Thomas Shaw's picture

Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act of 2015

114th CONGRESS, 1st Session,  H. R. 823 - To better integrate STEM education into elementary and secondary instruction and curricula, to encourage high-quality STEM professional  development, and to expand current mathematics and science education research to include engineering education. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/823/text

◦Ensures that engineering design skills are part of science standards in each state and authorizes the use of State Assessment Grants to integrate engineering into state science tests
◦Sets aside a portion of Title II funds for STEM professional development for STEM professional development through the Teacher and Principal Training and Recruitment Fund
◦Amends the Education Science Reform Act of 2002 to authorize the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to expand the scope of their research activities from sole math and science to include all STEM subjects with a focus on identifying best practices and promising innovations
◦Amends the Math and Science Partnership Program to include all STEM subjects encompassing engineering and computer science

Festo Didactic Acquires Lab-Volt

Festo Didactic, the education division of the Festo Group has acquired Lab-Volt Systems. This is a major Corporate Merger in the Technical Education Sector. For the customers of both companies, this acquisition opens up the availability of a much broader range of products and services worldwide. Lab-Volt’s and Festo Didactic’s product portfolios will be integrated according to a joint portfolio and branding strategy. Festo Didactic, a global education company, is the market leader in technical education with focus on both, learning systems and training services. Lab-Volt is the leading specialist for equipment and solutions in the technical training and continuing education sectors, focusing on electronics, electrical and mechanical engineering, and telecommunications


Technology in Action

Manufacturing in the Future

Manufacturing is one of the most important factors to the economy of a country because it affects the wealth of a country and the standard of living its people enjoy. You only have to look at any number of countries and if they have a strong manufacturing base, they in turn also have a high standard of living. If it were possible to gaze into a crystal ball and look into the future of manufacturing, many amazing things are happening now and will happen in the near future. The use of the Internet will continue to play a major role in how manufacturing is conducted throughout the world. Some of the Web-based technologies such as machine tool control, machine diagnostics online, e-Procurement, e-Manufacturing, Virtual Reality and Simulation, etc., are available now. Investments being made now in new technology will pay huge dividends in product quality, increased productivity, decreased time to market, reduced manufacturing costs in the future.  
Steve Krar

Evaluate Cost

Standard practice has been to:



Survival as a manufacturing nation demands that we also:


Ioannis Miaoulis- NCTL STEM

We Are the TE in STEM

Click Your State For Local Information

Article for Review

Communication Simulation, Understanding and Implementation

Visualization and model building are skills that technology instructors have been providing their students for some time. Using visualization and the ability to replicate a model are skills that can be enhanced when students are introduced to communication simulation and the process of developing simulated representations of reality. In this article, the authors explain how to develop and design a communication simulation using a physical security analysis of a computer laboratory as the theme of the activity. Communication simulation from the authors’ viewpoint is the use of technology and visualization to allow the student to communicate by using a model

Computer developed simulations are new teaching tools that faculty are starting to use in their classrooms. In this paper, the authors look at one type of simulation, communication, which can be implemented into the classroom using a physical security analysis from a technology/visualization perspective. However, to disseminate this article to a broader audience and to be consistent with the understanding of the terminology used throughout the narrative several terms will be defined using Wikipedia as the resource. As Clark Aldrich states (2009, p. xxxii), “The lack of common terms is a huge problem, and it has substantially hindered the development of the simulation space. Sponsors, developers, and students have not been able to communicate intelligently.”
Sill Hall 3D Image

Follow The Money

$450 Million Available for Community College and Career Training

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) recently announced the availability of some $450 million in grant funds for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants Program. DOL intends to make grant awards to eligible single institution applicants in all states, as well as to consortia of eligible institutions. The closing date for applications is July 7, 2014, no later than 4 p.m. EST.

