On Saturday, May 22, the North Regional California Community College Advanced Manufacturing initiative (Edu2Mfg) brought together eight high school and community college instructors came together at an approved gathering in the Sierra College Mechatronics lab . Emerging from the government imposed restrictions, participants expressed delight to be attending the in-person training after suffering from a year of zoom fatigue.
Roy Ingram, Sierra College Mechatronics instructor, kicked off the gathering by providing each attendee with a battery, wire and a magnet. They were tasked to construct their own simple motor. The activity spawned a discussion on how electromagnetism and current flow made the motor spin.
During the session, Louie Garcia, Sierra College Building Trades instructor, described how he made a Litchenberg Wood Burning device. After he demonstrated its use, Steve Dicus with Edu2Mfg that they had to hold the teachers back who wanted to try the new process. “We are hoping to hold a workshop this summer where participants can make and take one of these devises for their labs,” said Dicus.
To add value to the training, each participant brought a teaching aid, student project or something to share that the others might find useful, explained Dicus. “Pete Delosa, Golden Sierra High School, described how he challenged his students to build a simple bridge to create the maximum span with a single piece of 8.5 x 11 paper,” said Dicus. “Pete graciously agreed to set up a Google drive folder where all the teachers could upload simple student challenges they use to give other instructors ideas for lesson enhancements. During the session, other teachers chimed in with projects and student challenges they used to engage and instruct their students.”
At the end of the program there was a consensus that participants would like to visit each other’s shops and labs over the summer to gain fresh ideas on ways to engage the “rising generation.”