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Archive for April, 2014

Save the Date: 2014 Renewable Energy Fair

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Plan now to attend an electrifying event on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at Milford High School in Milford, Utah. For the sixth year in a row, Milford High School is hosting the Renewable Energy Fair where you will learn about renewable energy, the science behind it, its uses, and viability.

Milford is surrounded by large scale commercially produced renewable energy, where students use renewable energy at the school every day. The Fair explains how renewable energy is used and why it is important. The Fair will showcase the resources that make large scale production possible.

Andy Swapp, CTE teacher at Milford High School and founder of the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center, is passionate about renewable energy and the future of his students. “I want my students to become critical independent thinkers. I also want them to have fun learning! There’s something about creating your own power that is very exciting and – pardon the pun – empowering! Renewable energy allows students to put into action the math, science, and technology that they have accumulated in their high school career. The Renewable Energy Fair is a place to see what advances are taking place, network, and dream about your sustainable future.”

The culminating event at the Fair is an electric car endurance race. High School teams bring electric cars they have built and race for one hour. The car with the best endurance is awarded a trophy. Last year, Delta High School was awarded the first place trophy for their achievement in building a car that ran on renewable energy.

The Milford High School Renewable Energy class helps host the Fair every year and is an integral part of the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center. “The leadership acquired at this event is a learning and growing experience like no other. No matter how dark and dreary the news may get we have a bright future!” says Andy.

Who: Utah middle/junior high and high schools, postsecondary institutions, and the general public

What: 6th Annual Renewable Energy Fair

When: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: Milford High School– 62 North 300 West – Milford, Utah

Why: Learn about renewable energy, the science behind it, its uses, siting, installation, and viability.

Events:
> Opening Ceremony
Miss Utah, Ciera Pekarcik, and a local radio personality from the Rob and Dez B92.1 Morning Show will MC the event.
> Renewable Energy 101 breakout sessions
> Industry vendor booths
> Electric Car Endurance Race

Questions: Contact Andy Swapp at 435-387-2751 or andy.swapp@beaver.k12.ut.us

Related videos:
> The County Seat –Discussing Renewable Energy
>
American Wind Power – Clean. Affordable. Homegrown.
>
Firstwind Milford

Caid Lunt: Preparing for College and Career

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Caid Lunt, a junior at Weber High School, has a career goal to work in the Information Technology industry—digital media/multimedia. Caid recently participated in a CTE Internship at Weber State University in the Multimedia Services department where he developed his skills in graphics and animation. Through this internship experience Caid is preparing for college and career!

“My CTE Internship experience in the Multimedia Services department at Weber State University has been a great learning and eye-opening experience. I have been able to learn and enhance my skills towards narrowing down career options. My talents in graphics have been greatly improved. I have been working with [the Multimedia Services department] to master the program of Adobe After Effects, as well as other Adobe products to develop a greater knowledge, and capability for being able to design motion graphics and animation. This internship also focuses on other sides of media, such as video production. I have been given multiple opportunities with hands-on experience doing camera operating and editing. This has boosted my experience and capabilities to get a feel for what the real world of multimedia is like. This experience has taken my level of skill with multimedia to new levels.

“My main focus during this internship is graphics and creating animation. I have a real interest in this field, and I really enjoy it. Colby, my main mentor, has helped me reach limits I never thought possible with After Effects. He has taught me skills, as well as introduced me to tutorials to increase my knowledge and ability to produce graphics. He has also taught me to push myself to try new things and learn new strategies for sparking creativity. Before this internship, I was barely able to use After Effects and now I am able to produce simple but intricate graphic designs.

“I am also learning more about the field of producing videos. Weber State University [produces] a wide variety of videos, so I have been able to learn to scrub though old and new types of footage to be used for campus projects. I am also getting experience with operating cameras, as well as devices, such as Phantom GoPro helicopters, and Glide-Cams. I am getting hands-on experience with what multimedia consists of on a daily basis and building my experience portfolio.

“This internship has helped me define my career path. I look forward to [participating in another] CTE Internship my senior year in the multimedia field. This internship has expanded my skill set and prepared me for my future career.”

Caid is involved in HOSA—Future Health Professionals—and recently competed in the HOSA State competition in the Public Service Announcement (PSA) event. His PSA highlighted child hunger prevention and featured the service project at Weber Weekend Food Packs—a program to help feed hungry kids on the weekends. His public service announcement took first place at the competition and can be viewed HERE.

Caid has been awarded an $80,000 scholarship to Westminster College where he will study Information Technology in the area of digital media/multimedia.

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

CTE Students Excel at the 2014 Utah Regional FIRST Robotics Competition

Friday, April 4th, 2014

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Competition began in 1992 with 28 teams and has grown to hundreds of teams, with approximately 250,000 high school students competing in regional competitions throughout the world.

The goal is to model a business-like environment to create a product, the robot. FIRST provides each competing high school team with a common kit of robotic parts that weigh up to 150 pounds. Each team spends six weeks engineering a robot to solve a unique yearly challenge. In addition to using math, science, and engineering skills, this experience teaches students to be creative, to work as a team, use critical thinking and problem solving, manage projects, market themselves and their robot, troubleshoot issues, and manage their time in a real-world type setting.

