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Archive for October, 2012

Why Engineering? Ten Great Reasons

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

The field of engineering continues to reinvent itself. The variety of engineering specialties not only has engineers designing bridges and automobiles, but creating video games; developing complex computer programs and software,  artificial organs, and nuclear power sources; and designing children’s toys, pet products, household products, sports equipment, and sustainable and efficient urban infrastructure.

Due to the expansion of jobs in the technical fields and the increasing number of engineers who are retiring, job openings in technology and engineering continues to increase.

Below are “Ten Great Reasons1” to pursue a career in engineering:

  1. Love your work, AND live your life too! Engineering is an exciting profession.
  2. Be creative. Engineering is a great outlet for the imagination—the perfect field for independent thinkers.
  3. Work with great people. Engineering takes teamwork and working with all kinds of people inside and outside the field, such as designers, architects, doctors or entrepreneurs.
  4. Solve problems—design things that matter. Come up with solutions no one else has thought of. Make your mark on the world.
  5. Never be bored. Creative problem solving will take you into uncharted territory, and the ideas of your colleagues will expose you to different ways of thinking.
  6. Make a big salary. Engineers not only earn lots of respect, but they are highly paid.
  7. Enjoy job flexibility. An engineering degree offers you lots of freedom in finding your dream job. It can be a launching pad for jobs in business, design, medicine, law, and government.
  8. Travel. Field work is a big part of engineering that will take you to many places.
  9. Make a difference. Everywhere you look you will see examples of engineering having a positive effect on everyday life. Cars are safer, sound systems deliver better acoustics, medical tests are more accurate, and computers and cell phones are a lot more fun!
  10. Change the world. Imagine what the world would be like without engineers. In very real concrete ways engineers save lives, prevent disease, reduce poverty, and protect our planet.
    1 engineeryourlife.org

Nationally, engineering is the second largest of all professions. In Utah, biomedical engineers (10.5 percent), petroleum engineers (3.8 percent), and civil engineers (3.5 percent) have the highest projected growth rate through the year 2020.

Training and education beyond high school are important for success in a career in engineering. Whether you choose a one-year certificate, a two-year associate or technical degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, or an advanced degree will depend on your career path.

Talk to your school counselor about registering for an engineering class and preparing for a career in engineering. Visit UtahCTE.org to learn about the Career and Technical Education Technology and Engineering Pathways.

FCCLA Capitol Leadership

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

By Lexi Heugly
Utah FCCLA VP Public Relations

Washington DC, a city brimming with great history and great leaders. Washington DC a city so culturally diverse that it symbolizes the head of 50 United States. Washington DC, home to FCCLA’s Capitol Leadership conference. What better place is there to train leaders? A city so full of leadership and role models every student has something to be inspired by.

This inspiration reaches beyond monuments and carvings for the members of FCCLA that attend Capitol Leadership. This conference teaches us not only to honor the great, but to stand tall and become the great. Every aspect of the conference is meaningful and worthwhile.


Utah FCCLA State Officers

Utah FCCLA had the opportunity to send their state officers to this conference, where they became more prepared to serve as leaders of their section of the organization. Long nights and miles of walking paid off to build the officers into a stronger team as a whole.

The officers were given the opportunity to meet with representatives of Utah Senators and Congressmen including Senator Orrin Hatch himself. They visited with staff members of Senator Mike Lee, Congressmen, Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop, and Jim Matheson. The officers capitalized on the importance of government support for FCCLA in these meetings.

Utah FCCLA State Officers with Senator Orrin Hatch

Capitol Leadership is an experience that is beyond a measurable comparison. The city of Washington has a certain aura of leadership that doesn’t leave students once they return home. This is an experience that was undeniably valuable for the members of Utah FCCLA who took the opportunity to attend.


CTEC Students Excel in Programming/Software Development Pathway

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Cody Henrichsen, computer programming instructor at Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC), has involved his class in many computer competitions throughout the past year. Students learned how to build a computer from scratch using a retired supercomputer at the Utah High School Supercomputing Competition, they competed in programming competitions and took industry tests at the Utah IT Challenge Competition, and they built a robot to perform specific tasks at the Lego® Robotics Competition. During the summer Cody held a workshop to introduce girls to programming and computer science. The class was a hit and Cody plans to hold the workshop again during the summer of 2013.

Utah High School Supercomputing Competition
The Utah High School Supercomputing Competition is an event put on by the University of Utah’s Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and provides Utah High School Supercomputing Competition (UHSSC) participants with a chance to become familiar with supercomputing. The UHSSC uses retired supercomputers that are no longer suitable for research, but are more than suitable for use by high school students.

