Intelitek took part in ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2015 expo in New Orleans, Louisiana, an event that hosted over 3000 career and technical education professionals. We had the opportunity to hold several workshops and presentations and even collaborate with ACTE to put on a webinar!
Using Community Projects to Engage Students in Technical Education
In collaboration with ACTE, Intelitek participated in the “How to Use community Resources to Engage Students in Technical Education” webinar which is available to be viewed here:
Mechatronics with LabVIEW
Our LabVIEW Product Manager, Justin Stephens also gave a presentation on Intelitek’s Mechatronics with LabVIEW program. This presentation emphasized the importance of the program for today’s students and getting the CLAD certification. The CLAD (Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer) is an industry-recognized certification offered by National Instruments.
InspirED Professional Development
Shannon Richmond, Director of Professional Development delivered a workshop on “Engaging Girls in STEM Education through Community Service”. This workshop was a preview of our five hour self-paced course of the same name and gave a quick overview of one of the “hot topics” in the STEM education world.
Withlacoochee Technical College is home to the Automation and Production Technology Program taught by Laurie Newkirk. This program is nothing short of amazing and is seeing incredible results, with graduates being placed in manufacturing positions. We had an opportunity to visit the Inverness, Florida school to learn about how Intelitek equipment and a great instructor can prepare students for the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) Certified Production Technician certification and ultimately a career in manufacturing.
The Automation and Production Technology program prepares students with the relevant technical knowledge and skills to prepare the students for a career in the manufacturing industry. With the Intelitek equipment and curriculum, a driven Instructor, and dedicated students you have a recipe for success.
Skills USA is one of the most important annual events that demonstrates the talents of thousands of high-school students across the United States in the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. These students are competing for wonderful prizes through various competitions ranging from cosmetology, to Advanced Manufacturing. But the most revered prize of all, is a job. Every year among the hustle and bustle of the event, industry members view competitions with watchful eyes and jobs offers ready to be awarded to those that succeed. But let’s not forget how much effort and time goes into such a competition. Without the help of Ivy Tech and people like Steve Bardonner, Skills USA wouldn’t be what it is today. We had an opportunity to sit down and get an interview with Ivy Tech Community College’s Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Technology and Applied Science and Engineering Technology, Steve Bardonner.
Intelitek: How would you describe your participation at SkillsUSA?
Steve: Back in summer of 2014, I was having a discussion with Intelitek’s Regional Sales Manager Rob Clarke about some general topics. Somehow the subject of Skills came up and he was saying that due to the relocation of the event, he was in need of establishing new contacts and judges at the new venue. I mentioned to him since Louisville was near Indiana that I would be happy to help. Already familiar with Skills USA from being a program chair at Ivy Tech in Muncie who for a few years participated in the CAD Competition, I was excited to be involved. At the competition I served as a judge in the AMT (Automated Manufacturing Technology) Competition using my expertise as a CAD person and educator in evaluating the projects.
Intelitek: What are your thoughts regarding the event? Favorite moments? Anything truly memorable?
Steve: I came away very impressed by the organization, the events, and the venue. The other thing that stood out with the professionalism that all the students demonstrated in and out of the competition.
Intelitek: What is Ivy Tech and why should people know about Ivy Tech?
Steve: Ivy Tech is the largest Community College System in the United States and the largest state-funded college in the state of Indiana. Ivy Tech’s purpose is to help people improve their careers by preparing them for the demands of a variety of professions. We offer anything from industrial certifications to Associate degrees several programs to include many that made up the competitions at Skills USA. Also many regions compete in Skills.
Intelitek: What was the role of Ivy Tech in your attendance at Skills? And what kind of work do you do there? (You’re the Dean of Science and Technology correct?)
Steve: When I told my administration that I had been asked to participate (which also included the Office of the President) much support was given to me by giving me the time from my very busy schedule to be a part of this exciting program. I am the Dean of the Schools of Technology and Applied Science and Engineering Technology at the Central Indiana Region of Ivy Tech that offer programs in Robotics, CNC, Welding, Automotive, CAD, and many more of the competition events.
Intelitek: We would love to have you again, would you come back again next year?
