Volume 2, Issue 4 | April 2021
New WWC Practice Guide and Webinar:
Designing and Delivering Career Pathways at Community Colleges
The What Works Clearinghouse has released a new practice guide that focuses on guidance for implementing career pathways at community colleges associated with improving postsecondary student learning and labor market outcomes. Designing and Delivering Career Pathways at Community Colleges will help administrators, staff, and faculty at community colleges effectively develop and implement career pathways or career technical education initiatives. Compiled by a panel of national experts and practitioners, the practice guide offers five evidence-based recommendations. To learn more visit their website.

Register for a webinar here that will introduce the evidence-based recommendations and strategies for applying the recommendations from the practice guide on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 from 3:30–4:30 PM Eastern.
Participants will hear from the six expert panelists that shaped the guide.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation's leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
From the NSF ATE Community
Pathways to Innovation (PTI) will host its 2nd ATE Answer Hour on April 20th at 2:00 EDT. The experienced PTI team will present information about building and improving employer engagement in ATE-supported programs by using the BILT model. With a focus on new NSF ATE grantees, this opportunity is open to all ATE project teams who wish to learn more. These small virtual "round table" discussions offer a unique opportunity to ask all of those pressing questions.

For more information about the BILT model and Pathways to Innovation resources and services, visit the project website.
Industry Connection
Ag Tech Company Leader Shares Insights About Three Types of Technicians
Sentera, a global technology company that develops hardware and software to interface with precision agriculture equipment such as planters and fertilizer applicators, employs three types of technicians:

  • engineering technicians who work in the Minnesota company’s lab to build prototypes of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), sensors, and cameras;
  • geospatial information system (GIS) technicians who create maps with layers of data; and
  • aerial imaging technicians who pilot Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, in the field.

During a recent interview via Zoom, Todd Colten, Sentera’s chief aerospace engineer and director of Flight Services, discussed the rapid pace of change in agriculture technology and related industries, the skills he looks for when hiring technicians, and the attributes he anticipates UAS employers will be seeking in 10 years. Digital literacy is the answer to the last question, but the specific digital skills won’t be known for a few years when “some other new widget or some other new advanced capability” emerges.

“Everything is always changing,” he said, pointing to his company’s plan to add 30 GIS technicians to its current contingent of 15 by June to illustrate his point. Continue reading.
More Powerful Batteries Will Be “Game-Changer” for Aerospace
Todd Colten, chief aerospace engineer and director of Flight Services at Sentera, envisions a “big revolution” in the aerospace industry as a result of advances in battery manufacturing infrastructure.

“There’s a lot of thought that taking modern drone technology and electrification of aircraft — all of this will be a game changer,” he said.
Colten worked for startups and large aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin, Goodrich, and United Technologies Corporation prior to 2015 when he helped found Sentera, which offers products and services to farmers and agriculture researchers.

Colten expects improvements in battery manufacturing will lead to “a fundamental shift in how aircraft are made, produced, serviced, and designed.” The result will be a “huge new industry” around people building and servicing larger drones. Continue reading.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Hi-TEC Call for Proposals - Deadline Extended
The HI-TEC 2021 Virtual proposal form is now available! Presentations should take the form of a prerecorded and captioned video of 30 minutes or less, and/or a PowerPoint slide deck, and/or a PDF file. Speaker guidelines will be provided upon acceptance of session proposals. Conference attendees will be able to view these “on demand” sessions for up to six months after the virtual conference.
Questions about the content of your proposal? Contact Greg Kepner or Bob Geer.
Questions about the submission form? Contact Sheila Wilson.

Deadline for submissions is April 9.

This talk will provide an overview of AFM lithographic techniques including dip pen nanolithography (DPN), nanoshaving, and electrochemical techniques. It will also include a description of specialized AFM imaging modes used to characterize nanostructures printed with AFM. A remote-access demonstration of AFM lithography and phase imaging will follow.

2021 Community College Innovation Challenge
AACC, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, invites community college students to participate in the 2021 Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC). The CCIC is a national competition where community college student teams, working with a faculty or administrator team mentor, use STEM to develop solutions to real-world problems, attend a Virtual Innovation Boot Camp, and compete for cash awards.

The CCIC application deadline is April 20, 2021. For more information about this opportunity visit their website.
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Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF DUE #1839567. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.