FARMINGTON - Tunxis Community College recently hosted the Engineering Technology Challenge for 32 high school students from New Britain and Hartford.
Offered through the College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, the program ran over the course of six Saturdays this spring with the intent of fostering interest in careers in engineering and technology, and helping students experience what it’s like to attend college.
“This program engages inner city youth who not only learn about technology, but life-changing skills that they can use in their daily lives as well as in their careers,” said Karen Wosczyna-Birch, the center’s executive director.
“Over 1,000 students have participated in this program and they often report, even many years later, that the team building, time management, communication, and behavior awareness analysis using DISC assessment, have all been instrumental in their success in the classroom, in the workplace and in their personal lives,” she said.
The high school juniors and seniors were immersed in many hands-on activities that integrated professional skills, manufacturing, CAD design, 3-D printing, technical writing, and math, taught by Connecticut Community College faculty. During the sessions they modified Kelvin fuel cell car kits to create aerodynamic cars incorporating their own design principles, which they raced at the end of the program.
They had assignments with deadlines, and received stipends connected to their participation, attendance, and other factors to help connect the experience to career-level work.
In its third year, the Engineering Technology Challenge program is funded through a National Science Foundation grant, and has been offered to several city high schools since its inception.
Tunxis’ center is one of seven NSF Advanced Technological Education Centers in the United States. It is led by the College of Technology at Tunxis, a consortium of all 12 Connecticut community colleges and eight public and private universities that was formed through state legislation in 1995 to establish seamless pathways in engineering and technology.
For more information on the College of Technology, contact Wosczyna-Birch at 860-723-0608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tunxis is in the process of launching advanced manufacturing technology programs, coming this fall. For more information, call 860-773-1490, or visit tunxis.edu.