Through this fourth and final round of TAACCCT funding, DOL is focused on “advancing innovative, sector-based system change in regional and statewide economies …. These grant projects will create industry-driven strategies that are responsive to regional labor markets and state economies.” The grant program seeks to “increase the number of workers who attain certificates, degrees, and other industry-recognized credentials …” It also aims to “introduce or replicate innovative and effective methods for designing and delivering instruction that address specific industry needs and lead to improved learning, completion, and other outcomes …; and demonstrate improved employment outcomes” to help meet the administration’s “college graduation goal of increasing the percentage of adults with a post-secondary credential by 2020.”

Scott Brown


JP Morgan Chase Pushes Job Training in Healthcare, Manufacturing

Unemployment remains high across the globe, yet recent data reveals that employers are having trouble finding workers in key sectors. As part of our five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work initiative, JP Morgan Chase is releasing a series of skills gap reports in nine metro areas in the United States, as well as data reports for France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The reports focus on middle skills jobs – those that require a high school degree and technical training but not a BA diploma.

On April 16, 2015, JP Morgan Chase released the Detroit Skills Gap Report, which shows that after suffering severe job losses from the decline of the auto industry and feeling the effects of the city's bankruptcy, the regional economy is stabilizing and employment is growing again.

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The Art of the Future

jim brazell's picture

It Takes a Village to Educate a Child

The economy is the single most important issue for a sizable majority of voters in the 2012 presidential race according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll. Similarly, U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation are the hot topics in politics and business. On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, Harvard released a survey of approximately 10,000 alumni, from the  Harvard Competitiveness project, indicating American competitiveness will decline over the next three years, according to 71% of those surveyed.


The Case for Career and Technical Education

Robert Reich, the distinguished author and Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, recently published an excellent piece on why a four-year college education isn't for everyone. As the president of Ivy Tech in Indiana, the nation's largest singly accredited community college system, I couldn't agree more.

High school students around the country are now in a frenzy as they wait for acceptance letters from their college of choice. Many hope to get into prestigious institutions, believing that this will guarantee them a well-paying job upon graduation. To do this, they will accumulate an average of $24,000 in student loans. Those who go to big-name schools will likely owe a lot more. We need to change our way of thinking about college education. As thousands of recent graduates have discovered, a four-year degree isn't an automatic gateway into the American middle class.

Ed Tech Developer's Guide

Opportunities abound for software designers and developers to create impactful tools for teachers, school leaders, students, and their families. This guide for developers, startups and entrepreneurs addresses key questions about the education ecosystem and highlights critical needs and opportunities to develop digital tools and apps for learning. Crowd-sourced from knowledgeable educators, developers, and researchers who were willing to share what they have learned, this guide is designed to help entrepreneurs apply technology in smart ways to solve persistent problems in education.   

The demand for high-quality educational apps is increasing as communities become more connected, devices become more affordable, and teachers and parents are looking for new ways to use technology to engage students.

Richard Culatta
Ed Tech Developers

Bring the Millennials to Manufacturing – High Tech Careers Waiting to be Filled

The turn of the new year brought good news for many job seekers with the unemployment rate continuing to drop in every region of the country and nearly every state. The Millennial generation, however, is finding a steeper hill to climb. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young workers in December 2014 faced an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, more than double the rate for the 35- to 44-year-old age set. They also face a greater burden of student debt than generations before. A recent Pew Research Center report found that 37 percent of young households had outstanding student debt, and the U.S. student loan debt total has hit the $1.2 trillion (with a “t”) mark.

Dan Campbell, Hire Dynamics

Northrup Grumman Foundation Launches Middle School Contest to Promote STEM Innovation

Northrop Grumman Foundation announced it is launching an online contest to encourage today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators by creating classrooms and science labs that inspire. The Fab School Labs contest is open to public middle schools and will make five grants of up to $100,000 available to five winning schools to fund a school lab makeover. Beginning May 4 and continuing through June 12, 2015, teachers, principals and school administrators can enter their eligible school by visiting www.FabSchoolLabs.com, where they can learn about the contest and submit their application, along with photos and video to help tell their story. Semi-finalist schools will be chosen and their videos will receive online votes of support to assist with the final selection process. The winning schools will team up with Fab School Labs contest partner Flinn Scientific Inc. to design a state-of-the-art lab complete with all of the tools, resources and furnishings needed.