This year, 99 FIRST Regional Competitions took place: 93 in the U.S., 4 in Canada, 1 in Mexico, and 1 in Israel. Each regional competition is an exhibition and celebration of the talents of many bright and creative high school students. Last month, the 2014 Utah Regional FIRST Robotic Competition took place at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah and included 49 teams: Canada (1), Arizona (1), California (4), Colorado (7), Hawaii (1), Idaho (9), Montana (1), New Mexico (1), Utah (22), and Wyoming (2). There was a variety of Utah educational groups represented: 13 public schools, 5 charter schools, 2 private schools, and 2 community groups. The 22 Utah teams were sponsored by an assortment of STEM programs: 14 teams were CTE programs in Engineering, Robotics, Electronics, and Multimedia; 6 were Math and Science, 1 Computer Programming, and 1 community 4H Engineering group.

Foreground: blue robot – Boise High School (#2122 Team Tators)
Background: red robots – left to right
Juan Diego High School (#3289 Soaring Eagles); Granger High School (#5345 BOLTS)
Brighton High School (#5159 Bengal Robotics)

Congratulations to the four Utah teams who won regional awards: Brighton High School (#5159 Bengal Robotics), Hillcrest High School (#4585 Husky Robotics), InTech Collegiate High (#2993 InTech MegaBots), and Utah State University (#3230 Prototype X). At the competition the Colorado Springs team (#2996 Cougars Gone Wired) selected the Granite Technical Institute team (#3139 The Wingnuts) to combine with them in the paired competition. This duo won the competitive portion of the competition and advances to the national FIRST Robotics Championship.

The 2014 FIRST Championship will be held April 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri. The FIRST Championship is the culmination of the season’s FIRST programs, bringing together robotics competitions for the ultimate Sport for the Mind™. Teams will compete for scholarships ranging from a one-time award of $500 to full four-year tuition (estimated at $160,000).

FIRST Robotics is a high-tech spectator event which combines the excitement of sports with science and technology. “Our mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all,” says Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST and Inventor of the Segway.

WATCH the video of the 2014 FIRST Game Animation – Aerial Assist
VIEW
the list of winners and participants

Related articles:
First Robotics Competition
Students to compete in robot competition at Maverick Center
Students put tech to the test in robotics competition
Photos: Student take part in robotics competition
Robotics contest draws teen engineers from Utah and beyond

Family and Consumer Sciences Helped Me Discover Who I Am

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

By Lucia Montagnoli
Student at
American Fork High School, Alpine School District
American Fork High School FCCLA Chapter Officer
State Sterling Scholar, Family and Consumer Sciences

FCCLA (Family Career Community Leaders of America) is a student led organization that emphasizes the importance of family, work, school, and community. I became involved with the FCCLA because of my favorite teacher, Mrs. Beck. She promoted FCCLA during one of my classes and I instantly had the desire to be involved. I loved what FCCLA stood for and the amazing experiences it would and does provide.

As an officer, I have attended many leadership conferences which have taught me valuable leadership skills—such as teamwork, time management, and communication. As a leader, I have learned to balance my educational expectations, my officer duties, and my home life. I have developed confidence in myself and learned how to reach out to others.

2013 FCCLA Area Leadership Conference

FCCLA comprises all concepts reflected within Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS). Family and Consumer Sciences is not just something you are involved in. It is who you are. To be educated in this category is to better understand why you are the way you are. The fundamental concepts taught in Family and Consumer Sciences classes have helped develop the world and continue to benefit society.

Early Childhood Education gave me instructions on the beginning stages of teaching children. Adult Roles and Financial Literacy taught me how to transition into the adult world—including how to be financially smart. Clothing educated me on the basic concepts of sewing and the different styles of clothing. Interior Design taught me how to make my home my own, and make it functional, lovely, and stylish. A [CTE] Internship gave me the amazing opportunity to experience career choices and truly begin to shift into the world of an adult. Having participated in so many of these classes, I feel my life is already enriched. I will utilize my knowledge gained and skills acquired to give back and to make the world a better place by offering my unique part.

I am able to use everything I have been taught in my FACS classes and truly apply it to not only my life, but also my future career choice of being a teacher. Family and Consumer Sciences helped me discover who I am and what I want to do with my future.

State Sterling Scholar, Family and Consumer Sciences

Occupations in Broadcasting

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Broadcasting, or “mass communication,” consists of radio, television, satellite, webcasts and all sorts of evolving channels designed to reach people all over the world. Careers range from sports announcer to set designer to video editor and more. Filmmaking is a specialized aspect of broadcasting. Whether you view films in a theater, on TV, or via Netflix, filmmaking consists of three phases:

  1. Preproduction – preparatory phase during which scripts are written, financing is secured, cast and crew are hired, and locations are selected.
  2. Production – this phase includes everything related to filming, such as lighting and sound set ups, selection of camera angles, scene rehearsals, and recording of video and audio.
  3. Postproduction – film footage is edited, sound/visual effects are added, and audio tracks are mixed and then combined with film footage.

