Engineering Technology AS Degree is a Double Winner at the November FACC Convention

The Florida Association of Community Colleges (FACC) recognized FLATE Leadership Team member Brad Jenkins and FLATE Associate Director Dr. Marie Boyette at the November 2010 Crossroads Convention in Jacksonville.   St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) Engineering Technology program under Brad’s leadership was the recipient of a 2010 Chancellor’s Best Practice Award for recognition of programs that strive to be the most efficient and innovative in the Florida college system.  This program prepares students for employment or provides additional training for persons previously or currently employed in the manufacturing, medical, electronics, aerospace, and other related industries. The A.S. engineering technology degree is a planned sequence of instruction consisting of four specializations: electronics, quality, digital design and modeling, and biomedical systems with one common core. This flexible degree allows for additional technical specializations and certificates that are needed to stay up with advanced technology. Thus, local industry can identify the training gaps that exist and SPC can fill those gaps without developing a brand new A.S. Degree.
                On the same note, FLATE was selected as an exemplary practice by the FACC Occupational and Workforce Education Commission. Dr. Boyette’s presentation at the convention of The Engineering Technology Degree: A Unified Statewide Approach to Meet the Needs of Florida’s Hi-Tech Manufacturing Industry, discussed how the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence in high-tech manufacturing provides educational synergy by connecting industry and workforce needs to targeted educational endeavors at community and state colleges across Florida. The Engineering Technology (ET) degree program conceived, engineered, and coordinate by FLATE is the first fully articulated inter-institutional program of its kind. The winning program at SPC is one of 10 implementations of the ET Degree statewide.  

FLATE/BITT Support Needs for Local Biotech Companies

As biotechnology interests and activities continue to increase in Florida and across the nation, a skilled workforce becomes increasingly vital to the success of this burgeoning industry.  The Florida Center of Excellence for Biomolecular Identification and Targeted Therapueutics (BITT) with its National Science Foundation partner, FLATE, continues to support the needs of local biotech companies by garnering the interest of secondary and post-secondary students as the first step toward a technical career in biotechnology.   One important component of the strategy to achieve this goal is to host professional development workshops for high school teachers.

A series of workshops will begin in February, and introduce attendees to current concepts and practices in biotechnology.  The first of the scheduled workshops, “Metrology & Micropipetting” on February 19th and “DNA Fingerprinting” on February 26th, will be facilitated by biotech faculty from HCC Brandon.  The techniques taught at these workshops can be incorporated into biology and chemistry classes, thus furthering the combined goals of FLATE and BITT.  In addition to targeting high school students for careers in biotechnology, BITT is also working to expand the online curriculum available to students at HCC enrolled in the newly established Biotechnology Program.  This program leads to an Associate of Science degree, which meets the education requirements stipulated by many biotech companies.  These activities represent just two of the ways BITT and FLATE are taking a long-term view to build a strong foundation for future student development and success.

sTEm–at-Work (Puzzle #14): Technician double tube heat exchanger installation test

A double tube heat exchanger has an inlet and outlet for each of its tubes. In most cases, one tube is inserted inside the other and the hot fluid to be cooled is allowed to pass through the inside tube. After any maintenance or installation operation, the technician conducts a system test by monitoring the temperature response as each of the two fluids pass through its corresponding tube for a fixed time period at a fixed fluid flow rate. In this specific test result's report the outside tube temperature is reported as line (a), the blue line.

This double tube heat exchanger is operating correctly. (yes or no).Submit your answers at

Welcome to our last FLATE Focus Newsletter of 2010

We are very excited to end 2010 with the long awaited re-launching of our Made in Florida website.  In response to our fall 2009 stakeholder survey that many of you responded to, we found that we could address much of the feedback and many of the comments by making additions and upgrades to this site.  Please take a look at the new 

We now have a more focused area to highlight industry including our FLATE honor roll of companies who have partnered with us in our outreach efforts.  We also have new pages dedicated to introducing the breadth of Florida manufacturing industries to our students and rising employees that we expect to grow with help and input from our industry partners.  These pages provide quick information about what different companies actually make here in Florida and some of the jobs that are available at these companies. Other industry links include Partner Industry Profiles; Corporate Honor Roll; our popular virtual tours; industry based educational challenges; FLATE Awards; and also Florida industry facts.  Early in 2011 we will be adding interactive maps of Florida industry, colleges and high school programs supporting manufacturing. 

