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Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century

Business Leaders, Elected Leaders, and Education Leaders continue to push initiatives to promote, fund and improve Career Technical Education.

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587) -The bill will empower state and local leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing them more flexibility to use those resources to respond to changing education and economic needs. These reforms will help state leaders focus on preparing students for the workforce—not duplicative or overly prescriptive federal requirements—and enable them to determine the best way to do so.

Four C's for Careers Act (H.R. 5663) - This Act may be cited as the ``Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity for Careers Act'' or the ``Four C's for Careers Act'' - To amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to deliver high-quality career and technical education opportunities, and for other purposes.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act - The WIOA Final Rules include reforms that will affect more than a dozen programs receiving $10 billion in annual training and education funding and programs that serve approximately 20 million Americans each year. 

Putting Learner Success First - The vision calls for a systemic revitalization of the education system, and identifies Career Technical Education's (CTE) strengths and role in this transformation. Advance CTE and six national organizations are stepping up to the challenge to continue on the path of fierce dedication to quality and equity, while providing the leadership necessary to continue to re-examine, grow and transform the education system. 


American Technical Publishers announces the availability of new welding training materials specifically designed for welders and students working with all types of welding processes and systems. Welding Skills, Fourth Edition, is an effective instructional tool that addresses all aspects of the welding trade and the latest welding technology. In addition, competencies recommended in the American Welding Society (AWS) Schools Excelling through National Skills Standards Education (SENSE) guidelines are included throughout the textbook.

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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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.”
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Follow The Money

$21 Million for STEM Grants


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.

Scott Brown


YOUR FUTURE is MADE in MANUFACTURING, An Introduction to Manufacturing, Teachers Guide, recommended for grades 6-12

Dear Teacher,

I am constantly in awe of what you do every day. You inform, you influence, you interact, and most importantly, you inspire young people preparing for the exciting world of learning and work.

Over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap. With your help, we can mitigate this gap and show students the reality of modern manufacturing. Many people of all ages are amazed to learn how much we manufacture in the United States and how diverse the careers are in our dynamic industry. Today’s manufacturing is about new innovation, making an impact, and a chance to design and build the future .Whether they are interested in design, engineering, or even the business side of the industry, there is a place for everyone in manufacturing. Not only does our industry offer a wide variety of demanding and fulfilling roles, it also offers high pay and opportunity for career advancement.

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The Art of the Future

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Why STEM ?


"Why should policy makers, educators, school board members and students care about the arts and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)?" The Art of the Future is the book written by Jim Brazell in response to this question asked of him by the National School Boards Association (NSBA). Debra Amidon, the creator of the concept of knowledge innovation says in her foreword to the book: “The Art of the Future


Engaging Students with Hands-On Learning

About five years ago, I noticed it was getting more and more difficult for my students to retain the information presented in my CNC Machining Program. You see, at that time, I was making widgets in class that demonstrated the basic processes performed on CNC machines. These widgets, though, had no meaning to my students because they weren’t part of anything real or usable.

The result? Students were disinterested.
One day, while shopping for a remote control (RC) car, it occurred to me these cars are like an actual vehicle, with four-wheel, independent suspension and transmissions with front and rear differentials. As a CNC manufacturing engineer, before I entered teaching, I machined driveline components for agricultural and military applications. So, as a teacher, I knew the driveline components on the remote-controlled cars were machined and closely represented a real-life driveline. A closer examination of the RC car revealed to me I could use the resources in my CNC lab to design, re-engineer, set up, program and run almost the entire RC car as a class project.
Hands-On Learning

NATEF Introduces Guide for New Automotive Instructors

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has developed an online guide targeted toward automotive technicians who are interested in transitioning to an instructor role. The guide covers such teaching topics as lesson planning, lesson delivery, student assessment and useful resources for new instructors. The NATEF New Instructor Guide, which is available free to all instructors, was developed through a grant from Ingersoll Rand.

NATEF said it created this guide to help new automotive instructors be more successful in making the transition from doing to teaching. It also provides resources for instructors already in the field.

Mastercam University Prepares Machine Shop Teacher to Stay Ahead of Computer-Savvy Students

When Gene Hickey began teaching the art of machining in 1977, computer-aided manufacturing wasn’t a part of the curriculum. The Atari 2600 video gaming system was introduced that same year and, at $265 was a luxury for most households.  When Hickey decided to return to the classroom in 2006 – after a 15-year hiatus – he entered an environment where his students were computer-literate, having grown up using gaming systems that had gone mainstream with graphics that rivaled those in animated films.

Mastercam University

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

About one-third of American workers are now engaged in some kind of freelance, or project-based, work. Students are graduating into a working world that encourages short term projects or “gigs” over full time employment. And, for those who do work in full time jobs, they often organize their work into projects, work collaboratively in teams and solve unique and pressing problems. In this year long campaign titled “It’s a Project-Based World,” Getting Smart is exploring the economic realities of a project-based world as part of the equity movement to ensure all students are prepared for college, career and citizenship.

Students are Skipping Science and Math Because They Don't Understand Vast Career Opportunities

It’s the missed opportunity of a generation: demand for scientists and engineers has never been stronger, but many young people in the U.S. are avoiding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education because they don’t understand the opportunities, according to a recent survey by Emerson. - See more at: http://www.emerson.com/en-us/careers/Pages/STEM-survey-results.aspx?cm

The survey* revealed that 42 percent of respondents would have considered a career in STEM fields had they better understood a potential career path, and one-third of respondents didn’t pursue a STEM career because it seemed too hard.

Tech Firms Call on Lawmakers to Invest in STEM Education

Tech companies called for the federal government to invest in more STEM Education. An issue the industry hopes to influence in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Representatives of Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon said they face difficulties finding qualified staff, a handicap they believe other US companies face and that threatens the strength of American industry. The issue is so widespread that it affects fields outside of technology, including pharmaceuticals and health care, they said.

"This is no longer a Microsoft, Facebook or Amazon issue," Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief legal officer said at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's panel in Philadelphia. "Companies are only as good as the people we hire."

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Samsungs "Solve for Tomorrow" Program

Samsung Electronics America (SEA) announced the launch of the company’s 6th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (#SamsungSolve) program and the call for entry submissions. Samsung’s flagship citizenship initiative is one of many innovative programs designed to address the growing education gap and career development shortage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the U.S. 

Samsungs "Solve for Tomorrow"

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.


ADVANCE CTE Recognizes Eleven Model Programs of Career Technical Education

Advance CTE's selection committee chose 11 programs for their track records of blending demanding academic work with work-based learning and internships created in partnership with business and community organizations. “CTE should prepare all students for success in both postsecondary education and careers, and these programs of study do exactly that,” said Kimberly Green, Advance CTE Executive Director. “The eleven award winners were chosen, in part, due to their dedication to ensuring access to and supporting success for all students. We hope these programs of study serve as a model for leaders across the country by demonstrating what high-quality CTE looks like and can offer to students and communitiesHere is the list of winners, along with the career cluster each one represents.