Actors, producers and directors are the most readily identified occupations associated with broadcasting and filmmaking, but the behind-the-scenes workers are equally important and numerous. This table includes information about a selected few.

Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services

You can get started in these occupations with a CTE Pathway. For example, check out Radio Broadcasting Technician, Television Broadcasting Technician, Digital Media, and Travel and Tourism. For more information on these occupations and others, visit UtahFutures, and check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

“After taking a CTE course, TV Broadcasting and Digital Media, I took interest in filming and editing short commercial clips for our school, which is what motivated me to look into the film production field. The CTE courses I have taken gave me an idea of what is expected for such a career. It also taught me how to work with various programs and to be able to adjust to the different technology. Without taking these CTE courses I probably would not have discovered my new interests in digital media, which motivated me to choose the career and degree I now strive for. . .The CTE courses I took opened new opportunities for me and has broadened my horizon in ways I could have never expected.” says Kristine Bucasas, 2013 graduate of Wasatch High School, CTE Scholarship recipient, and future film producer/editor.

Students to Attend Utah Career Days

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

On April 28-29, 2014 Utah middle/junior high and high school students will have the opportunity to participate in the Utah Career Days event at the Davis Applied Technology College in Kaysville, Utah. This two day event will promote career opportunities for Utah’s youth through hands-on exposure to diverse and exciting careers in the energy, manufacturing, construction, automotive, and engineering industries. Students will discover the technical skills required to be successful in a specific occupation, learn about careers, and find out how to train for a job. Students will have the opportunity to participate in hand-on experiences such as using a backhoe, operating a cement mixer, changing a tire on a Larry Miller race car, and learn the engineering skills required to build a bridge. New this year are hands-on activities highlighting careers in health science, cosmetology/barbering, and culinary arts.

Last year approximately 3,500 middle/junior high and high school students attended the Utah Career Days event. “I thought it was well organized and the students were very engaged the whole time. They love the hands-on experience and thought it was so cool to operate the big machinery,” says Lisa Crandall, CTE Intro teacher at American Leadership Academy.

This year approximately 4,200 students are registered for Utah Career Days.

Who: Utah middle/junior high and high school students

What: Utah Career Days

When: April 28-29, 2014

Where: Davis Applied Technology College, UT

Why: Discover, learn, and prepare for jobs of the future.

Questions: Contact Sherry Marchant – sherry.marchant@schools.utah.gov

STEM 101

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

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

If you live in the U. S., the buzz surrounding “STEM” is unavoidable. But the lack of a clear definition of STEM – or even its component parts (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) – may have us buzzing without fully recognizing basic differences in our understanding. “STEM 101” is an effort to increase your awareness of STEM, and to recognize the various foundations upon which different conversations about STEM are based.

The buzz around STEM began with debates in education and immigration as concerns were raised about a lack of qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. The STEM buzz also fed into concerns about the way subjects were being taught “in silos.” Science and math are long-recognized “core academics,” and the introduction of technology and engineering to the mix was an effort to highlight the need to apply science and math in better integrated curriculum.

The U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published their first STEM-Designated Degree Program List in 2008, identifying college majors associated with occupations for which foreign workers were needed. In education there were efforts to help students understand rigorous academics by applying science, technology, engineering and math in “real-world” contexts, and assuring that students were developing the 21st century skills that would make them college and career ready. The buzz grew, and there were other groups that saw value in associating with STEM.

Utah has its share of organizations, partnerships and government agencies working to increase participation in STEM including the STEM Action Center. The STEM Action Center was funded in the most recent session of our state legislature, and charged with:

>Supporting instructional technology and related professional development.

>Developing the STEM education endorsement and related incentive program.

>Promoting STEM in middle school, in part through enhancing CTE-Intro.

>Promoting STEM education initiatives that result in certifications in high schools across the state.

So, what’s a person to do? Perhaps this background has only served to confuse you further, but here are the two main points: (1) There is no universally accepted definition of what STEM is. (2) The emphasis you see on STEM is the result of various (and many) efforts to make STEM – be a STEM industry, a STEM program of study, or a STEM occupation – more attractive. You, as a student or potential worker, are being asked to invest your time and other resources (college tuition), so you need to know how to critically analyze the information about STEM being offered. Dr. Kris Dobson (an expert in career assessments, occupational data, and college and career planning), advises everyone who is exploring their college and career options – STEM or otherwise – to ask some key questions as they consider career information:

S – Consider the source of the information. Is it a college or company that is motivated to recruit new students or workers, or is it an organization that is a respected developer of descriptive economic information?

T – Look twice. Think about the information as a whole; does it make sense on the surface? Then break it down to consider specific claims (about STEM industries, education, occupations) that are being made and judge the validity of those claims.

EEvaluate the information based on the methods used to gather, analyze and interpret the data. For example, if information comes from a survey, who conducted the survey, and who (and how many) answered the survey?

M – Finally, ask yourself whether the information is meaningful to you, and – if so – how it can be applied in your decision-making?

In today’s complex world, where information is readily available, but not always of high quality, critical thinking is a key to making good decisions. Is critical thinking a “STEM skill?” What do you think? What do you know about the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in occupations that are of interest to you?