This past year the UHSSC recycled an Angstrom Titan64 Supercomputer, provided by CHPC, to build ten smaller machines which were used by the UHSSC teams. “CTEC students entered the Utah Supercomputing Competition and won two of the four prizes. The teams won the Software Optimization prize, and both teams competed in the Hot Seat challenge, but when the other teams at the competition were not able to complete it, the organizer changed the remaining prizes to a persistence challenge which CTEC also won. Students were able to learn how to program in the Python language as well as use multiple processors to solve large problems quickly. This contest also inspired many students to switch their personal system to the Linux operating system because of the performance controls it provides,” says Cody Henrichsen.

The winners of the Utah High School Supercomputing Competition were:
> Skyline High School – Systems Configuration Award
> CTEC Team #2 – Software Optimization Award
> CTEC Team #2 – Persistence Award
> North Summit High School – Creativity Award

Utah IT Challenge Competition
The Utah IT Challenge Competition is sponsored by the Utah State Office of Education, Utah Valley University, and Certiport. Students are invited to compete in programming competitions and to take industry exams—Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), Adobe Certified Associate (ACA), and Hewlett Packard ATA Certification. Awards and prizes are given to the top three students in each category.

Students from CTEC, Salt Lake City Skills Center, and students from American Fork, Clearfield, Layton, and Syracuse High Schools all placed in the top three in thirteen competitive events. CTEC students won all three of the team programming prizes and the top individual programming prize. LIST OF WINNERS

Lego® Robotics Competition
Using Lego® bricks students work in teams to design, build, and program a robot with moving parts that will perform assigned tasks. Teams compete against one another for scholarships and prizes.

In the 2012 Lego® Robotics Competition CTEC students placed third overall. “The first contest was to create two robots, one a daughter robot carried on the back of the “mother” robot that would retrace the path across a maze. The second contest was to build and program a robot that could move a variety of objects across a field. The third contest was to build a robot that could navigate an obstacle course. The CTEC students created robots that accomplished all three of these tasks and we are looking forward to competing in the Lego® Robotics Competition again this year,” says Henrichsen.

Girls Code at CTEC
This summer CTEC held a two day workshop to introduce programming and computer science to high school girls in the Salt Lake Valley. Ten students participated and learned how to create apps for the Android environment using AppInventor. Presentations were given by women currently working in Computer Science and Information Technology. Listen to Cody talk about the event on KUTV.

UtahCTE.org congratulates the students at CTEC, and at other schools across the state, who have competed in the above IT competitions. We wish each student all the best as they prepare for IT competitions this year.

If you’re interesting in participating in one of the six Career and Technical Education Information Technology Education Pathways talk to your school counselor.

2012 FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference

Monday, October 15th, 2012

On September 26-27, over 675 FCCLA state and chapter officers and advisers met at the Provo Marriott for the FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference. State officers taught workshops to chapter presidencies and advisers received training for the upcoming year. Chapter presidents had their own summit within the conference where they learned their roles and responsibilities, learned effective social media techniques and how to delegate to the officer team. The two day meeting included, lessons, workshops, and speakers on subjects that made students better leaders throughout their lives, including leadership through FCCLA. The conference was a way for officers to mingle, learn, and network with one another.

“Going to Fall Leadership was a great experience. I met new people and learned so much about being a better leader. Not only did I learn how to get people involved, but I learned how to make it exciting and fun! I’m looking forward to bringing the new things we learned to Tooele’s FCCLA,” said Taylor Bennett, Tooele High School FCCLA Chapter President.

One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote speaker Brad Barton. Brad Barton is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and master magician. Brad spoke on the magic we each have inside of us, including the ability to make great and “magical” things happen in our lives, no matter where we start out or what our circumstances may be. He talked about how to possess the magic to create a bright and successful future, whether leading your peer group, serving your community, or building a rewarding personal life. His presentation not only left the crowd awe struck from his magic tricks, but also from the inspiring words he spoke.

A popular conference event was the “Pie the State Officer” competition. This was a fundraising event for “Share Our Strength.” FCCLA members chose the officer they most wanted to be “pied” by contributing money in a box given to each state officer. At the end of the week, the money in each box was totaled and the three officers with the most money were given a pie in the face. The three officers who won the honor to be “pied” were Ashley Labrum, Parker Hyde, and Lexi Heugly. The event was a huge success and generated over $400.00. 

“I thought the State Officers did a wonderful job with organizing a great Fall Leadership! I felt that our FCCLA Officers were able to bond with each other and meet new people, to get ideas  to help in their planning for the year. It helped me as an adviser to visit with other advisers to form a network and share ideas,” said Marianne Pallas, American Fork High FCCLA Adviser.

