News: K-12

‘Career Day’ Whets Students’ Appetite for Vocational Success
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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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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.

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.

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.

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 …

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.

… 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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Staff Member Serves as Consultant for National Initiative

Elizabeth A. Biddle

Elizabeth A. Biddle, K-12 project manager at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was appointed as a consultant to the National Association for Partnerships in Equity Education. She will serve in the role of program manager.

NAPE is a consortium of state agencies and affiliates that have joined forces to address issues of access, equity and diversity in secondary and community college education, training and careers. NAPE and its Education Foundation share a mission and vision to build educators’ capacity to implement effective solutions for increasing student access, educational equity and workforce diversity.

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Now Showing: ‘SMART Girls in 3-D’
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Three SMART (and pleasant) Girls pause during preparation of their Monarch Butterfly display ...

The “mock” trade show that ended this week’s four-and-a-half-day SMART Girls session proved to be the real deal, indeed, offering display after display by young women who showed as much heart as they did skill. The rising ninth- to 11th-graders from across Pennsylvania used three-dimensional technology to create projects on behalf of causes near and dear to them, then presented their finished work to the Penn College community Thursday morning. Chosen by attendees as the top presenters were First Place: Monarch Butterfly (Tori May, McCartney Register and Rebecca Piergallini, Keystone Central School District); Second Place: BeeKeeper (Hanna Yu, State College Area School District, and Carlisle’s Anna Lippert and Grace Echevarria); Third Place: Polar Bears (Lauren Clay and Violet Burbank, Carlisle Area School District, and Mikhayla Browne, Midd-West Area School District).

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SMART Girls ‘Dream It – Design It – Do It’ in 3-D Summer of Exploration

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, leads participants (who come from a wide variety of Pennsylvania counties) through an "Innovation Station: Product Design" session.

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, leads participants (who come from a wide variety of Pennsylvania counties) through an “Innovation Station: Product Design” session.

Intently tending to the project at hand

Intently tending to the project at hand

SMART Girls wave from the Hiawatha riverboat.

SMART Girls wave from the Hiawatha riverboat.

Pizza in the park!

Pizza in the park!

Relaxing on the riverside

Relaxing on the riverside

The summer edition of Penn College’s popular SMART (Science & Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) Girls program gave each participating ninth- through 11th-grader an opportunity to experience the art of 3D printing from beginning to end. The girls worked in teams to design and print their 3-D creations, which will be displayed at a public event Thursday morning. Members of the campus community are invited to attend the mock trade show to be held from 10-11 a.m. in Room 157 of College Avenue Labs, which culminates the weeklong residential program coordinated by Outreach for K-12 and aided by corporate donations through the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. In addition to the project-based learning exercise, the SMART Girls learned about career, economic and workforce development … and had more than a little fun in the bargain.
Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Penn College NOW Courses Offered Free to High School Students

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s dual enrollment program for high school students, Penn College NOW, is launching extensive revisions for Fall 2014, most notably eliminating tuition costs for participating students and expanding the number of course offerings.

Penn College NOW provides the opportunity for qualified high school students to take Penn College courses for both high school and college credit. The courses are taken at the high school or career and technology center during the regular high school day.

Changes in the program are designed to make college courses accessible to every student who is academically qualified. In addition to eliminating tuition for high school students – which in 2013-14 was $50 per credit – the program removes other potential obstacles to enrollment.

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Grant Opens Access to Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Through a grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center partnered with Pennsylvania College of Technology to increase access to additive manufacturing among both educators and industry.

Additive manufacturing uses a 3-D printer, which builds an object from a computer-aided design by “printing” thin layers of plastic or other material on top of one another. Often used in industry to quickly prototype products or parts before putting them into production, as the process is refined, it has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing.

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K-12 Guests Explore Educational Topics Relevant to Student Preparedness

Beverly A. Hunsberger, center, college transition specialist in the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office, leads a roundtable discussion on Penn College NOW: Dual Enrollment.

Beverly A. Hunsberger, center, college transition specialist in the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office, leads a roundtable discussion on Penn College NOW: Dual Enrollment.

Anne K. Soucy, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, in purple, leads a group of educators through the HVAC and plumbing labs.

Anne K. Soucy, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, in purple, leads a group of educators through the HVAC and plumbing labs.

Penn College’s Outreach for K-12 Office hosted its semiannual College and Career Readiness Conference on campus Tuesday. The event offers opportunities for educators to participate in roundtable discussions on topics designed to help them prepare their students for life after high school, attend an educational session on a “hot topic” and learn through campus tours about the offerings available to their students. The event’s Hot Topic session was titled “Promising Practices on the K-12 School Counseling Plans.” A school counseling plan is required as part of the Pennsylvania School Code. The session was presented by two schools in the second and third year of implementing their respective plans.

