Introducing the Revamped MFG Day PB-Wiki Resources Page II

Manufacturing Day and Month needs your help in collecting surveys! In 2018, 5,075 students went on industry tours during Manufacturing Day, but only 24% students completed and turned in their surveys. During Manufacturing Day and Month, FLATE collects data from surveys completed by students, teachers, and manufacturers. The Manufacturing Day surveys gives feedback on how industry tours can be improved and gives us an insight on what students think about manufacturing fields. In 2018, we saw how big of an impact the tours had on students when results showed that there was a 77% additional growth for students considering a career in advanced manufacturing after taking an industry tour. Some of the additional comments students wanted to share were, This was the most interesting field trip I have been on,” and, “I was happy to have the opportunity to go on this tour and I would like to receive a job at one of these manufacturing facilities once I reach the designated requirements.”

In addition, by completing the Post-Teacher and Parent Survey, we can learn more about how teachers prepared students for the tour, more information on the students, and receive detailed feedback on the impact the tour had on both students and teachers. For instance, in 2018 97% of teachers and parents were able to see how STEM subjects were put to work in high tech industries and 100% recommended that other students have an opportunity to take an industry tour.

We also would love to hear feedback from Manufacturers to learn more about the tour and the perspective of the industry. The Post Tour Host Survey will help us view the in-kind contributions, the effectiveness of Manufacturing Day student tours, and see any opportunities your facility offers to the next generation of workers.

How to Access and Return Post Tour Manufacturing Day Surveys
Visit or search “FLATE Wiki” to visit FLATE’s PB Wiki Page and select the tour bus on the front page. You should see a banner with the Manufacturing Day logo at the top and, on the side, you will see a navigational bar. Select “MFG Day Surveys” and click on either the “Online survey” or the “Printable Survey”. If you choose to complete the survey by paper, please be sure to complete a “Cover Sheet” for each tour your students went on. For instance, if you took two different groups of students to SMT, you would need to complete a cover sheet for both of those tours. We recommend that you take the cover sheet with you on the tour so the tour guide can help you complete the “Industry” portion of the sheet. In addition, you can take the student surveys with you on the tour to ensure an allotted time to complete the survey. Online surveys can be accessed by a cell phone or computer by following the first steps above or visiting this link

Remember!! Online surveys are an eco-friendly and fast-paced way to turn in surveys and allows students to complete the survey at any time!

Paper surveys can be turned in at this location:
FLATE - HCC Brandon
10451 Nancy Watkins Dr.
Tampa, FL 33619

We’d love to hear everyone’s feedback on Manufacturing Day and Month, so please follow the links below to complete and share with your fellow tour adventurers!

Ready to host or take a tour? Then visit the Contact Page to contact your Regional Manufacturing Association or School Coordinator! For questions concerning the Manufacturing Day Resources Page, contact Elizabeth Duran ( To learn more about Manufacturing Day and Month in Florida, contact Marilyn Barger (

Engineering Technology Community News

The start of the new academic year is a good time to share updates and news about the people and places in Florida’s Engineering Technology Community. We now have 2 new State Colleges.  In recent months, North Florida Community Colleges and Florida Keys Community College have evolved to North Florida College and College of the Florida Keys and are now offering 4-year degrees. Florida Keys and North Florida both now offer a B.S. in Nursing, and Florida Keys is also offering a B.A.S, in Supervision and Management.  Congratulations to both colleges for their new status.

Sam Ajlani and Central Florida College opened its FAST Center for Fanuc Robotics Training which is a significant asset to Florida manufacturers and all engineering technology degree programs. Florida State College at Jacksonville opened its new Instrumentation Laboratory late in the spring and also has hired a new ET faculty, Kevin Beamish, who started this summer.
Additionally, John Byrd has joined the ET program at South Florida State College (SFSC) as faculty and program director.

Margi Lee has moved to Chipola College where she is teaching and coordinating the ET Degree program there. Margi also attended the HI-TEC conference for the first time in St Louis this summer with many other Florida Advanced Technology faculty.

Rick Frazier, Director of Workforce at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) retired late last spring, and after 5 dedicated and passionate years teaching, Bob Segiworth has left Lake Sumter State College’s (LSSC) ET program (which he started) to return to industry this past July.  Both Rick and Bob will be missed by our community and we wish them all the best as they transition to new adventures.

St. John’s River State College and Valencia College will begin offering AS ET Degree Program in 219-2020 academic in new facilities and new labs at their colleges. These are the 22nd and 23 Florida College adopting the AS Engineering Technology degree.

We also say a fond farewell to Libby Simpson who has left the Hillsborough County School District for a position with FIRST Robotics. Libby developed FLATE’s camp curriculum for 2 levels as well as all the CIS lessons built around Manufacturing Day tours.  She taught our Robotics Summer Camps for at least 6 years and coordinated them as well. We are sad to see her leave, but awesome to watch her build her career on strong foundations she started with FLATE and Hillsborough County.

I am sure that there is more news, so please be sure to let us know!  Several colleges are recruiting new ET faculty. IF you know of anyone who might be interested in teaching in an Engineering Technology program at a Florida College, please let us know so we can facilitate connections.

We are so excited to be going back to Seminole State College (SSC) for the ET Forum this fall on Oct 17-18. The Forum previously meet there in 2008 and way back at the ET Forum beginnings in 1997. We hope to see many of you there next month.  If you have issues with travel, please let me know.