2012-2013 FCCLA State Officers:
Eric Wilcox – President
Madison Barton – 1st Vice President
Parker Hyde – VP of STAR Event
Aubrey Christensen – VP of Social Media & History
Lexi Heugly – VP of Public Relations
Savannah Allmon – VP of Membership
Spencer Chugg – VP of Community Service
Ashley Labrum – National VP of Programs

For the 2012-2013 school year, the FCCLA State Officers have chosen the theme “Pack Your Bag” with the motto “Climb to Your Future”. They have chosen five goals for chapter members to focus on throughout the year. They are:

Goals and Challenge:

  1. Buddy Up: Each chapter member recruits a friend to join FCCLA.
  2. Slow Down, Observe: Each chapter does a beneficial community service project.
  3. Feed the Need: Each chapter completes and submits at least one National Program.
  4. Tread the Path: Each chapter member completes all the components of the Power of One and/or Dynamic Leadership.
  5. Study the Map: Each chapter member memorizes three new facts about FCCLA.

“Fall Leadership proved yet again to be a great experience for all who attended. Each attendee took something new home with them and learned from the experiences they had at the conference,” said Lexi Heugly, FCCLA VP of Public Relations.

2012 SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year

Friday, October 12th, 2012

SkillsUSA has named Nicholas T. Pinchuk, Chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated, as the 2012 SkillsUSA Champion of the Year. On September 18, Mr. Pinchuk was honored at the 2012 SkillsUSA Champion of the Year Award dinner in Washington, DC. Mr. Pinchuk is a strong advocate for Career and Technical Education. Throughout the years he has provided powerful leadership in the development of initiatives that connect industry and education. “All commerce, all industry, all businesses benefit from a robust American economy. Today, one of the most important things we can do to propel forward the American economy is to invest in Career and Technical Education,” says Pinchuk.

The Champion of the Year Award has been established by SkillsUSA to recognize the chief executives of corporations who have distinguished themselves over a period of years for outstanding achievements in corporate and community leadership, in high ethical standards, successful growth of their corporate team, and a commitment to integrating diversity in all areas of their corporate business to ensure and promote the ideals of a skilled workforce in America.

“SkillsUSA has gone beyond the technical capability and given [its members] life skills—how to speak to people, how to present, and how to work in teams,” says Pinchuk.

The mission of SkillsUSA is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American Citizens. SkillsUSA programs help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service.

WATCH interview with Nicholas Pinchuk

CTE: Five Ways That Pay

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

By Mary Shumway
State Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Utah State Office of Education

Now is the time to prepare for life after high school. Through career exploration in middle/junior high school you discovered your interests, likes and dislikes. You also learned about classes and training related to your career field of interest as you advanced to high school. In high school you are encouraged to participate in a CTE Pathway where CTE courses align with postsecondary programs and employer based training. This connection provides the foundation for postsecondary training resulting in an industry-based certification, a postsecondary certificate, or an associate degree. CTE arms you with the academic knowledge and technical skills for ongoing success in college, career, and life.

A new report released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce outlines five areas where students can focus in order to obtain education and train for careers. The report, Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay Along the Way to the B.A., found that there are 29 million jobs (21 percent of all jobs) that pay great middle-class wages (above $35,000 per year and below $95,000 per year) and don’t require an expensive Bachelor’s degree. The report lists five alternative paths to middle-class jobs: employer-based training, postsecondary certificates, registered apprenticeships, industry-based certifications, and associate degrees.

CTE programs are more affordable than traditional college programs and can give graduates access to on-the-job training that help them succeed in the labor market. Research shows that CTE programs provide a good return on public investment. In fact the average employment rate of a person with a CTE upper secondary degree is 75.5 percent, 4.8 points higher than for those with a general upper-secondary degree. At least some postsecondary education or training has become the entry-level requirement for many jobs. By the year 2020, two out of three jobs will require some postsecondary education or training.

In Utah, the school districts, the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) and higher education institutions are working together to ensure that employer-based training, postsecondary certificates, registered apprenticeships, industry-based certifications, and associate degrees are developed and accessible for students throughout the state. Participation and completion of a CTE Pathway, in high school, will provide you with the academic knowledge and technical skills to have a competitive edge and to compete successfully in a global economy.

Occupations in the Green Industry

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Let’s talk about the opportunities specifically related to growing flowers, greenery, trees, and vegetables, and planting them in the landscape. (This is the more narrow “green industry” commonly referenced, rather than the more broad “green jobs” designation that you might find in O*NET that includes occupations in additional industries such as Energy, Transportation, and Manufacturing.) The U. S. Department of Agriculture tracks activity in the green industry, collecting information from landscaping operations, garden centers, sod farms, pest control businesses, and other workplaces that employ workers to manage landscapes and plants.

The table below reflects a sampling of occupations in the green industry. You can check this information, look at additional occupations, and find schools that offer related programs via UtahFutures.


U.S. Employment



Annual Median Wage


Landscape Architect






Landscape and Groundskeeping Worker





High School

Nursery and Greenhouse Manager


O*NET ‘Bright Outlook’ designation, though numbers show decline


Associate +

Soil and Plant Scientist





Bachelor’s +

Manager of Landscaping, Grounds





Associate +

Sources: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (national), Utah Department of Workforce Services (state)