From the Executive Director's Desk

Welcome to the first issue of the 2010 Newsletter. I hope everyone is getting off to a good start in the New Year. At FLATE we are busy preparing for the annual meeting of our National Visiting Committee (NVC). This committee is one of several assessment tools that the National Science Foundation (NSF) uses to gauge the progress and success of its larger projects and centers. On January 28-29 we will hold our 6th NVC meeting. Traditionally, the NVC provides an NSF center assessment and advice as a formal report to NSF. Members are also advocates for the center’s mission and vision. The NVC is also charged to participate in long term strategic planning for a center’s sustainability. FLATE’s NVC membership and past meeting information can be found on the NVC page on our website (

This year’s meeting, to be held at the ValPak Manufacturing Center in Pinellas County, kicks off our second round of funding from NSF. We are also very pleased to have Emily Stover DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) with us on Friday morning. She will share NAM’s recently endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System and lead a discussion about its deployment in the state.
FLATE has already developed a strong foundational piece of this system in its Engineering Technology Degree. The system endorses a “stack” of credentials at various skill and knowledge levels that can and should be aligned with local educational programs. The Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC CPT) credential is part of NAM’s system. It is also the core of the FLATE developed engineering technology degree that articulates 15 credit hours of the technical core to anyone holding a valid MSSC CPT credential.

Nine colleges in Florida are now offering the ET degree with one or more specialization tracks. Additionally, several high schools have adopted the FLATE-developed Automation and Production program, which is also aligned to the MSSC certification. Some questions we will discuss include: How the Florida Manufacturing community views the NAM-endorsed system; what components are most important here; how can we expand the existing foundational structure that FLATE has built and begun implementing; what support can FLATE provide?

Please take a moment to read the articles in our first 2010 edition of the FLATE Focus. I wish you a happy new year, and look forward to working with you.

Local festivities in Spain over the holidays.

The Engineering Technology Degree at HCC & SCF

FLATE-led initiative to create a statewide Engineering Technology degree has established a unified curriculum to meet the demands of advanced technology industries in Florida. The State College of Florida (SCF) in Sarasota and Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Brandon adopted the program in 2009, and enjoy robust participation from faculty and students alike.

HCC offers the Engineering Technology A.S and A.A.S degree with a specialization in advanced manufacturing, along with four college credit certificates: Automation, Engineering Technology Support; Lean Manufacturing, and Pneumatics, Hydraulics, and Motors for Manufacturing. SCF currently offers the A.A.S degree with certificates in AutoCAD and Electronics, with plans to add a sequence of Solid Works, and expand the AutoCAD program to Digital Design and Modeling.

A common component of the program lies in developing critical thinking and tangible skills, and educators play a central role in igniting students’ interest. Dr. Adrienne Gould-Choquette, instructor and program director for engineering technology and construction management technology at SCF advises colleagues and fellow educators to “keep a watchful eye” to ensure the material that is being taught is not only relevant, but “instills honor and excitement in the profession”.

In terms of skills, Dr. Alessandro Anzalone, engineering technology instructor and program manager at HCC states students need to have transferable skills, have an open/inquisitive mind, enjoy engaging in hands-on activities, and be eager to learn new things. Thus, the type of learning offered in Engineering Technology degree programs provides students with critical thinking and transferable career skills. “This country was built on the innovation of minds trained as engineers…stretch your mind and your thinking, and the possibilities become infinite” Choquette said.

Looking to the future, Dr. Anzalone foresees a growth in the demand for trained/skilled people in the technology field. This spring he will serve as part of an advisory committee comprising of industry personnel, students and educators to review the current ET program, provide recommendations to improve the program, and strategize ways to better align the program to match workforce needs. The ET curriculum at SCF is also set to grow and evolve with the needs of the community. Topping the list are green technologies, implementing eLearning courses and partnering with local manufacturers to ensure students are prepared to embark on exciting opportunities upon graduation. “During this time of economic struggle, students can look at this moment as an opportunity to hone their skills and be ready for the next exciting technology to emerge in this country, or better yet, be the one to invent it” Choquette said.

The ET degree consists of a common technical core with five specialization tracks in advanced manufacturing, quality, mechanical design & fabrication, electronics, and advanced technology. The common core of the degree aligns with the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential and four its assessment areas of safety, quality and measurements, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness. The statewide articulation agreement awards 15 credit hours of the A.S. /A.A.S. Engineering Technology degree core for the MSSC CPT certification, and creates a pathway for certification holders from high school career academies, CTE programs, technical schools and incumbent workers to gain college credit for their acknowledged competencies.

For more information on the ET program at HCC contact Dr. Alessandro Anzalone at 813.253.7852/ For information on the SCF program contact Dr. Adrienne Gould-Choquette at 941-752-5515/ To read the full interview with Dr. Anzalone and Choquette visit our Facebook page.

2010 ET Course Listing at HCC & SCF

sTEm at Work: Puzzle 3

To bend that great line that Humphrey Bogart delivers toward the end of the movie “Treasure of the Sierra Nevada” --”Answers! Answers! We don't need no stinking answers!!—We will continue with another puzzle and explore the answer later. Actually, at this point you may begin to see the theme behind this grouping of puzzles, but for now, here is the new situation. Someday there will be answers, promise!

This time your technical position is that of a fuel analysis specialist. The budget for this test series allows for three test stand data points to be obtained. That task done, your recommendation is also expected in the report.

(By the way, did the actor that delivered the real line “badges, badges, we don't need no stinking badges!” become famous?)

Click on the graph to enlarge the puzzle and submit your answer!"

First Biotechnology Course at Hillsborough Community College

Biotechnology has established a strong foothold in Florida. According to a study conducted in 2008 by the University of Florida "Florida has become one of the fastest growing states in the life science industry, and is among the top 10 U.S. biotech centers". Given its impact on the local and state economy, Florida Center of Excellence for Biomolecular Identification and Targeted Therapeutics has taken a pioneering role in partnering with local secondary schools and biotechnology industries to implement an Associate of Science in biotechnology program at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon.

As part of the partnership between HCC and FCoE-BITT to provide curriculum, recruitment and career awareness materials for community college and high school programs, HCC is offering the first biotechnology course in Spring 2010. “Introduction to Biotechnology (BSC 1420C)” is a gateway course that will provide students basic foundations of biotechnology, and the techniques used in research and industry environments. The course will be offered twice a week, Monday and Wednesday at 2 p.m., and will be taught by Elizabeth McCullough and Debarati Ghosh, instructors at HCC-Brandon.

Kim Wilson, project manager for FCoE-BITT says “The course integrates historical background, current concepts, and techniques in DNA and RNA technology and their role in cell and genetic disorders.” Students will demonstrate competency with various instrumentation, including pH meters, centrifuge, spectrophotometer, chromatography, and gel electrophoresis. “It will also assist students in understanding scientific methods, lab safety, and best laboratory practices” Wilson said.

The A.S. degree in biotechnology is based upon an assessment prepared by FCoE-BITT and the Biotechnology Advisory Committee, and is designed to meet the demands of a highly qualified workforce for the area's growing biotechnology industry. Graduates of the program will be able to pursue careers as entry-level technicians in the pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing, research and development, and agriculture industries. This two-year program, comprising of 61 credits, gives students hands-on laboratory experience that prepares them for positions in the biotech industry.

For more information on the program, and or to enroll into the course contact Kim Wilson at 813.253.7845/ or visit