Guitar Building For Veterans In Puget Sound

On Veterans Day weekend, and on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, the STEM Guitar Building Institute team came out to serve veterans in the Puget Sound region of Washington State at Edmonds Community College.

Here are a few of the photos from the veteran participants this year.

The STEM Guitar Building Institute does a remarkable job of training educators on how to use guitars as a way to teach science, technology, engineering, and math. In fact, the project has been in 47 States and three countries outside the USA: Canada, Colombia, and Australia. They are producing more than 1,700 guitar kits each year.

What Is The Guitar Building Institute?

According to the website:

“The National STEM Guitar Project, in partnership with NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers with funding provided through a grant from The National Science Foundation hosts innovative Guitar Building Institutes throughout the US. Five-day institutes, combined with additional instructional activities comprising 80 hours, provide middle, high school, and postsecondary faculty training on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) applications as they relate to the guitar. The institutes present and teach participants hands-on, applied learning techniques to help engage students and spark excitement for learning STEM subject matter.”

 

Online Event for Boosting STEM Success for Women

The National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Sciences (IWITTS) is hosting an online seminar called the STEM Success for Women Telesummit this week April 24 through April 26 (and last week, April 17-19).

The conference features 15 top expert practitioners and educators who have successfully recruited and retained female and underserved students in STEM and CTE programs, sharing their step-by-step *recipes* for how they achieved this. The event is free and registration information is here.

Donna Milgram, executive director for IWITTS, reminds potential attendees, “Don’t worry if you can’t make all of the sessions. When you register for the Telesummit, you get access to the recordings and written transcripts of every session.”

While TEAMM focuses on Additive Manufacturing and Materials Science, many of the grants and projects fall under the broader STEM focus. The telesummit opening session “Recruitment: Infusing Joy into STEM” attracted our attention because Mark Evans, an Instructor and Program Chair of Emerging Technologies at Athens Technical College in Athens, Georgia uses 3D printing (among other methods/technology) in his Emerging Technology program.

“We do a lot with 3D modeling and 3D printing. In fact our intro course EMTX 1000: Tech-Driven Problem Solving relies heavily on the students learning Blendr and then making models they will then print on our 3D printers here at Athens Technical College. I worked closely with Carol Stanley, the college librarian to create a space called the “TecKnOWL0gy” NEST (specific OWL spelling intentional; see below for more on the Nest).”

You can read the full speaker schedule and STEM session abstracts here in PDF form.

The program bulletin describes Mark Evan’s session: “How He Boosted Female Enrollment in Emerging Technology from 6% to 82%. He went from only 1 female student to 15 in his Emerging Technology class the very next semester. In Fall 2016, Athens Tech awarded nearly half of the forty-three certificates in Video Game Design & Development to women. Learn how Mark used drones and Sphero robots along with other fun strategies to engage prospective students.”

According to the Athens Technical College website, the Nest is: a lab and development space with software and equipment supporting 3D printing, multimedia design, mobile and game development, video production, coding/programming, electronics, and other technology. The “Nest” provides current students, faculty, and staff a safe space to learn and explore these technologies. The purpose of it is to support and enhance learning by sparking students’ interest in emerging technologies. The name ties in “technology,” “know,” and “owl”—the college mascot. “Nest” gives students a safe space to learn and explore.

Don’t miss signing up for the second half of the STEM Success for Women Telesummit.

iMakerSpace Creates Innovation and Entrepreneurship Culture at Tennessee Tech University

Many colleges and universities work to create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) among students. Teaching either concept can be an esoteric pursuit, full of buzzwords and hard-to-implement ideas, but after making the decision to drive a new approach to I&E, Tennessee Tech University (TTU) immediately won a competition to be one of the first cohorts in the National Science Foundation Pathways to Innovation Program run by Epicenter and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA).

The effort of this Pathways team led to the launch of the EagleWorks student competition and the iMakerSpace, as well as providing a model for many schools to follow – by combining a range of resources and access points. Under the leadership of both the Colleges of Engineering and Business, the TTU iMakerSpace serves as a central location on campus to provide training, service, partnership, research and evaluation in Innovation and Entrepreneurship to all disciplines.

“In today’s economy, it is imperative for all students to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset. College graduates need to enter the workforce skilled in assessing complex problems, conceiving innovative solutions and developing scalable solutions, whether they join a company or non-profit organization or start a new venture,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-leader of the University Innovation Fellows program for Epicenter.

iMakerSpace supports NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The space hosts an Internet of Things Platform for Engineering Education and Research known as IoT PEER. Thanks to the College of Engineering, via the iMakerSpace, the IoT testbed has become an area of collaborative innovation and interdisciplinary research.

If you have heard of the Lean Startup concept, then the Tenn Tech I-Corps is worth checking out. The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Sites is a NSF-funded entity established at universities to nurture and support multiple, local teams as they transition their technology concepts into the marketplace.

Engineering students who have been working on projects under the NSF-funded AM-WATCH program, TTU NSF I-Corps Site,  and the Additive Manufacturing Studio are regular users of the iMakerSpace facility (housed within the TTU library).

The above mentioned programs are only a handful of the many ways that TTU is focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship for its students. Through partnerships, such as the Epicenter, the Colleges of Business and Engineering, and the Biz Foundry, a nonprofit focused on building entrepreneurs and innovators in the region; TTU is showing how to make STEM an essential and real-world practical part of education.