Automation and Automated Manufacturing.
These are the skills that keep America moving!

Intelitek was the primary industry sponsor at this year’s Robotics and
Automation competition at the NLSC, providing 11 ER 4u robotic workcells for
students to compete with over a two day period. “This two person team
competition is exciting for us to host”, says David Crowell, Regional Sales
Manager for Intelitek and National Chairman of the Robotics and Automation
Competition. This competition tests the students ability to design, layout,
wire, program and prove the best solution for a workcell project. This year the
teams implemented the use of a pallet system to move parts around the workcell.
Teams were interviewed and had to present to a technical committee their
designs. This was done in a design review process and we were assisted by teams
of engineers from Honeywell who are based in Kansas City.

For more information about SkillsUSA, please visit www.skillsusa.org


The STEM Education Landscape: Going Green

Good news! The initiative to bolster offerings in the realm of environmental issues and green technologies is now enjoying greater momentum in US schools than ever before! Increased federal funding, stronger commitment at state agencies, and other incentives are bringing changes to the ground level at individual schools.
At Intelitek, we believe that adding green to STEM education can translate to better student outcomes. Stronger focus on renewable energy, sustainability and environmental literacy can engage students and open up opportunities they might not otherwise consider!
And once we’ve engaged the creative minds of today’s students, we won half the battle. Consider just a few of the ways green technology programs can help accomplish that:

Green programs are relevant to the everyday lives of students.
Green technology topics connect conceptual information to recognizable applications and issues: hybrid vehicles, alternative energy, conservation, etc. Learning the technologies involved in such innovations, as well as the obstacles to implementing them, highlights the value of STEM education topics. Once students’ make that connection, interests are peaked, excitement is generated and they begin to absorb high-level math and science concepts, sometimes without even realizing it.

Green programs help students see how they can make a difference.
The promise of sustainability is to improve tomorrow’s world – namely the world today’s students will inherit. When students engage in activities that demonstrate their own ability to solve problems and improve people’s lives, it excites and empowers them. Presented with the prospect of a rewarding career with the potential to shape the future, students are more likely to take ownership of their educational pathway.

Green programs draw students toward STEM related pathways and careers.
Students can easily identify the need for, appreciate the benefits of, and become intrigued by the innovations in green technology. This often inspires students to pursue a career or further education in STEM fields. Without this initial stirring of the interest, sometimes this potential might never be uncovered. It is also noteworthy that this appeal extends to girls. The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) reports that more women pursue a degree in Environmental Engineering than any other engineering discipline.

Implementing a Green Technology Program
With all these benefits, the question arises as to how to implement a Green Technology element into your educational program. Innovations in technology, pressures on school budgets and changes in legislation create challenges for educators in this evolving field. Intelitek has responded to this challenge with new green technology offerings that are scalable, enabling you to provide engaging, cost-effective green tech education at a variety of academic levels:
Our Green Technology curriculum is an excellent introductory program for the high school or middle school level. Five online courses provide students with an overview of the field, all in LearnMate’s engaging self-paced format.
For a more career-skills oriented program, the JobMaster program delivers in-demand skills for the green economy. Validated by industry through a rigorous process, JobMaster courses provide hands-on experience leading to job-ready skills. Two courses focus specifically on wind and solar power. These make excellent green tech components for high-school and post-secondary career programs!

No doubt, as we move forward, green technology will continue to be an important aspect of STEM education. At Intelitek, we are excited to continue putting innovative new solutions in your hands to help you improve student outcomes in STEM!


Heading West: Intelitek in Kansas City for SkillsUSA Championships!


Intelitek is in Kansas City this week at the SkillsUSA Championships! Our VP of Sales and Marketing, Mike Ogilvy, wanted to share our partnership with the organization and what it’s like to be on the Championship floor:

Skills USA is one of the country’s largest Career and Technical Skills Organizations, and Intelitek has been a close partner of skills USA for over 25 years.  Our involvement has grown over the years and we are pleased to help in the following major areas:

The National Leadership and Skills Conference: Intelitek is the lead sponsor in the  Automated Manufacturing Technology, Robotics and Automation, and Mobile Robotics competitions. Students from all over the United States come to compete in these areas. Many of them are either accepted into a job or post-secondary education by the time they are competing in June.

Skills Connect Assessments: 46 technical assessments and an employability virtual assessment.  Intelitek was the lead developer and hosts the assessments for Skills USA on LearnMate, our E-Learning Learning Management System.

Youth Development Foundation: The Youth Development Foundation is a separate Industry group that is responsible for Industry involvement and fund raising for SkillsUSA. Intelitek has served on this foundation for many years.

SkillsUSA is a student organization with over 310,000 members!  This organization is not just about local, state and national competitions.  This organization is about skill development for sure, but equally, if  not more important, SkillsUSA programs promote and instill leadership skills that transcend a student’s life.  These include community development, organization, and employability skills that make SkillsUSA students successes.

This week in Kansas City anyone can see that the proof is in the pudding!  In Barrtel Hall alone, there is over 18 acres and over $25,000,000.00 worth of state of the art industrial and commercial technology at the hands of the students who have come from 50 states to win a national championship.  Intelitek alone will have over $1,250,000.00 of equipment supporting over 200 students competing in team competitions.  Over all, there are over 5,000 students that will be competing for gold awards in careers from Culinary arts to Factory Automation.  To see it is to believe it, pictures can tell a story, but from one who has been active over 15 years, I can share with you each and every time I walk onto that floor, the hair goes up on my back to be part of such a great event.  The story is not about the millions of dollars of equipment on the floor, or the thousands of hours that go into making and supporting these competitions, the event for all involved each year comes to life when we engage our champions, the students.  We all hear about the problems in America.  Well each and every year we go to Kansas City, those problems go away.  We see what a great county we have, we experience the active minds of students who are leaders in their communities around the country.  We meet the skills champions!!!

Intelitek is so very proud to be a sponsor and partner of SkillsUSA.  It is part of our culture.  The purpose of this blog is to “get the word out”  share the experiences of being involved as a partner of a great organization like SkillsUSA and to tell the story from a partners eyes.

Next week we will capture pictures and share the excitement with you as we can.  Stay tuned more to come.


Page 4 of 4First...234