Hands-On Activities Engage Hundreds at On-Campus Science Festival

Lecturer Matthew W. Nolan guides a visitor's use of a welding simulator.

Lecturer Matthew W. Nolan guides a visitor’s use of a welding simulator.

The Field House floor, filled with intriguing family attractions, beckons young scientists.

The Field House floor, filled with intriguing family attractions, beckons young scientists.

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. makes education enjoyable, thanks to schoolkids' timeless fascination with insects.

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. makes education enjoyable, thanks to schoolkids’ timeless fascination with insects.

Scott A. Geist, director of surgical technology at Penn College, supervises an impromptu team in a simulated OR.

Scott A. Geist, director of surgical technology at Penn College, supervises an impromptu team in a simulated OR.

A familiar sight at Tuesday's festival: A child's face, awash in enchantment.

A familiar sight at Tuesday’s festival: A child’s face, awash in enchantment.

More than 400 people participated in Tuesday night’s Science Festival in Penn College’s Field House – including homeschooled pupils and attendees from all Lycoming County school districts. A number of Penn College faculty members were among those offering fun, interactive displays to enlighten youngsters about related career fields. “Vendors were very happy with the turnout and expressed gratitude for the interactions with enthusiastic students,” said Tanya Berfield, project and data reporting technician for the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office, which handled on-campus coordination for the event.
Photos by Craig R. Urey, student photographer

Children, Families Invited to Feb. 25 Science Festival

Pennsylvania College of Technology will host a Science Festival on Tuesday, Feb. 25, sponsored by the college and Technology Futures of North Central PA.

The event, scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Penn College Field House, provides a variety of fun, hands-on math and science demonstrations 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 exciting careers in related fields.

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Educators’ Look at College Labs Enhances Career Discussions

Elizabeth A. Biddle, K-12 project manager, leads a roundtable talk on gender equity in STEM careers and the college’s SMART Girls program.

Elizabeth A. Biddle, K-12 project manager, leads a roundtable talk on gender equity in STEM careers and the college’s SMART Girls program.

David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, leads educators through the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center; the group also toured the Machining Technologies Center.

David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, leads educators through the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center; the group also toured the Machining Technologies Center.

Educators from across the state visited Penn College’s campus Friday as part of the Outreach for K-12 Office’s College and Career Readiness Conference. The twice-annual event brings together high school and career and technical education teachers, high school and middle school counselors, cooperative education coordinators, and administrators for sessions on current educational topics. Participants spend part of the day on tours of the campus, led by knowledgeable staff and instructors from technical program areas. Discussion topics included an introduction to 3-D printing and the career opportunities it presents; helping students navigate college admissions and financial aid; using social networking sites and the Web to aid the college-search process; and gender equity in science, technology, education and math.
Photos by Craig R. Urey, student photographer

High School Students Glimpse Potential Future During ‘Career Day’ Visit
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Erin J. McMurray, lab supervisor for the Physical Fitness Specialist Program, helps a Bloomsburg Area High School student with an electronic body fat analyzer.

Nearly 900 high school students and their chaperones attended Penn College’s Career Day on Friday. The semi-annual event is coordinated by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office to provide an opportunity for middle and high school-aged students to learn about potential careers. Faculty and staff opened their labs to the students, providing demonstrations and hands-on activities in every academic school.

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‘SMART Girls’ Initiative Featured in Penn College Video

The latest addition to Penn College’s YouTube channel spotlights encouragement of young women to enter the lucrative STEM career sector with the SMART Girls program (Science & Math Applications in Real-World Technologies). Through diverse, hands-on workshops, the initiative introduces high-school girls to exciting technical careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “SMART Girls is a way to help combat that increasing trend of girls diverting away from STEM occupations and really shying away from the occupations that are male-dominated,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, K-12 project manager. “The idea is to engage girls in experiences that they may not otherwise had considered for career opportunities.”

Campus Tradition Reaffirms Coolness of Being ‘SMART’

A smile that says "Success" in a Lego robot exercise

A smile that says “Success” in a Lego robot exercise

Making headway – and making friends – in a computer lab

Making headway – and making friends – in a computer lab

Calculating SMART Girls consider "The Science of Baking."

Calculating SMART Girls consider “The Science of Baking.”

High schoolers listen to Michael K. Patterson, an award-winning member of the college's welding faculty ...

High schoolers listen to Michael K. Patterson, an award-winning member of the college’s welding faculty …

... then apply what they learn in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center.

… then apply what they learn in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center.

The so-called STEM careers – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – took center stage as SMART (Science & Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) Girls returned to Penn College this week. The popular program was begun in March 2001 to expose young women to careers in emerging technological fields while boosting their foundation (and their confidence) in math and the sciences. The June 16-19 residential program, coordinated by the Outreach for K-12 office, hosted girls entering grades nine to 12 and included workshops in gaming, web design, hospitality and welding.
Photos by Whitnie-rae Mays, student photographer

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