Thomas Shaw's picture

White House FY 2015 Budget calls for Increased Investment in STEM Education - Government Wide Reorganization of STEM Education

The White House fiscal 2015 budget proposes a number of changes to improving and strengthening the quality and quantity of workers in science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) fields. One proposed change is a government wide reorganization of STEM education programs that have traditionally been fragmented across various agencies. The proposal also seeks to focus federal STEM education efforts on five areas identified in the government’s five-year strategic plan: P-12 instruction, undergraduate education, graduate education, broadening participation in STEM to women and minorities, and STEM education activities that take place outside the traditional classroom. The budget also proposes $170 million for the Education Department to launch a cohesive initiative to transform STEM teaching and learning, in part to establish the President’s goal of recruiting, preparing and retaining 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade.

The president's budget also would provide $333 million to support top graduate student researchers who show promise in becoming future leaders in STEM fields, and would provide $7 million for a new program to boost innovation in graduate education by providing awards to universities that come up with innovative ideas for improving student training.

Green Collar Zone

Green Collar Zone products are manufactured to transfer skills in the growing green economy. Green collar careers will be the engine of new job growth, with the added benefit that these careers cannot be outsourced. Green Collar Zone’s hands-on trainers in solar panels and wind turbine systems come complete with state of the art curriculum, tools and equipment.

Solar Energy Technologies

  • Learn the history of the solar power

  • Discover career opportunities in the alternative energy industry

  • Mount a solar panel anchor system to a roof

  • Wire solar panels to a solar controller

  • Connect storage batteries in a series circuit

  • Connect batteries to a power inverter

  • Wire power inverter to an electrical service panel

  • Calculate voltage of all devices in the circuit

  • Compare a grid tie and stand alone power system

Technology in Action

Economic Facts Everyone Should Know

The following set of facts are called the Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom. These basic laws of economics were developed by The Economic Foundation of New York. It might be called a guide for human's economic life. These ten rules show how simply the economic truth can be told.

A Brighter Tomorrow

How often we wish for another chance

To make a fresh beginning,

A chance to blot our mistakes

And change failure into winning--

And it does not take a new year

To make a brand-new start,

It only takes the deep desire

To try with all our heart

To live a little better

And to always be forgiving

And to add a little laughter

To the world in which we're living--

So never give up in despair

And think that you are through,

For there's always a tomorrow

And a chance to start anew.


Ioannis Miaoulis- NCTL STEM

We Are the TE in STEM

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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

$ 5.2 Million Investment in STEM-based Manufacturing Education Workforce Development Programs

The SME Education Foundation (www.smeef.org) has announced funding to nine model schools in eight states through its PRIME -Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education -Program, for the academic school year, 2012-2013. PRIME, a community-based approach to manufacturing education, is part of a commitment by the SME Education Foundation to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Model schools funded by PRIME offer STEM-based curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to prepare young people for highly skilled jobs with lucrative potential. One of the richest sources of employment and economic growth will be jobs requiring a solid STEM education.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is expected to grow by 29 percent, adding 2.1 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020.


Scott Brown


The Future of Technology in Education

Predicting what future technology could do in the domain of education is certainly a difficult task. Mainly because the student community is looking at education from different angles, and technology itself is undergoing a massive change. One must realize that the future is clouded, and must be filtered through the ability of teachers — in the past and present — to think about the impact of technologies on student learning and capacity of the teaching community to undergird research in technology. We must remember that technologies are not the content of education; rather they provide a cornucopia of tools for learning.

The technologies we know will now undergo enormous change at an increasingly rapid pace. In 1965, founder of Intel Gordon Moore had predicted the exponential growth of technology. Moore’s law postulates that the processing power and speed of any electronic calculating device will double every 18 months. At the same time, the price for that technology will decline approximately 35 per cent a year relative to the power. If this continues to be true, researchers will have an abundance of exciting new tools to use as they study the curriculum and children of the future. Those instruments will not only be more powerful than those we have now, but will cost less, making them affordable for research, schools and families.

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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.


Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Rob Portman announced the formation of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus. The bipartisan Caucus, co-chaired by Kaine and Portman, will focus on improving and strengthening access to career and technical education to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.
“From growing up working in my Dad's small ironworking shop to creating Governor’s Career and Technical academies, career and technical education has always been a passion of mine,” said Kaine. “Through career and technical programs we can strengthen the links between the classroom and the workplace, helping students acquire the education and skills that will help them find employment and enjoy productive, successful lives after graduation. President Obama’s inclusion of workforce training as a priority in his State of the Union Address is a heartening sign for what we can accomplish this year. I am proud to launch the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus with Senator Portman and I look forward to working together to improve CTE.”