Steve: I would very much like to be a part of this program and return to Skills USA next year.
All of us at Intelitek want to thank Steve Bardonner and Ivy Tech for making the Automated Manufacturing Technology competition possible.
The SKILLS USA National Championships were held June 24th and 25th in Louisville KY, with 6,000 of the country’s top career and technical education students competing in over 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. To earn a spot at the prestigious national event, all participating students had previously won a state contest.
Within the competition, Intelitek set the industry based competencies and standards for three of the contests, including Robotics and Automation Technology, Automated Manufacturing Technology, and Mobile Robotics Technology; all of which have seen an increase in participation levels by 10% from the previous year.
The Mobile Robotics competition contains teams of two students who build a robot based on design, assembly and build instructions they create and store in an engineering notebook. The students are judged on the quality of the engineering notebook, an oral presentation in front of industry based judges and robotic performance on a competitive field
Intelitek’s Product Manager, Trevor Popesat down with Mobile Robotics gold medal winners and Intelitek users Morgan Chen and Samarat Darren Srivathanakul, two seniors at Texas’ Richardson High School.
Morgan and Darren on the competition field
Intelitek – We would like to understand your journey. What were your goals and what obstacles did you overcome throughout the season?
Morgan – Like every competing team, our goal was to create a robot that would score the most points and ultimately earn the gold medal. To achieve that goal, my teammate and I focused especially on an efficient robot design and a strong autonomous program. We understood that a simple but strong robot design was all that we really needed, yet a strong autonomous program would be necessary to gain an edge in the competition, especially at the national level. In the end, patience and perseverance were key to overcoming these and all obstacles that we faced.
Darren – Our goals this season was to come back from last year’s loss and improve our designs and skills to get a better placement in the competition, or even win. Many design mechanics were made as prototypes to our drive, lift, and intake systems, but many failed to perform as smoothly and efficiently as we wanted them to.
Intelitek – What made you a successful team?
Morgan – I believe that one important factor to our team’s success was our experience gained from last year’s competition. For example, my teammate and I realized that while we were given a day to build our robot, it was vital that we set apart some time to test out and practice the operation of the robot as well. Furthermore, we realized the importance of the autonomous program in the competition and the importance of practice with the manual driver operation. Another key factor that I believe contributed to our success was our dedication and motivation. My partner and I spent countless work hours throughout the school year, and oftentimes stayed after school and worked at home when necessary to perfect our robot and work on the notebook and oral presentation as best as we could.
Team 126’s robot carrying two cubes to the scoring zone
Darren – We worked throughout the year, thinking of and producing new designs to improve the performance of our robot.
Intelitek – How did you become interested in robotics?
Morgan – I played a lot with Legos as a child, sparking my interest in building and creating; principles closely aligned with robotics and engineering. In my last year of elementary school (6th grade), I joined a robotics magnet program that my school provided where we worked with the Lego Mindstorms NXT kits. I continued with the robotics magnet program through my middle school years, where I worked closely with AutoCAD software and machining skills. I followed the magnet program to high school, as my past experiences with the robotics program only further kindled my interest in robotics and engineering.
Darren – Since I was a little kid I always loved toy cars and Lego products. I built a love for mechanics and engineering through the robotics program in my elementary school, the Math Science and Technology Magnet, where we used LEGO Mindstorms to experiment with building and programming robots for competition. This heightened my interest in robotics greatly and I continued to enjoy exploring robotics with VEX in the robotics magnet program in Richardson West Junior High and Richardson High School.
Intelitek – What are your future plans and did they result from your experience in robotics?
Morgan – Ultimately, I aspire to pursue a successful career in engineering, ideally one geared towards but in no way utterly bound to the branches of mechanical, electrical, and/or computer science engineering. I’m interested in robotic engineering and its application to defense technology, and am an admirer of the work of companies such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, etc. My future aspirations are heavily influenced by my experiences in robotics as the underlying principles inherent in robotics, such as design and construction, have always interested me.
Darren – After finishing my high school robotics program, I plan to study some form of engineering whether it be electrical or somewhere else in the field. I would really like to work in engineering in the future.
