Executive Director Examines how Recommendations from President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology Affects Florida

Manufacturing Day and Month are now over for 2014, but we at FLATE plan to continue our work to change the perception students and parents have about careers in manufacturing as well as work on getting today’s current advanced manufacturing topics into the actual secondary and post-secondary technical programs. To support our own efforts in Florida and to provide ongoing momentum for manufacturing in our country, last week the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology provided to the Executive Office of the President (EOP) a roadmap for action. The executive summary of the report outlines recommendations in three categories (pillars): (1) Enabling Innovation (with 5 recommendations); (2) Securing the Talent Pipeline (with 4 recommendations), and (3) Improving the Business Climate (with 2 recommendations).  A final ”implementation” recommendation is that the National Economic Council (EC) and Office of the Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) provide guidance as to the role of the EOP in coordinating the government’s role and the roles of various federal agencies for the implementation of the recommendations.

Looking at some of the details, the recommendations for “Enabling Innovation” outlines suggestions to provide infrastructure (including communication) and resources to support all phases of innovation for new products, technologies, and manufacturing processes. Recommendations to support an improved manufacturing business climate focus on optimizing stakeholder interactions and communications about markets, supply chains, technologies etc., and increasing access to capital investments. Closer to home and our work at FLATE, are the recommendations of the Talent Pipeline pillar.

The four recommendations under this pillar are to: 1) launch a national campaign to change the image of manufacturing and support National Manufacturing Day’s efforts; 2) Incentivize private investment in the implementation of a system of stackable skill certifications; 3) make online training and accreditation programs eligible for federal support; and 4) Curate the documents, toolkits and play books developed by AMP 2.0.  (The Manufacturing Institute will be the curator of the publications). 

Over the past few years, there have been a number of national and regional efforts to change the
community perception of manufacturing in the U.S. In addition to FLATE’s own “Made in Florida” outreach initiatives and activities, there are a number of national efforts. These include: the national Dream It, Do It campaign; ChampionNow!; The Edge Factor video and curriculum series; American Made Movie and its educational resources; increasing number of student robotics competitions, commercial and college level design and innovation competitions; and the growing grassroots efforts of the “Maker Movement”. Some of these are partnering around the co-sponsored national Manufacturing Day. Hopefully, this alignment will continue so efforts do not compete, but grow more cooperative. Most have a special niche in the social puzzle of changing perception and changing culture. Partnering is the key to maximizing the efforts.

The second and forth recommendations of the talent pipeline pillar provide support to the Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) ongoing efforts to integrate industry credentials into technical education for manufacturing. Incentivizing the use of industry credentials (#2) is certainly a national policy push, and the resource development and dissemination (#4) will provide support resources for local efforts. The new “toolkits” are already available on the MI website. Each of the toolkits was developed to help a particular stakeholder group: educators, industry, and the community. They include some “how to” ideas and best practices as well as templates for approaching and presenting to various partners. 

In Florida, industry credentials have been a strong and robust component of the technical education landscape for nearly a decade, especially in our secondary schools. As part of the Florida gold standard for career academies, Florida CTE students have been earning industry credentials along with their diplomas and using them to articulate credit to associate level technical programs since 2007. Although industry credentials are now part of the way we do business in Florida’s public education system, we still need to engage more employers and add industry credentials to preferred hiring criteria along with educational credentials. We invite everyone to review pathways, articulations, and alignments of our associate degree in Engineering Technology that supports manufacturing statewide and now is offered at 15 Florida colleges (http://fl-ate.org/projects/Stackable-Credentials-Aligned-Certificates.html).

Changing gears, I invite you to catch up with more news stories in this November edition of the FLATE Focus. Give a shout out to our FLATE Awardees. While perusing through the articles take a stab at this month’s new sTEm puzzle, and get up-to-speed with the hottest trend in manufacturing as we explore 3D printing as a new technological frontier to engage students in STEM and manufacturing. We have also tabulated all the surveys and post event data from National Manufacturing Day in Florida and you can track some remarkable strides FLATE and its partners have taken to make national manufacturing day in Florida a statewide success. It truly was a cohesive effort and the kudos goes not to one organization alone but to everyone who contributed to making this a successful endeavor. We also have a guest writer this month from Florida TRADE @HCC who brings you a story outlining their strategic efforts in getting veterans credentialed and ready to work in a high-tech industry. 

