News about K-12

SMART Money’s on Problem-Solvers at Innovative Summer Camp

A participant checks progress on a 3-D printed elephant toy.

A member of the business Sirens of Sound explains to mentors a smartphone speaker developed by her company during the Wildcat Den Showcase.

Cell phone kickstands and charms were among team Copy, Paste, Print’s products.

A participant shows her team’s solution to a broken camera tripod.

A team shows off samples of 3-D printed toys, part of its week’s work.

Penn College’s annual SMART Girls summer camp attracted 34 high schoolers from across Pennsylvania, some with a strong interest in science, math, engineering or technology, and others just beginning to explore those options. During the four-day camp, the girls used additive manufacturing to solve problems – like creating replacement parts for broken consumer products and designing connectors to build structures out of plastic straws. They also used their newly honed computer-aided design and 3-D printing skills to develop a product line, supported by a business plan, resume and trade-show booth. All were used to pitch “investors,” the camp’s mentors, during the “Wildcat Den Showcase,” a SMART Girls take on television’s “Shark Tank.” SMART Girls – Science and Math Applications in Real-World Technologies for Girls – was implemented by Penn College to reverse the trend of girls to shy away from math and science courses and the rewarding, family-sustaining careers that use those skills. The camp, which also included career interest assessments and company tours, was facilitated by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office. Mentors were Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing at Penn College; Tom Gill, a science teacher at Central Columbia High School; Christina L. Herman, director of student services and career development for Loyalsock Township School District; and Alice S. Justice, school counselor at Central Columbia Middle School. Camp director was Tanya Berfield, project and data reporting technician in Outreach for K-12.

Penn College Students Earn Industry Certifications

Pennsylvania College of Technology students representing seven different majors recently proved their mastery of computer aided drafting and design software programs by passing certification exams.

Fifty-two students successfully completed the Certified SolidWorks Associate exam and one student earned Autodesk Inventor Professional certification. SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor are industry-standard 3-D parametric software programs used primarily within the engineering drafting and design profession.

“Two years ago, we completely revised our curriculum to closely align with current industry standards and technology,” said J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology. “Our enrollment in the engineering design program has substantially increased since these changes were made. This year, we more than doubled the number of students who successfully completed the exams. I am very pleased with the increase in certified users. The certification is an external validation that our curriculum is meeting industry standards.”

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‘Career Day’ Helps Middle-School Students Focus on Future

A student from Milton Area Middle School checks out an astable multivibrator circuit – aka blinking lights.

Faculty and several staff members across campus joined Penn College’s Outreach for K-12 staff in providing a day of career learning for just over 1,000 middle-schoolers from five area school districts. The event is designed to give participants a taste of a variety of career options, which in turn will help them to make informed decisions about their futures.

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Last updated May 18, 2015 | Posted in Events, Faculty & Staff, K-12 | This gallery contains 18 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Penn College Staff Member Offers Information on Dual Enrollment

Beverly A. Hunsberger

Beverly A. Hunsberger, college transition specialist in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Outreach for K-12 Office, recently provided information about the college’s dual-enrollment program at a Statewide Dual Enrollment Meeting.

The meeting, held Jan. 30 at Reading Area Community College, brought together representatives from the state’s 14 community colleges – as well as Penn College and University of Pittsburgh – and the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

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Seventh-Graders Add to Career Toolkit During Campus Visit

A middle-schooler feels the weight of a sledgehammer as Harry W. Hintz, instructor of construction technology, shows the group several tools of the concrete masonry trade, including …

… a diamond-tip saw …

… and a float.

Participants watch as concrete tumbles in a mixer.

A youngster shovels green concrete to fill a paver mold.

Seventh-graders from Williamsport Area Middle School’s after-school program made a visit recently to the concrete masonry facilities in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies. Under the direction of Harry W. Hintz, instructor of construction technology, the young students learned the tools of the trade and made concrete pavers. Participants in the after-school program visit the college once a week (seventh-graders on Wednesday and eighth-graders on Thursday) through a partnership coordinated by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office. The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Science Festival Offers Hands-On Activities for Children, Families

During a previous Science Festival at Penn College, a Williamsport Area High School student uses a black light and a glowing gel to help another student learn about germs and hand-washing.