U.S. Cyber Defense Workforce and Training - A Rand Report

Cyber warfare remains a growing threat to the computer networks of the U.S. military, as well as to government infrastructure and businesses. Accordingly, cyber defense spending is projected to grow to $4.7 billion under the 2014 federal budget. To make sure the U.S. Department of Defense has sufficient numbers of skilled cyber workers, the department may need to develop additional training approaches at the same time it plans for broader recruiting and workforce management.

American Technical Training Fund - $200 Million for CTE - Linked to Employers in High Demand Fields

Juan Rodriguez is a 33-year-old father of three school-aged children. He recently earned an associate’s degree in welding technology from Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT). Before enrolling in the training program, Juan had been laid off from his job and was relying on unemployment benefits and federal food assistance to support his family. After graduating, Rodriguez was hired as a quality manager at Skyline Steel’s manufacturing mill.

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Sikorsky Challenges Students to Envision a Helicopter Responsive to 2050 Global Issues

Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. has launched the 2013 Sikorsky Helicopter 2050 Challenge, a national competition that invites youths ages 9-16 to envision a helicopter capable of addressing global issues likely to be encountered by mid century. Winner of the grand prize — the Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award — will receive a $1,000 scholarship check, meet with Sikorsky rotorcraft engineers, and receive an expenses-paid tour of the BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK® helicopter assembly lines at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Conn., headquarters.
“We’re challenging kids across the U.S. to think globally about their future and how they can make a difference,” said Judy Bankowski, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sikorsky. “This year’s objective is to design a helicopter that can have far-reaching positive impact for our planet and its inhabitants.”

Homemade Batteries

Grade Level: 
Middle School
Alternative Energy, STEM

Lesson plan developed by Keith DeWeese

Overview: Students will make batteries out of lemons, potatoes and themselves and hook them up in a variety of ways.

Purpose (Objective): Students will discover how a battery works, as well as learn how current and voltage relate and interact.

Materials: Potatoes, Lemons, Galvanized (molten, not electrogalvanized) nails, 3” copper wire sections, 2 wires with alligator clips on the ends, Sandpaper, Multimeter

Background Information: Explain how voltage and current relate using the equation V=IR. You can go into great detail about the units used as well (ohms, amperes, volts).

Explain how series voltages add together while parallel ones don’t. Now explain how parallel currents can add together.



1. Sandpaper the copper wires. This isn’t always necessary, but junk can build up on them.

2. Stick the nail and the wire into the potato or lemon. Don’t allow them to touch on the inside.

3. Take the wires with alligator clips and connect one to the nail and one to the copper wire. Measure the voltage with the voltmeter. Measure the current.

4. Take the whole class’s batteries and hook them up in series and parallel and prove that series voltages add together while parallel currents increase one another. Repeat the entire activity letting each student hold the wire in one hand and the nail in the other.



Volkswagen Chattanooga Celebrates Inaugural Graduation of Automation Mechatronic Apprentices

Trainees are first in the US to receive German Vocational Training Certificate

Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations, LLC (Volkswagen Chattanooga) celebrated the inaugural graduation class of the Volkswagen Academy Automation Mechatronics Program (AMP) in a ceremony that highlighted the German ‘dual education’ system and featured the first Americans to ever earn certification from the German Chambers of Commerce program, which certifies the graduates to work in Germany and around the world.

“For our team to build top quality cars, our electrical and mechanical systems must function perfectly,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “These students are now trained with a passion for detail that is crucial to our success and we are eager for them to join our skilled team of experts,” Fischer said.