Director of Manufacturing Operations at Heat Pipe Technology to Receive Distinguished Manufacturing Service Award

FLATE annually recognizes industry partners who have played
prominent role in the outreach, education, and training of today’s advanced manufacturing workforce. Ken Jurgensmeyer, director of manufacturing operations at Heat Pipe Technology, Inc. in Tampa has been selected for the 2014 FLATE Distinguished Service Award. The FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Service Award recognizes key personnel for outstanding contributions to promote technology education and career awareness in support of manufacturing.

The Award is a much deserved accolade. Jurgensmeyer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the field of manufacturing. He says “growing manufacturing in the United States is essential to the future of our country and to the growth and stability of local communities.” To that effect, Jurgensmeyer believes education and changing the mindset are keys to one’s success. He understands the need for American manufacturers to adopt and apply advanced manufacturing techniques. To maintain a competitive edge in a global marketplace, he underlines the need for a “whole new level of technicians” who have specialized, transferable skills and are trained in multiple areas such as fabrication, assembly, logistics.

Given his longstanding expertise, he is engaged in several prestigious projects and initiatives.
Jurgensmeyer, is the Chairman of the Manufacturing Task Force for the Tampa Bay Economic Development Corporation where he reviews the skills gap the currently inhibit growth of manufacuring jobs in the Tampa Bay area. He is also the Chairman of the STEM Advisory Board in the Tampa Bay area. He is also the Chairman at Middleton High School, as well as a board member of the Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association, Brewster Academy for Technical Advisement and Technical Advisory to the Curriculum on Hillsborough Community College’s manufacturing programs. As a board member for the new manufacturing academy in association with the Florida TRADE grant, Career Source and Hillsborough County School District, Jurgensmeyer oversees development of internships and coop programs for mechanical/industrial engineering students at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He also recently served as one of the judges for the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) statewide STEM program promotion.

Jurgensmeyer has also been a leading advocate for promoting hands-on knowledge for students. He promoted and supported numerous tours at Heat Pipe Technology, Inc., for 2014 Manufacturing Day in Florida. Recent tours include tours for Middleton High School students, Girls Scouts, Bright Horizons engineering summer camps, Hillsborough County School board members and tours for local LEGO FLL robotics clubs. He is a member of the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineering’s, MAF and the American Society for Quality.

Jurgensmeyer will receive the FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Service Award during the awards luncheon at the Annual Manufacturers' Association of Florida Summit, December 3-5, 2014 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, FL. 2014 marks the eighth year of the FLATE awards. Since the implementation of the program in 2006, FLATE has recognized 14 educators at the secondary and post-secondary educational level, and seven industry partners. To contact Ken Jurgensmeyer email him at ken@heatpipe.com, or visit www.heatpipe.com. You can also read a current news story  on Jurgensmeyer published on Business WireFor information on the FLATE awards, or to nominate an industry colleague for next year's awards, visit http://fl-ate.org/projects/awards.html, or conatct Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org. 

Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Instructor at F. H. Peterson Academies of Technology to Receive the 2014 FLATE Secondary Educator Award

FLATE awards have served as an effective tool in recognizing educators and industry colleagues who have stepped beyond their call of duty to promote excellence in manufacturing and STEM education. At the secondary and post-secondary education level, FLATE Awards recognize excellence in teaching in a Florida High School in a program that supports the Manufacturing industry in Florida. In addition to teaching excellence, the awardee is expected to work personally with his/her students and with local industry partners for continuous improvement of the academic program, keeping it closely tied to industry needs.

This year marks the eighth year for the FLATE Educator award program. The awards serve as a mark
of recognition for educators like Russ Henderlite who has been a strong supporter of Manufacturing Education and outreach at the secondary education level. Henderlite is the recipient of the 2014 FLATE secondary educator of the year award and was chosen from a pool of qualified and dedicated colleagues who were nominated for the award. “Manufacturing education is critical to provide a skilled workforce to continue our nation’s ability to compete in a global market” said Henderlite. He is the founding instructor for the robotics and advanced manufacturing academy at Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology (FHP) in Jacksonville, FL.