Another new highlight is our link to student profiles. Watch for this section to grow as educational institutions disseminate the request for student responses, and please let us know if you have a student to add! Other highlights this month include state recognition of FLATE’s degree program implementation at St. Petersburg College as well as by the Occupational and Workforce Commission of the Florida Association of Community Colleges (FACC). Check up on the FESC and BITT project activities and don’t forget to try the new sTEm puzzle.  Dr. Gilbert’s 2011 New Year’s resolution is to reveal the solutions and we hope they will come early in the year.

Please congratulate Kati Prosen, our BITT project manager who was awarded her Masters of Science Degree in Microbiology from USF on Dec 6.  Finally, please welcome Janice Muhkia’s new son, Ethan, born December 1.  Both Janice and Ethan are doing well – and we will be glad when she is back with FLATE in February to take over the newsletter publication duties. Happy holidays to all. Be safe, rest and relax, enjoy your families and friends.

2010 “Body Forward” FLL Challenge

On December 11th, Hillsborough Community College’s Brandon Campus Conference Center was turned into a Florida Lego League (FLL) 2010 Qualifying Tournament site. This was the second year HCC and FLATE hosted this exciting event and attendance was well over 300 people.  Anxious parents, teachers and coaches watched as 24 teams from elementary and middle schools throughout the Tampa Bay area competed for points in order to compete at one of the five Florida Regional events.  This group of students is part of the 56,000 children in North America and 32,460 children from 35 countries internationally participating in the high-energy sports-like tournaments.     
All FIRST Robotic Competitions help young people discover the fun in science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating them to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering.   Above all, it teaches the value of ‘Gracious Professionalism’, a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.                       
 The FLL challenge this year is called “2010 Body Forward” in which teams explore the cutting edge world of Biomedical Engineering to discover ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions and lead happier and healthier lives. The challenge itself has two parts: the Project (the problem to be solved) and the Robot Game (making a working model of the solution utilizing various Lego pieces, motors and the NXT programming).    
Some of the  problems to be solved are : applying a cast to a broken bone, inserting a bone bridge, do a rapid blood screening and bad cell destruction,  mechanical arm patent, performing a cardiac patch, insert a pacemaker, nerve mapping, design an auto-dispensing medicine device and robot sensitivity. Each team has only 2.5 minutes to complete as many tasks as possible at which point the results are judged and points distributed.   
In addition to the competition itself, the teams are also interviewed privately and awarded points for Design/Programming, Research/Presentation and Core Values/Teamwork.  So, along with the accumulation of the robot competition points, the teams have many others ways to build up their final scores.  
After an accumulated 1,000+ hours of mind boggling problem solving and 7 hours of competitions the four teams winning the “Golden Ticket” were ‘Team Technoforce’, ‘The RoboPanthers,’ ‘Brick Buddies’ and ‘RoboCourgars’. They are now off to one of the five Florida Regional events and if successful at this level, they will move on to the Florida State Championships.      

If you would like to get more information or better yet, get involved with the Florida Lego League, please go to or one of the many other divisions of FIRST, (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), please go to    

Florida Energy Systems Consortium

Early in 2010, FLATE, along with representatives from the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC), was invited to give testimony to the Florida Legislature regarding the best path towards educating a burgeoning energy technician workforce.  Follow-up work culminated with the Florida Department of Education approval of a new College Credit Certificate curriculum framework in July 2010 for an Alternative Energy Technology Specialist. 

In July 2010, FLATE sponsored a workshop entitled “The Science and Technologies of Energy Efficient Buildings” at the well-attended HI-TEC conference in Orlando.  The HI-TEC High Impact Technology Exchange Conference brought together technical educators, counselors, industry professionals and technicians focused on the high-tech sector workforce from all parts of the country.

Of major importance in 2010, Brevard Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Tallahassee Community College, with FLATE as a grant partner, were awarded an NSF grant, “Creating an Energy Systems Technology Technician (EST2) workforce in Florida.”  Through this effort, FLATE has been facilitating the adoption of an Alternative Energy Specialist AA/AAS program at the organizations listed above. 

Work on course content development continues at FLATE.  To date, initial efforts have been made at producing modular content for the course EST1830 Introduction to Alternative/Renewable Energy.  There are currently a total of 13 modular topics for the course in completed draft form.  The long-term plan is to upload modularized content to the FLATE website and make available to any state/community college that wishes to supplement its course materials, as well as to anyone that desires to learn more about alternative/renewable energy. 

Please visit or for more information on the FLATE-FESC partnership.