On July 22, The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)was signed into law. The signing ceremony was a showcase for the importance of national workforce education and development to economic recovery. It included the release of Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity, a federal-wide effort to ensure “that federally funded training programs are singularly focused on getting more Americans ready to work with marketable skills.”
Elenco Electronics, Inc., is pleased to announce the addition of Snaptricity to its Snap Circuit educational toy product line. This kit teaches about magnetism and how electricity is used in an everyday home environment.
The Snaptricity kit provides over 40 parts including a meter, electromagnet, motor, lamps, switches, a fan and a compass. It provides knowledge about magnetic fields, how switches control the lights in homes and how series and parallel circuits affect electricity. A color-coded manual uses over 75 projects to demonstrate these principles of electricity.
Technology in Action
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.
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.
Article for Review
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.”
Follow The Money
In order to bolster the fast-growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the U.S. Department of Education will provide more than $21 million in grants to fund 478 fellowships at colleges across the country.
The awards are part of the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) initiative, which provides graduate fellowship programs to students who can demonstrate exceptional academic skill and financial need. These new grants will assist 163 students who major in STEM subjects, including chemistry, physics, biological sciences and computer science.
The Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, introduced the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act that would create a CTE teacher-training grant partnership to recruit and train high-quality CTE teachers. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act grant would foster partnerships between high-needs secondary schools and post-secondary institutions to create one-year teacher residencies for CTE teachers. Through grants in the Higher Education and Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), many teacher residency partnerships already exist between post-secondary institutions and local schools to train prospective educators, but none are CTE focused.
CTE teacher residencies created through the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act would target mid-career professionals in related technical fields, as well as recent college graduates, veterans or currently licensed teachers with a desire to transition to a CTE focus.
The Art of the Future
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 reality is manufacturing continues to evolve with other industries. Many of today’s workers have tech-savvy jobs that ask them to use software in ways involving modeling products with 3D visualization tools, mining big data with analytics, and automating assembly with robotics. From procurement to design, building, delivery, and service, there’s considerable opportunity–not to mention massive room for growth–at some of the world’s largest companies.
Something has to be done, Resurging interest in manufacturing as a career will require a systemic effort, both publicly and privately. It’s going to have to be approached from the ground up, and we’ve come up with a list that will help attract the younger workforce to manufacturing. Adam Robinson of Cerasis is our industry expert recommending the following solutions.
The Wall Street Journal published an article by Chase Gummer, WSJ German Tech and Corporate Coverage Editor, discussing the Technical Education Market, from an industry perspective. Excerpts include mention of many of the companies that serve our field, and Industry Leaders opinions about Technical Education. Gummer reports, German company Festo AG wants to make American factory workers more tech savvy. As robotics take an ever more prominent role on factory floors, training workers and keeping their skills up to date has grown in importance. Festo see’s in the U.S. a "mismatch in the labor market between what businesses need and the kind of education young people are getting," said Nader Imani, chief executive of Festo Didactic, the company's stand-alone education division.
The most important thing to note about STEM funding is that it’s driven by several different motives, and understanding where a funder is coming from will be crucial to finding the right fit. For some, typically Silicon Valley tech philanthropists, it’s about nurturing innovation. For others, it’s about global market dominance and getting ahead of China. Corporate funders are interested in keeping their industries strong, and in many cases, directly training and recruiting future employees. Then there are funders who consider it a justice issue, ensuring that disadvantaged students graduate with access to future jobs and competitive pay.
Generally, there are a handful of program categories that win grants in this field: Professional development for K-12 teachers, Informal education such as camps and afterschool programs, Competitions, awards and science fairs, STEM equipment and curriculum, Implementing STEM standards and reform.
STEM Education Source and Technical Education Publishing will provide information about Technical, Technology and STEM related sources of information and curriculum that can be helpful in the classroom. The following are some great resources for preK-12 STEM Education.
NASA — Educators
eGFI: Dream Up the Future
Veteran Technology Educator Jacqui Murray discussed her view of what the classroom of the future might look like. The following are some of her published opinions and visions. Many are already happening today.
What’s your vision of the future?
Students will each have a digital device. It may be a tablet PC, laptop, Chromebook, Surface–that won’t matter. What’s important is that it is portable, sturdy, fits in a backpack, and is digitally secure. All student work will be done on these.
Students will actively participate via a backchannel device (i.e., Today’s Meet, Socrative, Padlet, Twitter, a Google Apps adaptation). The stream of student comments, thoughts, questions, ideas will appear on the class Smartscreen for the benefit of all. Students will access it on their digital devices, while class goes on. The teacher will address comments so she can address concerns.
Homework and projects will be submitted online, via Dropbox, GAFE, or a school-specific program like Schoology. No printing, no depositing to the class inbox, no lost in the dark recesses of the student backpack. Work will be completed and immediately shared with stakeholders.
Workers with STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—skills are essential in promoting innovation and economic growth, but there is a relative (and perhaps an absolute) shortage of U.S. workers with the STEM skills our economy requires, according to Jonathan Rockwell of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. His recent report, Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills, used new data to “analyze the skill requirements and the advertisement duration time for millions of job openings.” It contains a wealth of information for those preparing the STEM workforce of the future. http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2014/job-vacancies-and-stem-skills#/M10420
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.”
STEM, Pre-Engineering, Aerospace
Lesson focuses on aerospace engineering and how space flight has been achieved from an engineering vantage point. Students build and launch a model rocket and consider the forces on a rocket, Newton's Laws, and other principles and challenges of actual space vehicle launch. They design their structure on paper, learn about aerospace engineering, launch their rocket, and share observations with their class.
The "Blast Off" lesson explores rocketry, and the principals of space flight. Students work in teams with teacher supervision and construct and launch a rocket from an inexpensive kit. They observe their own achievements and challenges, as well as those of other student teams, complete a reflection sheet, and present their experiences to the class.
Two to four 45-minute sessions.
ª Learn about aerospace engineering.
ª Learn about engineering design and redesign.
ª Learn about space flight.
ª Learn how engineering can help solve society's challenges.
ª Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
New Collaboration Between Leading STEM Education Organizations Provides Students and Teachers Leading Edge Opportunities and Resources
Nancy Conrad and Dr. Chuck Cadle announced a significant collaboration between their respective organizations at the 2014 Conrad Innovation Summit. The two leading non-profits, the Conrad Foundation (Conrad) and Destination Imagination (DI) have joined forces to capitalize on the success of the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge). The ninth Conrad Challenge, a multi-phase business and technical plan competition,will be launched to high school aged students in August.