Prior to becoming a high school teacher, Henderlite spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy involved in nuclear power plant operations and maintenance. During his tenure with the navy, first as a nuclear prototype instructor, then as a nuclear repair coordinator he encountered first-hand, students' lack of knowledge in performing routine and corrective maintenance operations. These experiences influenced his decision to become a teacher when he retired from the Navy and provided an understanding of many weak areas students have when they join the workforce.

Henderlite's 18 years of teaching experience is focused primarily on imbibing hands-on skills and trouble-shooting techniques. “I constantly challenge my students to think not only about what they are doing, but why they are doing it, and what the end result will be.” He also works very closely with local manufacturers which has enabled him to concentrate on filling the skills-gap faced by local manufacturers, and helping students develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving ability and improved communication skills. Henderlite also strongly encourages local manufacturers to offer internship programs so students can gain a real-world knowledge and understanding of manufacturing processes.

As an educator Henderlite has made several outstanding contributions to manufacturing and/or
engineering education at the local and statewide level. To promote interest in manufacturing, he identified current technologies for acquisition such as 3D printing and robotics equipment to excite and attract FHP students to manufacturing careers and educational pathways. He also partnered with Florida State College at Jacksonville to develop a welding program for training students under the Florida Trade Grant to meet needs of business partners like BAE Systems, Kaman Aerospace and other manufacturers located in Florida First Coast region. He is a member of the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) Workforce Development Committee for the past two years, and has played an active role in Manufacturing Day in Florida tours both in 2013 and ’14 where he took 180 students (80 in 2013; 100 in 2014) on industry tours of Vistakon, SAFT Batteries, Boeing and Gerdau Ameristeel. Henderlite has also established FHP as an MSSC testing center and recently served as a member of the career academy best practices panel member along with two FHP students at the Florida STEM Forum.

Indeed, FLATE Awardees have distinguished credentials that they have used to promote excellence in manufacturing on a statewide level. Award winners were selected from submitted nominations from around the state. They are judged by an awards committee from FLATE's Industrial Advisory Committee and not the FLATE leadership team, or staff. Awardees will be recognized and bestowed with their Award during the Annual Manufacturers' Association of Florida (MAF) Summit taking place December 3-5, 2014 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin. 

For more information on the robotics and automation program at F.H. Peterson Academies of Technology in Jacksonville, email Russ Henderlite at henderlitr@duvalschools.org, or visit http://dcpspublic.oncoursesystems.com/school/webpage/689666. For more information on the FLATE awards program and to view this year’s nominees, or earmark a colleague for next year’s awards visit http://fl-ate.org/projects/awards.html, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org.

Data from National Manufacturing Day in Florida Reflects Remarkable Gains & Progress

Last month we talked about FLATE's national manufacturing day in Florida strategy which enabled more than 3000 middle and high school students from 39 counties to tour 95 high-tech manufacturing facilities as part of National Manufacturing Day and Month in Florida. In comparing data from last year, post event data and evaluation results have been encouraging and reflect an overall increase in several spheres.

Crunching the Numbers
To start with, the number of counties impacted increased from 24 in 2013 to 39 in 2014, with number
of county proclamations more than doubling from 12 to 27. Number of participating students
Click on image to enlarge
increased from 2331 to 3150. Total number of industry tours also increased from 68 to 95. Participating manufacturers statewide increased from 72 in 2013 to 88 in 2014; tour hosts increased from 225 to 264. Parental involvement/parents going on tours also saw an upturn from 71 to 113; teachers/educators going on tours also increased from 110 to 174. Manufacturing Day/month in Florida-related activities spanned over the entire month of October and commanded a formidable national presence with Florida leading the nation in the number of industry tours for students. By all counts and purpose Manufacturing Day in Florida was successfully implemented through statewide participation and strategic partnerships with regional manufacturers associations, industry and educational partners across Florida.