Career and Technical Education Month

February is National Career and Technical Education month, and there is much to be celebrated when examining the remarkable contributions that Delaware’s career and technical education students, teachers and alumni have made to communities throughout the state.

Investing in career and technical education can yield big returns for state economies. There is strong evidence, for example, that high school students involved in these programs are more engaged, perform better and graduate at higher rates. In addition, CTE programs at the postsecondary level have realized an increase in completion rates as they prepare students and adults for in-demand careers. There is no doubt that career and technical education also addresses the needs of high-growth industries and helps to close the skills gap.

State of the Union - Education Related Highlights

The following are some education-related highlights from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address. The excerpts are from a full text version of the president’s prepared remarks, as distributed by the Associated Press.

The First Four Paragraph's are Directed to Technical, Technology and STEM Education. 

1) I’ve asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs.
2) We’re working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead directly to a job and career. We’re shaking up our system of higher education to give parents more information, and colleges more incentives to offer better value, so that no middle-class kid is priced out of a college education.

Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy

Four years after the end of the Great Recession, 23 million Americans remain unemployed, underemployed, or have left the workforce discouraged. Even worse, Washington policymakers seem out of ideas.

Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy shows how America can restore its great job-creation machine. Recent research has demonstrated that virtually all net new job creation in the United States over the past thirty years has come from businesses less than a year old—true "start-ups." Start-up businesses create an average of three million new jobs each year, while existing businesses of any size or age shed a net average of about one million jobs annually.
Unfortunately, the vital signs of America's job-creating entrepreneurial economy are flashing red alert. After remaining remarkably consistent for decades, the rate of new business formation has declined significant in recent years, and the number of new jobs created by new firms is also falling.

Motorsports Classroom Program, Pre-Engineering for STEM Education

MechNet Inc. has developed a very unique educational opportunity for STEM education. One of the programs main goals is to pique the interest of the student, by studying engineering, math and physics concepts on a real world platform. The program also helps students who may have previously had issues in Math and Science, by better relating concepts to topics that can be understood with a real world application. This program brings math and engineering to life. Students will be required to use math and science as a tool to solve a problem. All of the letters in the equation will relate to something real. The course uses the approach of, " for today’s lesson we want to solve for X, and this in the formula we are going to use," along with the data to come up with the answer. The program is based around the popular 1/10th scale remote control racing vehicle and uses sophisticated research quality testing equipment to conduct experiments. It will require the use of mathematical formulas and science principles

Crash Test

Technical Education Center to be Strategically Focused on ‘Real Jobs’

The Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center is in search of a new model to prepare students for the workforce, and Grant Tate is on a mission to find it. Tate, a tech executive turned consultant who heads the Charlottesville-based firm the Bridge Ltd, is leading CATEC through a strategic planning process that he believes can transform the current state of vocational training in the region. “All the forces are coming together on this issue,” Tate said, citing the Orange Dot Project—a local 2011 family self-sufficiency study—and recent state and national conversations about the wage gap between high- and low-income earners. “The thing that was brought out [of those conversations] was that we need vocational training to help start to bridge this gap so people can get real jobs,” Tate added. “So the national pressure is coming, the state pressure is coming, and the local pressure is coming.”

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All American Soap Box Derby

Gravity Racing Challenge

With Soap Box Derby cars being used in over 300 schools in 13 states and in classrooms in Singapore, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Japan, the International Soap Box Derby continues its mission to develop and provide educational opportunities for K-12 youth worldwide.

Promoting the S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative in education through gravity racing, the Gravity Racing Challenge (GRC) program is designed to provide K-12 educators and students  with  meaningful, project and standards based, intercurricular  learning opportunities. Educators are successfully implementing the GRC program in classrooms,  after-school, summer or enrichment programs and clubs worldwide.

Creating and testing adhesives

Grade Level: 
Middle School
Science, Engineering
Lesson Synopsis 
The Sticky Engineering Challenge explores how engineers work in a team to solve problems. Students learn how different adhesives are selected for different applications, and how individual component choice can impact the success or failure of a product. Students work in teams to design a structure which must withhold the weight of a can of soup or soda using simple materials which must be glued together. Students determine material choice, execute their plan, and evaluate the strategies employed all student teams. 
- Learn how component selection impact engineering results.
- Learn how adhesives are developed for different applications.
- Learn how engineering teams address problem solving.
- Learn about teamwork and working in groups.


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.