A Science Festival at Pennsylvania College of Technology on Thursday, March 19, will provide a variety of fun math and science demonstrations for local children and their families.

The event, scheduled from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Penn College Field House, is sponsored by the college and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

The Science Festival’s hands-on math and science demonstrations are geared toward elementary and middle school students, as well as their families. The experiments are designed to make learning fun and to stimulate children’s interest in math, science and the exciting careers in related fields.

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Penn College Names Director of Corporate Relations

Elizabeth A. Biddle

Elizabeth A. Biddle has been appointed director of corporate relations at Pennsylvania College of Technology, effective Jan. 19.

Biddle has been project manager for the Outreach for K-12 Office at Penn College since 2009. In her new role, she will develop and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with business and industry to benefit students at Penn College.

“We are excited to have Liz join our team in Institutional Advancement,” said Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement at the college. “Liz brings an excellent technical background and considerable experience working with a variety of constituencies. Her professional demeanor and enthusiasm for Penn College and our mission will continue to be an asset to Penn College and prove valuable in her new role as director of corporate relations.”

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Frontier Communications Donates $5,000 to College’s K-12 Efforts

Frontier Communications’ Jennifer Sherwood, left, presents a check to Debra M. Miller, Penn College’s director of corporate relations.

Frontier Communications has contributed $5,000 to two Pennsylvania College of Technology initiatives that benefit high school students.

The company’s contribution, delivered by Jennifer Sherwood, a Frontier enterprise account executive, was made through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program in support of the college’s SMART Girls and Penn College NOW programs.

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Middle School Students Explore STEM Careers at Penn College

Penn College student Brian J. Pernot, who is studying manufacturing engineering technology, shows Williamsport Area Middle School students the workings of automated manufacturing on a Haas computer-numeric-controlled vertical machining center.

Participants in the Williamsport Area Middle School After-School Program are again spending one afternoon each week at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where college employees help them explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

In addition to hands-on career-exploration activities in the college’s high-technology classrooms and labs, the college arranges for participants to visit STEM-focused businesses in the Williamsport area.

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Twice-Yearly Conference Affirms Alliance Between College, K-12 Educators

– Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid, talks with the educators about important deadlines and other considerations of which students must be reminded.

Kay E. Dunkleberger, coordinator of disability services, talks with educators.

Whit Worman, director of the physician assistant program, leads a tour group.

Penn College’s Outreach for K-12 Office hosted its biannual College & Career Readiness Conference on Friday, providing a professional development opportunity for K-12 educators, mainly school counselors. The educators were offered tours of various academic programs and small-group conversations on such topics as disability services, the financial aid process, and Penn College NOW, the college’s dual enrollment program. The participants also attended a session titled  “Manufacturing Your Career in Pennsylvania,” a new free resource that teachers and counselors can use to engage students in career opportunities in manufacturing. The goal of the conference is not only to introduce the educators to the college’s academic programs, but also to address topics that will help them as they help to prepare their students to make decisions about their post-high school paths.

Eighth-Graders Tour Manufacturing Lab in After-School Visit

A Williamsport Area Middle School eighth-grader handles the controls of an industrial robot.

Penn College student John M. Good IV (in hat) demonstrates computer-aided drafting to a pair of middle-schoolers.

Middle-schoolers take a close look at a CNC-machined wrench before watching the process.

Eighth-graders in Williamsport Area Middle School’s after-school program visited a Penn College gem on Thursday: its automated manufacturing lab. There, Penn College students showed them the ropes of computer-aided drafting, CNC machining, robotics and hydraulics. The session was led by John M. Good III, instructor of automation and computer integrated manufacturing. Students in the after-school program visit the college once a week in a partnership coordinated by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office. The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Automotive Artisan Volunteers Time, Talent

Jillian Rossi's ready smile reflects an artist's love for her work.