Post Event Survey Results
This year as in last, a core part of FLATE’s strategy lay in its effort to devise a comprehensive survey model to survey participants that included industry hosts, educators and students who participated in
a manufacturing day/month- related event or industry tour. Post event surveys serve not only as an indicator to gauge success of FLATE’s efforts to reach out to students, educators and industry across Florida, but also serves as an effective mechanism to improve upon some of our tried and tested methods that have positioned the “Made in Florida” industry tours as a successful model for other organizations and/or states to emulate and expand upon. “Florida ranks number one in the nation for having the most Manufacturing Day events and for providing usable data enhancing students' perceptions of careers in manufacturing" said Desh Bagley, FLATE’s outreach manager. Bagley notes "surveying students statewide for manufacturing day could not be done without the collaborative efforts of Florida's Regional Manufacturers Associations, FL TRADE colleges, Florida school district personnel, and Florida manufacturers.” This cohesive relationship also enabled FLATE to provide all Regional Manufacturers Associations in Florida with a summary of statewide manufacturing day data from surveys received by FLATE as of Oct. 31, as well as summary survey data for local surveys forwarded to FLATE from regions across the state.

“Early reports from the 1,286 student surveys received by Oct. 31 reflect success” said Dr. Marie
Boyette, associate director for FLATE. Survey results show 95% of touring students responding to surveys stated that they learned about technologies used in advanced manufacturing industries, and learned something new and interesting about manufactured products. Approximately, 92% (1,146) students also stated they would recommend the tour for other students. Over 1,000 students agreed or strongly agreed that the tour provided them with the opportunity to better understand how STEM subjects learned in school are put to work in advanced manufacturing industries. There was a +18% increase in consideration of a career in advanced manufacturing after the tour.

On the industry side of the continuum, 14 industry hosts for Florida’s 2014 Manufacturing Day responded to an online survey asking about their experience with FLATE’s “Made in Florida” industry tours. An overwhelming 100% felt that the tour was a good use of their company’s time and resources. Industry hosts felt that the tours encouraged the pursuit of American manufacturing as a potential career option especially at a time when the bulk of manufacturing is moving overseas. Industry hosts also stated that the tours provided local manufacturers with the chance to expand students’ knowledge about the types of jobs available to them in the community. “Tours provide advanced manufacturing workers with an opportunity to come together to show off the facility and what they do. It is a great team building event.” Hosts observed that students were prepared to learn and ask questions, which is great for the company’s presenters. They also stated that the tours served as a conduit between manufacturers and local educational facilities opening a pathway for partnership which “could lead to future internships and employees.”

In terms of the educators, 27 middle and high school teachers reported an overall positive experience.
Half of the teachers received and used a link to FLATE’s online “pre-tour” lesson plans before the tour. Seventy percent educators who used/implemented the lesson plan found them to be ‘very useful and relevant.’ Sample response from educators included: “The video was GREAT!! Kids really liked it. Activity was a good exercise in finding supporting details and evidence.” Hundred percent of the teachers found the tour helpful in understanding more about Florida high-tech jobs and career opportunities. The same percentage also stated the tour demonstrated how STEM subjects learned in school (science, technology, engineering and math) are put to work in high- tech industries, and that they would promote a career in advanced manufacturing for their students.

Feedback on New Manufacturing Day Curriculum
As part of FLATE’s commitment to a continuous improvement process, this year FLATE added a
new comprehension instructional system (CIS) for middle and high school curriculum based on the “Made in Florida” industry tour experience. As mentioned in last month’s article, the lesson plan was piloted and used by several schools across Florida as part of 2014 Manufacturing Day. All five teachers participating in the MFG DAY beta testing for this curriculum felt that the CIS tour-associated lesson plans helped implement the common core (literacy) requirement. Hundred percent agreed/strongly agreed the curriculum and tour helped stimulate critical thinking and inquiry among students, and was a good way to integrate STEM learning into mainstream curriculum. Additionally, 100% of the teachers stated they would use the lesson plans again. Teachers felt that the curriculum built vocabulary, helped students better understand the variety of manufacturing careers and job skills involved, and provided insight into the way STEM subjects are put to work in high tech industries. “I thought it was an excellent tour and lesson that helped to spark an interest in manufacturing for my students” stated one of the teacher in a survey. Other comments included: “Fantastic! This was my first year to be involved with FLATE and MFG Day. ‘Very well done! I hope we are invited back next year. ‘This was an awesome opportunity, I am very glad my class was able to be a part of this experience.”

