From the Executive Director's Desk: New Frameworks and Resources for Florida’s Machining Programs

Over the past 18 months, FLATE has been working with post-secondary and high schools machining
programs, machining professionals and the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) to re-write, revise and update the frameworks for machining, now called Machining Technologies. These two documents can be accessed on the FL DOE website for Manufacturing Curriculum Frameworks. The new post-secondary program is “Machining Technologies (J200100)” and new high school program is “Machining Technologies (9202100)”. Both are available for implementation in the 2015-2016 academic year.

The goals of these activities were multifold:
  • Update the standards and benchmarks to better represent modern machining skills
  • Define a seamless pathway between high school program and the more advance program courses offered at Florida Technical Colleges
  • Define a program that is aligned to NIMS (National Institute of Metal Working) credentials
  • Define a high school program that is affordable for high schools to add
  • Provide a solid foundation for the machining workforce
  • Provide a foundation that will have good articulation opportunities to Engineering Technology College Credit Certificates in the machining area.
The Florida Curriculum Frameworks are rich documents that define all aspects of career and technical education in Florida. In addition to the workforce skills, and knowledge in defined occupations, the High School curriculum frameworks include alignment to academics (literacy, mathematics, science) and the new Florida standards. These standards enrich the skills-based training the students get with applied foundational knowledge of principles and processes used in the technologies providing a strong base for career advancement and life-long learning.

The improved alignment between secondary and post secondary programs comes from re-defining the post secondary programs to be the same length as the high school programs. A typical high school course is 150 contact hours during a year. To align with high school programs, the post secondary adult vocation frameworks should be of the same length or be of an integer multiple of 150. The entire program is divided into multiple courses to provide opportunities for students to take a one or more courses, go to work, and come back to complete more advanced courses.

It is important to note that the educational frameworks should include all of the industry skills and knowledge standards. However, Florida frameworks must also include reading, writing, literacy and mathematics standards at all levels and in all programs including career and technical education programs (CTE). All CTE programs must also include Common Career Technical Core – Career Ready Practices, common to all career pathways.

These secondary and post-secondary frameworks have now been cross-walked by the FLATE team to the NIM Machining Level 1 standards. The alignment to the NIMS will make it easy to move forward with a strongly aligned secondary/post-secondary to community college program articulation using the NIMS credential. We anticipate that this work with be completed by September and submitted to the FDOE for approval later in the fall. The high school crosswalk documents will be published and posted on the FLATE website later this month, and the college credit certificate (currently offered at several Florida colleges) later this year.

As you prepare for spring break do enjoy the extensive line-up of stories in the March edition of the FLATE Focus. This is truly a student-centric edition where we bring you updates about regional and statewide robotics competitions, outline a story about the guitar building workshop & a local teacher's endeavor to make STEM education music to his students' ears. We also have highlights from Harris Corporation's grand celebration of EWeek in Florida. In our mini 'Where are They Now' series, the spotlight is on two of our past FLATE awardees & the impact they continue to have on technology education in Florida. The dates for summer robotics camps are finalized! Do share the information with middle and high school students who are looking forward to a fun, exciting and #STEMtasticSummer, which is also our newsletter #hastag of the month! Tweet us @Made_InFlorida. Mark your calendar for the upcoming Florida Colleges Energy Education Forum and Yes! check how you fared in cracking the answer to last month's sTEm puzzle!