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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now Showing: ‘SMART Girls in 3-D’
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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