#MFGDayinFL Goes Social!
Stepping aside from the data train we have some fun facts to report on for Manufacturing Day in
Florida. FLATE’s selfie-thon concluded on October 31 with submissions on our Facebook page as well as our Twitter profile. The winner of the#MFGDayinFL selfie-thon are: Desiree Harmon. Desiree is the first female industrial mechanic hired by Cemex—a global company in Brooksville, FL. You can read more about her in the June 2014 issue of the FLATE Focus. Other noteworthy submissions also included a selfie from Jennifer Stepniowski from Pride elementary school, Elizabeth Simpson from Engineering Academy at Greco Middle School and a group selfie of East Lake High School students during their tour of Southern Manufacturing Technologies in Tampa. Stepniowski’s selfie featured students from Pride Elementary watching LEGO manufacturing fun facts & production videos as part of their manufacturing day curriculum. Simpson’s selfie featured 8th grade students doing common core lessons on assembly. All selfie submissions along with a manufacturing day gallery are available for viewing on the sidebar of the newsletter. Do send in your photos and/or news stories from Manufacturing Day tours if you have any, or that we may have missed.

American Made Movie Enriches MFG Day in FL Experience
In addition to the selfie contest, FLATE also partnered with the Bay Area Manufacturers Association, the Tampa chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association to sponsor a communitywide screening of the “American Made” movie at Middleton High School in Tampa. Following the screening, a discussion panel, where Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger served as a panelist, shared ideas and efforts to support the “re-shoring” of manufacturing in the community. The movie and the discussions that followed were “very nice and informative” said Mark Smith from Brewster Technical Institute.

Looking Ahead
Manufacturing Day/Month for 2014 has concluded, but the effort to educate, train, employ and impact the next generation of high-tech workers who are also innovative thinkers, extends beyond a single day, or month. For more information on national manufacturing day visit the national manufacturing day website. For information on industry tours for middle and high school students, award-winning STEM based curriculum and activities visit www.madeinflorida.org, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

sTEm–at-Work Puzzle #43: Battery Recharge expectations

A major customer of a high performance battery manufacturer has a critical, mission-specific performance expectation from the lithium batteries they purchased. The Quality technician for the manufacturer can only authorize shipment of all of the batteries from each manufactured lot after a statistically valid sampling and subsequent testing of all the batteries in that sample have been performed. If just one of those tested batteries does not at least meet the minimal charge/discharge specifications established by the customer, none of the batteries in that manufactured lot will be shipped to this customer.

Three different charge/discharge tests are performed. A range of expected battery performance as indicated by these three tests is shown in the performance graphs below. One battery, under test, had the following recovery characteristics:

  • It recovered 80% after it was 100% discharged and recharged 500 times
  • It recovered 75% percent after it was 50% discharged and recharged 600 times (and)
  • It was 30% discharged in less than 30 minutes and recovered 70% after 1,200 charge/discharge cycles.
The Tech did not authorize shipment of this lot of batteries to the customer. YES  or NO. Submit your answers below the blog post, or on www.fl-ate.org.

3D Printing: The New Technological Frontier to Engage Students in STEM & Manufacturing

The constant and consistent call to action for American education has been to increase their interest and performance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Additionally, a recent clarion call has been issued to inform students about the important role of manufacturing in our nation’s economic growth, homeland security, and desire to remain the most competitive and innovative nation in the world. Educators have discovered that robotics is a low-cost, effective method of providing engaging, exciting, and enriching lessons in literacy, mathematics, science and technology. Using robotics as a hook in K-12 education has become a successful initiative for increasing the interest of both boys and girls in STEM career and educational pathways. 

The “Maker Movement” centered on 3D printing, is driving a similar effect on STEM interest for our youth. With the ease of use and the availability of 3D printers, formal and informal educators are using additive manufacturing projects with students to peak their curiosity about “making” and manufacturing. Just as robotics offers a relatively easy entry into programming and problem solving, 3D printers can be the first step to introduce students to the processes of planning, designing, making and testing their own ”products”.

Through the push of the maker movement, hobbyists’ insatiable demand for 3D printers have driven
the costs of printers down so that they are fairly reasonable for most school districts and even families. The software needed to make 3D models is accessible to students free of charge.  Students can download 3D CAD software from Autodesk for free while younger students may use Autodesk’s Tinkercad software online. The one crucial ingredient needed to really make 3D printing ubiquitous in schools is curriculum and curriculum integration. Robotics had a huge increase in momentum when educational institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, Tufts, and Sinclair Community College developed and disseminated curriculum, resources, and challenges that formal and informal educators could use inside and outside the classroom. These curricula include alignment to academic standards so teachers can integrate into their existing curriculum.  Many teachers need professional development, but after a few targeted sessions together with good curriculum, they are on their way. Across the country students began using robots to design, build and program robots of all types and learning, and reinforcing science, technology, engineering and math principles at the same time. 