Robotics Camps Take Students on a STEM-ULTIMATE Path of Learning & Fun

Robots are ubiquitous and have fascinated the young and the old for many decades. From the early days of R2D2, to the Jetsons, Wall-E, to Rover, robots conjure a variety of images. In reality robots are not only fun, but serve a variety of purposes that yield impactful results. Robots are increasingly assuming bigger roles and with the integration of technology, robots are poised to revolutionize how we as humans conduct daily business. Manufacturing is one arena where robots are changing the workplace, however not everyone is on the same level playing field when it comes to understanding the role of robots in high-tech production environments, the technology involved and the technical mojo to use these tools.

To strike a connection, FLATE, the Florida-based National Science Foundation Regional Center of Excellence has devised an innovative program that showcases the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM and robotics in high-tech manufacturing. For a number of years FLATE’s robotics camps have served as a hook to spark middle and high school students’ interest in STEM, robotics and ultimately steer them into pursuing high-skilled, high-tech, high paying jobs in manufacturing. In a way these camps have served as a launch pad for inspiring the next generation of innovative thinkers.

This summer FLATE, in partnership with the NBT (Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs) Foundation and Hillsborough Community college, hosted four robotics and engineering camps for middle and high school students. The intro and intermediate camps were designed to teach students how to build and program LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 Robots, and participate in team challenges that were geared to showcase how STEM is used in everyday high-tech industries. The focus of the high school engineering camp was on 3D modeling and CAD to design a functional robotic device using additive manufacturing techniques. What also set the high school camp apart from the intro and the intermediate camps is the emphasis on developing business acumen in manufacturing/marketing a product. Students brainstormed ideas to manufacture a tangible product. The goal was to come up with the design for a prototype robotic arm that they potentially could market to companies invested in space explorations and futuristic colonization plans in space.

In addition to the hands-on component of the camps, students also got to go on a tour of local manufacturing facilities to get a up-close and real-world view of manufacturing production processes. The field trip is often the highlight for the campers with a trip to Publix Dairy plant in Lakeland a highlight of their overall experience. A key benefit of the summer camps also lay in FLATE’s ongoing partnership with NBT, a nonprofit foundation which offers manufacturing camps and scholarships for students, as well as grants for STEM educators. STEM educators use the grant to formulate curriculum showcasing the connection between the business side of manufacturing and how manufacturers can use expertise of STEM professionals to market product and ideas. Other longstanding community partners like the Manufacturing Alliance of Hillsborough County and the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation have served a key role in offering need-based scholarships for middle and high school campers. The scholarships are targeted to raise awareness and interest in STEM-based manufacturing educational and career pathways for students from low income families.

In addition to the camps held at Hillsborough Community College, regional camps modeled after the FLATE robotics camps were held across the state. The Institute for Human Machine Cognition has for a number of years hosted camps. This year 38 campers attended IHMC’s 2019 summer robotics camp in Ocala. Sponsors covered camp fees for eighteen student and three teachers. The three teacher-campers learned the basics of robotics programming while participating and observing. These teachers have now returned to school ready to start clubs or teams. They will be able to borrow LEGO Mindstorms robots from IHMC to help them get started.

Lake Sumter’s “Women in STEM” summer camps were held at Lake-Sumter State College’s main
campus and at the Leesburg campus for Lake county students. Thirteen girls attended the camp at
the main the campus and 17 attended the camp at the Leesburg campus. The camps offered girls,  grades 8th through 12th, the opportunity to explore alternative energy technologies. Campers completed several hands-on projects, including solar-powered cell phone chargers, wind turbines, fuel cell model cars, and solar powered ovens. They also went on a field trip to the Orlando Science Center and got the opportunity to learn about STEM related careers from NASA astronaut Capt. Winston Scott.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Production Technology Center at North Florida State College hosted a four day mechatronics camp. Working with a blue print and precision measuring tools,  students learned how to use a bench lathe to turn different diameters on round stock. They also learned how a lathe can be used to drill a hole in round stock and preformed that function to a specified depth. The final component for completion of their two projects in machining was to use a tap and die set to put threads into the holes created in their component parts.

FLATE would like to thank ALL regional educational and industry partners and sponsors for their role in helping promulgate the importance of STEM, its applications in high-tech manufacturing and its role in positioning the U.S. as a global leader in the manufacturing arena. For more information on FLATE’s summer camp programs and/or other STEM related programs for middle and high school students contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at You can also visit FLATE’s camp webpage at, and visit the FLATE Wiki for additional STEM related award-winning resources at

Five Minutes May Save Your Company

Did you know 40% of small businesses never recover from a disaster? *  We just missed a big one with Cat 5 Hurricane Dorian skimming our coastline.  However, hurricane season isn’t over until the end of November and NOAA predicts an active season.  FloridaMakes has developed custom tools to help manufacturers mitigate the impacts of future crises.  We provide immediate feedback on your business risk and continuity preparedness.  There’s no time like the present to take 5 minutes to see if your manufacturing company is ready for a future disaster.

Please take advantage of these free tools from FloridaMakes:
Disaster Readiness assessment – This 5-minute survey helps to determine a manufacturer’s readiness for a natural disaster.  Results from this survey will provide general, high-level areas for improvement. Take this confidential assessment and get a customized report sent to your email:
Business Continuity risk assessment – This deep-dive analysis assesses eight key business areas.  These assessments are conducted on site with a FloridaMakes Business Advisor who has knowledge and experience in manufacturing. You’ll receive a confidential report with recommendations to make your business more resilient.  Contact us today to schedule a free Business Continuity Assessment:
Regional and statewide disaster resources:
Free webinar - This on-demand webinar provides an introduction to the concepts of business continuity planning. It discusses business risks associated with hurricanes, market issues, supply chain, or other potential disruptions. We share ideas to identify risks to fortify the business, continue operating despite a crisis, and mitigate impacts to the business’ bottom line.

*Source: FEMA