News about K-12

Workshop for Teachers Emphasizes Creative Side of STEM

Debra Lindner and David Lentz, both technology teachers at Sullivan County High School, assemble a rubber-band powered glider as they practice hands-on lessons they can use in their classes to help students practice creative problem solving and prepare them for potential careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. The free STEM curriculum was developed and demonstrated by the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center; a workshop on the curriculum was offered at Penn College by the college and BLaST Intermediate Unit 17.

Learning looked a lot like play when more than 90 middle school educators from across Pennsylvania – and a few from other states – convened at Pennsylvania College of Technology to sit on the learning end of hands-on lessons that they can take back to school to help engage their students in science, technology, engineering and math topics.

According to a 2012 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, economic projections point to a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical pre-eminence in science and technology.

“If we are truly preparing students at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, we are preparing them for 21st-century jobs,” said Paul R. Watson, Penn College’s dean of academic services and college transitions. “Twenty-first century jobs primarily focus on STEM.”

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Career-Readiness Conference Asks – and Answers – ‘Have You Ever?’

Paul R. Watson II, dean of academic services and college transitions, addresses a filled Mountain Laurel Room in the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Chef Richard J. McGlynn III, head cook in the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, leads a “Have you ever …” session. His topic: “Have you ever prepared food tableside?”

Kenneth E. Welker, HVAC technology lecturer, guides a tour of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning labs. It was one of 11 concurrent tours of campus labs.

In his “Have you ever …” hands-on session, Craig A. Mliler, instructor of engineering design technology, guides educators in designing a roller coaster.

Educators from Southern Columbia Area and Susquehanna Township school districts get a hands-on lesson in mold-making in the industrial and human factors design lab.

More than 80 school counselors and other educators attended a College & Career Readiness Conference at Penn College on Nov. 20, where they learned about the emerging field of mechatronics, toured the college’s programs, participated in hands-on learning activities, and gained insight that they can use as they guide students in making career and college decisions. The event is coordinated once each semester by the College Transitions Office.

Penn College NOW Partners Attend Biannual Brainstorming

Paul R. Watson, dean of academic services and college transitions, welcomes Penn College NOW partners.

Penn College chemistry faculty members, Amy P. Toole and Kelly B. Butzler, both assistant professors, offer their perspective on how the college’s Fundamentals of Chemistry course might best be offered in high schools.

Penn College’s College Transitions staff, who administer the Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program for high school students, held a twice-yearly meeting Wednesday with its school district partners. During fall meetings, Penn College personnel hear from the secondary schools that participate in Penn College NOW how the program is working and present changes that may be on the horizon. While here, secondary representatives choose the Penn College courses they’ll offer to their students in the following academic year. Twenty-five secondary schools were represented at Wednesday’s meeting.

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 |

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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