The 2007 FLATE robotics camps for middle school students were cutting edge and unique among summer camp offerings for kids. FLATE’s Best Practice Guide for Robotics Camp, published in 2009, has been distributed nationwide and used by colleges, university, and non-profit groups everywhere to increase STEM outreach efforts. Additionally, FLATE, in partnership with other organizations, has coordinated professional development workshops to help educators integrate robotics concepts into their classroom curriculum to meet state standards in mathematics, science, literacy, and technology. A few other organizations in Florida also started offering robotics camps, however, the idea of teaching K-12 students to program robots was not mainstream five years ago.  

3D printing/additive manufacturing should follow a similar path. In order for educators to stimulate
students with 3D printing, standardized curriculum and integration models are needed.   3D modeling can help students understand some advanced math concepts in geometry, algebra and trigonometry. Science students can discover the differences in materials used for manufacturing. 3D printing, like robotics, can help students develop teamwork skills, improved problem-solving skills and expose students to the engineering design process. Structured lessons for all secondary levels and educator professional development will provide the support that education needs to use 3D printing as another powerful tool to engage students in relevancy of STEM in their everyday lives and provide the opportunities for them to explore and consider STEM career paths.  

Each summer, FLATE offers a high school camp in which students use SolidWorks to design objects based on given design specifications. In 2015, campers will incorporate microprocessors and 3D printers for their camp projects. 3D printers will be added to a growing list of 21st century technologies that must be used to help engage students in STEM and keep our nation globally competitive and the number one innovative nation in the world.  For more information about additive manufacturing contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org. For information about FLATE summer camps contact Desh Bagley at bagley@fl-ate.org, or visit http://madeinflorida.org/camps-workshops.  

Florida TRADE @HCC Helps Veterans Join the High-Tech Workforce

Florida TRADE@HCC coordinated a facility visit for veterans and military-in-transition as part of 
National Manufacturing month in Florida. The visit, part of the program called “T-VETs of Hillsborough,” provides veterans and military-in-transition the opportunity to tour manufacturing facilities throughout the county. “T-VETs of Hillsborough” initiative seeks to help increase the pipeline of talent for the manufacturing industry by introducing veterans and military-in-transition to manufacturing as a viable career.

The facility visits consisted of a short presentation, a tour of the facility’s operations, and a panel 
discussion with key personnel. Chromalloy Castings in Tampa, hosted the tour, exhibiting what is said to be one of the most technologically advanced modern casting facilities in the world. This facility features advanced, cutting edge technology from shell lines that fine-tune process control to furnaces that enable the production of the entire range of complex aero, aero derivative, industrial gas turbine and heavy industrial components.

Participants were able to observe the full production process of casting, a process by which a liquid material is poured into a mold containing a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then is allowed to solidify. The solidified part, also known as a casting, is broken out of the mold to complete the process. The process, while it involves some manual labor, is heavily dependent on robotics and electronics to create a perfect part. Among other things, Chromalloy manufactures parts for jet engines, and participants were able to understand the importance of detail and quality in each stage of the production process.

Veterans working at Chromalloy committed a portion of their workday in a Q & A session with
participants. The veteran employees, all from different departments --- accounting, production, purchasing among others --- told participants a bit about their background and what they did to successfully secure a job in the manufacturing industry. Several subjects were covered from managing expectations in civilian life, education and training, resume, interviews and selling your military skills the right way to potential employers.

Economic Development Manager with Hillsborough County, Ken Jones stated “the tour helped open
the eyes of veterans to better understand career opportunities within the manufacturing industry.” Some of these opportunities include production, R&D, quality control, maintenance, welding, finance, and logistics, to name a few. We would like to thank Chromalloy Castings, FLATE, Hillsborough County, Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturing Association and Career Source Tampa for their support of “T-VETs of Hillsborough”.

If you are a veteran and would like to join our tours visit http://fltradehcc.com, or contact Miguel Angel Garcia at mgarcia147@hccfl.edu, or Ms. Kirsten Miller at kmiller18@hccfl.edu.