Among the crafter's tools are precision and a steady hand.

Schooled by a pro, Penn College students put those pointers into practice.

A Williamsport Area Middle School student watches a demonstration of an English wheel, among the machinery in the college's automotive restoration lab.

Collision repair instructor Loren R. Bruckhart (left) checks out middle school students' attempts at pinstriping.

Students from Penn College and Williamsport Area Middle School got an eye-popping look at a professional pinstriper’s craft during a recent campus visit from Florida-based Jillian Rossi, AKA “Hell Cat.” The appearance was arranged by Shaun D. Hack, a faculty member in collision repair and automotive restoration, who met the St. Petersburg resident several months ago. “She had some free time after (an auto show in Hershey) and showed interest in seeing our restoration and auto graphics program,” Hack said. “I invited her up to check it out and asked if she would demo her skills.” She volunteered several hours of her artistry with instructor Michael R. Bierly’s class and in working hands-on with students on brushed pinstriping. The middle school students also tried their hand, as well as exploring the equipment in the College Avenue Labs’ instructional space. The college’s Outreach for K-12 Office is in the final year of a three-year 21st Century Learning Grant that funds such after-school opportunities.
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‘Career Day’ Whets Students’ Appetite for Vocational Success

A Central Mountain High School student plugs components into a Raspberry Pi, a computer that can fit into the palm of your hand but is powerful enough to run a home media center and more.

Students narrowing their occupational choices gained some real-world focus on Friday, as the Outreach for K-12 Office again hosted Career Day on Penn College campuses. Held in the spring for seventh- to ninth-graders and in the fall for high school freshmen through seniors, the event gives regional school districts the opportunity to brings groups of students to delve into potential careers through hands-on activities, tours of facilities, and discussions with in-the-know students and on-the-job faculty.

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Last updated October 17, 2014 | Posted in Events, Faculty & Staff, K-12 | This gallery contains 2 photos. | Tagged as |

Manufacturing in Spotlight as College Hosts ‘Make Cool Stuff Day’

Entrepreneur Nick Gilson, of Gilson Boards, talks with high school students about the importance of error in developing a quality product.

Richard K. Hendricks, seated, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows Loyalsock Township High School students the 3-D modeling that comes before parts are fabricated on the computer-numerical control machines in the Advanced Manufacturing lab.

Automated manufacturing technology student Bryce L. Kuszmaul (foreground, holding controller) demonstrates a robotic process.

John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows an optical comparator in the college’s metrology lab …

… and a prototype that was 3-D printed in the college’s additive manufacturing lab before being fabricated and placed on the college’s award-winning, student-built Baja off-road vehicle.

Nearly 100 students from six area high schools visited Penn College on Friday as the campus served as a host site for National Manufacturing Day activities. Dubbed “Make Cool Stuff Day,” the high schoolers began their morning with a talk by Nick Gilson, the entrepreneur behind Gilson Boards, a growing manufacturer of innovative snowboards based in nearby Winfield. Gilson talked about the successes and failures in the company’s first prototypes and encouraged students to find their passion and make what interests them. The visitors then toured Penn College laboratories – where they learned about various manufacturing processes, from thermoforming to welding and machining to additive manufacturing – and the facilities of several local manufacturers.

Waste Management Adds to Financial Support of College Programs

Brian M. Fuhrman, left, major account manager for Waste Management Inc., delivers a donation to Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation.

For the fourth consecutive year, Waste Management Inc. has contributed to a pair of Pennsylvania College of Technology programs that distinctly benefit high school students.

Through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, the company contributed $8,389 to support the college’s SMART Girls and Penn College NOW initiatives.

The foundation is an approved Educational Improvement Organization under the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s EITC program. SMART Girls and Penn College NOW, overseen by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office, qualify as “innovative educational programs” under the law.

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