Intelitek – Do you use Intelitek’s EasyC software and / or our Robotics Engineering Curriculum or other curriculum? Was it helpful?
Morgan – My teammate and I opted to use Intelitek’s EasyC programming software for our competition autonomous program. EasyC software was helpful in the creation of our robot’s autonomous program as it was straightforward and clear-cut.
Darren – We used easyC v4 for the past couple years. It is easy to use, great for beginners and easy to program simple and complex tasks for sensors and motors.
A fleet of robots built and programmed by elementary students recently went head to head in the exciting Vex Robotics Tournament held at Richton Elementary School in Richton MS. Robots were tasked with moving objects around an obstacle course, earning points for each successful move.
Richton’s team was completely made up of 6th graders, making them by far the youngest team entering the competition. Teachers were also quick to point out to KFVS12 News that there were just as many girls competing as boys, showing that these exciting initiatives are encouraging more and more enterprising students to explore a career in manufacturing, robotics and computer science.
To get the most out of the competition, robots are delivered to the teams completely unassembled, and it’s up to the students to build them from scratch. It’s a challenging and fun activity with a competitive element that gets kids highly interested in STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Other useful real-world skills are fostered, such as project management, time management, working in groups and problem solving. The competition is a culmination of a lot of hard work and determination from these young engineers.
We’re proud that this initiative is running on Intelitek’s software, with students programming their robots using easyC, a programming language designed to be powerful enough to perform advanced operations but simple enough for young students to pick up.
Intelitek will be supporting the 800+ teams for the 8th consecutive year at the 2015 Vex World Championships. Look for the “Micro/Macro”, a VEX EDR robot driven and autographed by Mike Rowe at our Interactive Exhibitor display area booth E1017. Play robot Freeze tag with your friends or adversaries and ask one of our team members how to participate in our QR code sweepstakes to enroll for a 90 day license of EasyC v5. One lucky registrant will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet.
Our team of experts will also be assiting VRC Middle School, VRC High School and VEX U teams participating in the VEX EDR Highrise competition at the Software Support desk answering easyC v4 and easyC v5 technical questions.
This will be our first year offering assistance to Elementary and Middle school VEX IQ teams at the VEX IQ Highrise Challenge Software Support desk for teams using easyC v5 for VEX IQ.
Schedule of Events
VEX Worlds 2015 will take place at the Kentucky Exposition Center
Intelitek was invited to participate in the United States Fab Lab Network Symposium hosted by Gateway Technical College at its S.C. Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant, WI.
The theme of this symposium focused on financial sustainability and growth of Fab Labs, start-up workshops on how to get a Fab Lab up and running, leveraging Fab Labs for entrepreneurship, incorporating Fab Labs into educational programs, and equipment vendors demonstrating projects and capabilities.
The Symposium included 2 full days of presentations, classes and speakers where attendees had the opportunity to get the information needed for their FabLab or Makerspace. Intelitek presented on solutions available with cutting edge hardware, software, professional development, as well as e-learning curriculum.
Intelitek proudly celebrated our 6th consecutive year hosting the state SKILLS New Hampshire Mobile Robotics Technology contest held on March 13th at the Seacoast School of Technology in Exeter, NH. Intelitek supports three of 46 total SKILLS NH State contests including Mobile Robotics Technology, Automated Manufacturing Technology and Robotics and Automation Technology. The 2015 event challenged teams of two to design a robot that could move, lift and stack colored cubes into designated color-coded scoring zones within a two-minute time limit. The round is split into a sixty second autonomous and 60 second operator control period. Judging criteria are based on the quality of an Engineering Notebook competitors share with industry based judges, evaluation of a student prepared presentation, and robot scoring performance. The winning team is invited to Louisville, Kentucky to compete against approximately 40 state winners for the title of National Champion making this Friday the 13th a very lucky day for the winning team.
Intelitek offers Robotics Engineering Curriculum (REC) which contains everything needed to begin a successful classroom program with hands-on activities and compelling online curriculum while teaching students the STEM theory to design a robot capable of competing at a National level. REC embeds easyC programming software within the curriculum allowing users to produce effective C code programs in a short period of time.