This article was contributed by Miguel Angel Garcia, FL TRADE @HCC

Additional Points of Interest

Veteran Organization Fair at HCC-Dale Mabry

Symposium for Vets at HCC, Brandon Campus on Nov. 15.

Student Showcase at NCPN Provides Up-Close Look at CTE Programs in FL & Tête-à-Tête with Industry Experts

Students enrolled in Career & Technical Education programs across Florida had the opportunity to showcase their programs and best practices at the 2014 National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) Conference in Orlando, FL. At the conference, Florida Career Pathways Network (FCPN) partnered with the 2014 NCPN Conference to host a Florida student showcase to give conference attendees an up-close look at secondary and post-secondary career pathway programs, highlight CTE programs offered by Florida based educational institutions, and provide visitors from around the country a chance to talk to students enrolled in these programs. FCPN featured selected FL Best Practices to be part of a special “Florida Surge Session” during the conference.

Given the potential for statewide/national exposure, FLATE took an active role not only in promoting
the opportunity to the educational community in Florida, but also helped secure funds for some students to attend the conference and participate at the showcase. This year’s student showcase comprised of programs from 10 middle and high schools from  Florida. Among them were the student showcase from McLane Middle School in Brandon and Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology in Jacksonville, FL.

It was the first time the Vibots—the robotics team from McLane Middle School in Brandon—participated in the student showcase at the NCPN conference, said Mike Wilson, program director for the robotics program at McLane. The overall theme of their showcase “Robotics in the Modern World” was geared to promote robotics as a tool for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Using a humanoid robot students demonstrated how robotics can be used to teach manufacturing principles and its applicability in everyday settings.

The Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Academy and the NCAC Model Aviation Academy
at Frank H. Peterson (FHP) Academies in Jacksonville also teamed up with the National Flights Academy to send students for the first time to participate in the Florida student showcase. Stephanny Cahill, Darius Singletary and Charles Stephens were the three students who attended the showcase along with Jessica Parrish, vice principal and Russ Henderlite, instructor for the automation and production technology and director of the robotics program at FHP.

The theme of their showcase was “Tying Manufacturing to NCAC Model Academy,” and was a culminating experience for students who were taking coursework from both academies and had interest in pursuing careers in aviation and/or manufacturing. “The idea behind the participation was to give students an experience in presenting their achievements to an outside audience and represent the school to a national group” said Russ Henderlite who was recently named 2014 FLATE secondary educator of the year.

Students showcased the robotics and advanced manufacturing and aviation academies and how they were connected to the manufacturing industry and STEM field in general. Students also presented an informational PowerPoint about the Aviation Academy and their participation in the Naval Flight Academy. They operated several different types of robots that were on display, and manufactured giveaway items to conference/booth attendees that were made onsite using a 3D printer to demonstrate the ability to rapid prototype designs.

The Florida Student Showcase offered several perks to participating schools and students. “The
biggest reason is the experiential learning” that students will gain from interacting with educators across the nation said Nicole Palmer, coordinator for career pathways at Valencia College. Other takeaways included a first-hand look at how other CTE programs around the state are configured, as well as an exposure and opportunity to interact with professionals from a variety of fields who answered students’ questions and improved their understanding of what it takes to work in high-tech industry. Both Henderlite and Wilson stated the conference gave their students a chance to talk with local vendors and learn about STEM-based careers that are available to them across Florida. Henderlite was highly impressed with the role NSF ATE Centers like FLATE and its business partners were taking to help educators at the secondary school level to provide students with opportunities to gain experience outside the classroom. Both Henderlite and Wilson agreed “the interaction with adults served as an energizer for students to pursue STEM careers.”

Besides, F.H. Peterson and McLane Middle School, other Florida student showcases included
those from: Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie, Boone High School in Orlando, Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Middleton High School in Tampa, Leesburg High School in Leesburg, Madison Middle School in Tampa and Celebration High School/Osceola School of Arts/Westside Middle School in Celebration. For more information on the NCPN conference and the Florida student showcase visit www.ncpn.info and www.ftpn.org. To learn about Career and Technical Student organizations head to www.fl-ate.org and www.madeinflorida.org, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org/813.259.6578.