Institute (MTI) in Ocala to visit its facilities and learn about the engineering technology program that is currently offered at HCC and 13 other colleges across Florida. “I wanted the students to see what we are doing in the high school is rigorous and relevant to career and college preparedness” said Dale Toney, robotics and automation teacher at MTI. Toney who was the recipient of the 20134 FLATE secondary educator of the year award said the tour provided students with a realistic view of STEM related careers and options available to them once they graduated from high school. Given the integration of robotics in high-tech operations, students also interacted with Brandon—a NAO humanoid robot which served as a highlight of their trip.
Career & Technical Education Department and the Florida High-Tech Corridor (FHTC)—an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida, University of South Florida and University of Florida—to give 27 students enrolled in the aerospace technology program at Robinson High School (RHS) a tour of the ET lab at HCC. Jeffrey Bindell, Ph.D. who was a speaker and organizer said the tour was made possible via the techCAMP program, a subsidiary of FHTC’s techPATH initiative geared to educate/expose students to technology-related degrees offered at community colleges in Florida. The initiative has been highly successful, in that, more than 3700 students and teachers have toured high tech facilities via this program to date, and learned how an interest in STEM would translate to lucrative opportunities in future.
the final products & samples station at EMS Technologies in Tampa. At the 3D-station laboratory students saw 3D printers in action, and got a brief explanation of printer set up and how the software works. At the scanning laboratory students saw different types of 3-D scanner, surface scanner for larger object, comet scanner for smaller objects and a metro scanner that could be manually operated. Students also got a demo of how to scan and 3D model an object. “There are no limits to what you can do with technology and if there are any limits those are just relegated to your imagination” said Sean McGlone, a junior at RHS.
Kaloostian, aerospace technology instructor at RHS who also attended FLATE’s STEM workshop for educators in 2011. Kaloostian says most people envision engineering jobs as someone sitting on a desk and designing products, and a technician as someone with a wrench in their hands, but they do not think about the high-skilled, high-paying jobs an individual can make working as an engineering technology specialist. To that end, he hopes the tours will inspire and help students to think outside the box and explore technologies that might stimulate their interest in high-tech manufacturing and/or STEM.
The State of Florida has the third largest population in country, with an official 2020 estimate of 21.5 million persons and approximately 58% of the population is in the civilian labor force (12,600,000).