News about Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

Penn College student ‘constructs’ his future at K’NEX

Thomas Proske

Some people spend a lifetime searching for that elusive “dream job.” Thomas Proske spent a summer experiencing his, thanks to an internship at a prominent toy maker.

The Pennsylvania College of Technology industrial design student worked on the design team at K’NEX in Hatfield. A division of Basic Fun, K’NEX is the maker of iconic construction toys pieced together by colorful, interlocking plastic components.

“It was pretty much, ‘Here, go make stuff,’” said Proske, a sophomore from Laceyville. “I didn’t know that they were going to sit me down and have me build all day. It was such an awesome job.”

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High school students celebrate STEM Day at Penn College

Students from Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School program paths for small robots called Ozobots using colored markers – a way to code without a computer. The activity was one of several that high school students explored at Pennsylvania College of Technology on Nov. 8 as part of a National STEM Day celebration.

To celebrate National STEM Day, Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed nearly 100 high school students to campus on Nov. 8.

“STEM” is short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions,” says the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement. “These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering and math.”

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State Senate Appropriations Committee chair tours campus

Always engaged and advocating for the college, Yaw (right) converses with Browne in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

State Sen. Patrick M. Browne, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology on Thursday.

Browne, who represents the 16th District – which includes Allentown and other municipalities within Lehigh County – came to campus after presenting an election and legislative update at a breakfast sponsored by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

He was invited by fellow Appropriations Committee member Sen. Gene Yaw, who also serves as chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors. Yaw also hosted the Chamber legislative update event, held at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport.

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Penn College student updates iconic Maya calendar converter

For his senior project at Pennsylvania College of Technology, Ethan M. Yoder, a software development and information management student from Denver, Lancaster County, is updating an iconic Maya calendar converter program.

Archaeologists traversing the ruins and rainforests of Mexico and Central America to unearth clues about the Maya culture have an ally more than 3,000 miles away at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

And he doesn’t even own a shovel.

From the comfort of a campus computer lab, Ethan M. Yoder digs deeply into his expertise to modernize a valuable tool that helps researchers assign historical context to discoveries. The software development and information management student is updating the iconic “bars and dots” Maya calendar converter for his senior project.

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Chevron Phillips employees share life lessons, SPE’s value

A keenly attentive plastics audience absorbs an industry perspective.

Two Oklahoma-based employees of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP – Jon D. Ratzlaff, technical services manager, and Tom Giovannetti, technical service engineer – recently visited main campus, sharing on-the-job pointers with Penn College plastics students.

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Carving out their niche

Nichols' intricate entry took the blue ribbon among students in the afternoon class.

About 45 students in Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies employed their skills to “spooky” effect during the fifth annual Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest. The competition required the engineering design students to use software to create virtual jack-o’-lanterns. No cleanup was required as winners were declared for morning and afternoon versions of the fun activity. Morning session winners were: first place, Sidney S. Alpaugh, an engineering CAD technology major from Muncy; second place, Evan L. McElhenny, an engineering design technology major from Bainbridge; and dean’s choice, Justin B. Jay, an engineering design technology major from Milanville. Winners in their respective afternoon sessions were: first place Calum A. Nichols, of Coudersport, engineering CAD technology, and Ruan Visser of Austin, Texas, engineering design technology; second place, Morgan R. Bagenstose, of Reading, and Hugo A. Prieto, of Coatesville, both engineering design technology; and third place, Cheyenne A. Miller, of Bellefonte, and Brendan J. Madeira, of Lebanon, each enrolled in engineering CAD technology.

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Penn College hosting ‘SWORD’ fights

Combat robots compete at Penn College’s Field House in a Fall 2017 event. The competition, sponsored by Student Wildcats of Robotic Design Club, returns Nov. 17 as SWORD Fall Fights 2018.

Pennsylvania College of Technology will feature battles of ingenuity later this month when it hosts SWORD Fall Fights 2018.

Approximately 50 combat robots will “fight” in the double-elimination tournament that is open to the public. Trophies and gift certificates will be awarded to the top three finishers in the 1- and 3-pound weight classes.

The event is scheduled for the college’s Field House on Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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High Steel opens plant to engineering design students

Tomassacci accompanies students on a recent visit to High Steel Structures Inc.

Walker (second from right) and engineering design students benefit from the college's proximity to one of the nation's biggest steel fabricators.

