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Advantages of Hybrid Learning in Post-Secondary Classrooms

Philip Przybyszewski, Project Coordinator for the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Manchester Community College talks about the advantages of Intelitek curriculum.

With funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant, the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) began creating training programs across NH to develop the workforce of the future for advanced manufacturing.

Philip Przybyszewski, Project Coordinator for the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Manchester Community College (MCC), led the effort to build a program that would deliver the relevant skills for New Hampshire’s workforce. That included suitable equipment and curriculum that could serve entrants from various backgrounds. To meet the demands of the grant, the program would also have to be accessible for trainees with a wide range of schedules.

The resulting certificate and associate degree programs implement a hybrid learning approach featuring Intelitek solutions. In the video below, Phil talks about the advantages hybrid learning brings to the unique challenges of the post-secondary classroom.

Hear Phil


The CTSO Model for STEM Programs

SkillsUSA AMT Competition

The Role of Career and Technical Student Organizations in Providing STEM Skills

Last week the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released CTE Is Your STEM Strategy, a study of the value of CTE programs as the foundation for an overall STEM strategy.

One specific element the study highlights is Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). As the report mentions:

“CTSOs, such as SkillsUSA provide skills-based competitions for students…based largely on students’ abilities to work individually or in teams to solve problems and present projects to judges from industry and education. …They clearly support student mastery of the “STEM competencies,” as many problem- or project-based learning experiences do.”

In this way, CTSOs deliver some of the most important elements for successful STEM programs: engaging industry to guide the delivery of relevant skills and offering “true contextualized learning within the context of a specific industry or career pathway”.

As Julie Kantor of STEMConnector wrote recently in the Huffington Post: “The conference is filled also with corporations smart enough to get in the door early and meet the best and brightest of our country. These kids all come out of high school with a TANGIBLE SKILL.”

One example of success came in the 2013 SkillsUSA competition. Girls from Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire clinched gold at the National SkillsUSA Competition in Missouri, earning the title as the first all-female team to win the competition. The trio competed against high school students from all 49 other U.S. states to take home the medal in Automated Manufacturing Technology contest, which evaluates teams for employment in the integrated manufacturing technology fields of computer aided drafting/design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer numerical controlled machining (CNC). Team member Jackie McNally constructed the parts’ geometry in CAD, while Naomie Clark, the CAM operator, generated the tool paths and Ali Trueworthy was responsible for CNC set-up and machining.

The Rochester girls spent two years in STEM classes at the Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center under teacher and adviser David Foote. This academic program combined with the experiences in SkillsUSA helped the succeed in this year’s national competition. They insist that the key to their success is not just the technical skills, but collaboration — working together rather than as separate contributors.

All three girls are now pursuing engineering degrees – an excellent outcome that any STEM program would be proud to achieve!

This is just one example among the 5,900 students who competed in the 2013 SkillsUSA nationals! All of these participants no doubt obtained an enhanced educational experience.

Many new STEM initiatives are gaining momentum and funding, but lacking guidance at the implementation stage. Proven and successful CTSOs like SKillsUSA provide an excellent model to follow. Participation bolsters interest in STEM, while delivering relevant technical skills as well as leadership and problem-solving skills so valuable in any career field!


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
https://www.acteonline.org


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