Penn College engineering design technology students enrolled in the Technical Drawing-Related Disciplines course experienced examples of structural fabrication and design, thanks to a recent field trip to High Steel Structures Inc. in Williamsport. Located along Fourth Street, west of campus, High Steel is one of the largest structural steel fabricators in the country. The company has fabricated more than 1 million tons of structural steel during the past 20 years. Katherine A. Walker, assistant professor of engineering design technology, and Kendra N. Tomassacci, instructor of engineering design technology, accompanied 33 of their students. “It was an awesome trip,” Walker said. “We are very fortunate that our local employers provide opportunities to visit their facilities. It is very beneficial for students to connect their classroom experience to real-world applications.”
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Celebrating those cheery, eerie Halloween nights

Screaming and sprinting through their fright night in the welding lab, this group aims for (relative) safety in numbers.

“In this town we call home, everybody hail to the pumpkin song,” say the lyrics in a modern-day film favorite, and Penn College students surely welcomed Halloween with a pair of juxtaposed traditions: kid-friendly hours for trick-or-treating at The Village Apartments on Wednesday, balanced by the following night’s shudder-inducing attraction of the ever-expanding “Arc Asylum” haunted welding laboratory.

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Future-seekers meet their match at Fall Open House

Savoring an autumn outing and academic exploration

Fall Open House visitors had unfettered access to Penn College’s vibrant campuses Sunday, as today’s faculty/staff, alumni and students provided them with a tantalizing view of a very real and credible tomorrow. All six academic schools put out the welcome mat through information sessions, tours and laboratory demonstrations, and guests were encouraged to explore the institution’s myriad complementary services and activities.

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Penn College IT students participate in major conference

Five information technology students from Pennsylvania College of Technology attended the recent COMMON Fall Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh. COMMON is the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users. From left are Jacob A. Bamonte, of Milton; Mike D. Moran, of Williamsport; Grant W. Hile, of Dillsburg; Ekaterina A. Molostvova, of Pottsville; and Nichalus S. Kibler, of New Columbia.

Five Pennsylvania College of Technology information technology students enhanced their education and future career prospects by attending the recent COMMON Fall Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh.

The students participated in sessions covering a variety of IT topics, networked with industry professionals and obtained COMMON certification. COMMON is the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users.

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Morgan Foundation grant pushes scholarship fund past $1 million

A second gift of $500,000 from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation has boosted an endowed scholarship fund at Pennsylvania College of Technology to more than $1 million.

The John E. Morgan Scholarship gives first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Examples of such programs offered at Penn College include, but are not limited to, culinary arts and systems, web and interactive media, building science and sustainable design, health information management, industrial design, plastics and polymer engineering technology, emergency management technology, and aviation maintenance technology.

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Penn College plastics students network, compete at conference

Wagner prepares to race the college’s entry during the RC Car Competition at the 26th Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Networking with industry leaders and participating in a remote-controlled car contest highlighted the activities of a trio of Pennsylvania College of Technology plastics students at the 26th  Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Conducted by the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the conference attracted over 70 exhibitors and offered several technical workshops. Thermoforming refers to the practice of heating a thermoplastic sheet until pliable and – by use of a vacuum – forming the sheet into a three-dimensional shape.

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Penn College welding expansion project underway

Ground was broken recently for a welding expansion project at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Made possible in part by a $2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the project will increase the size of welding-related instructional space in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center by approximately 35,000 square feet.

Construction has commenced on a project that will expand and enhance the space available for welding instruction at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The expansion, made possible in part by a $2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, will increase the size of welding-related instructional space in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center by approximately 35,000 square feet.

Expanding will allow the welding program to grow the curriculum and enroll up to 60 more students annually. Traditionally, the program has a waiting list for enrollees.

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Start building a Penn College future at Oct. 28 Open House

The Madigan Library (left) and Bush Campus Center are two of the facilities that visitors to Pennsylvania College of Technology may tour during Fall Open House on Sunday, Oct. 28.

Students looking for a bold next step in their educational journey are encouraged to attend an Oct. 28 Open House at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where “future made by hand” is a template for success.

“Visiting a college campus should be an experience. At Open House, students are able to touch, see and explore their future,” said Claire Z. Biggs, assistant director of admissions. “From the state-of-the-art labs to the knowledgeable faculty and staff, Penn College is the place to be if you want to be a tomorrow maker.”

The college will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for prospective students and their families to explore more than 100 bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs. Free bus service will be available on the main campus in Williamsport, and shuttles will transport guests to and from the nearby Lumley Aviation and Schneebeli Earth Science centers throughout the day.

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Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State