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The New School, Lower Manhattan ​our skylines industry and homes are living testimony to the extraordinary achievements of the engineering profession but our reputation as a nation of creators is at risk enrollment in engineering schools is down and studies show the United States faces a shortfall of up to six hundred fifty thousand engineers by the year 2000 shortfall that is jeopardizing future technology you realize that the US has lost some of its competitiveness in high-tech industries in recent years and quite frankly it is not lost it because of any decrease in the inventiveness innovativeness of American scientists engineers industry it's lost a lot of it because of the fact that it wasn't doing the right kind of technology and manufacturing for example one study has shown first year engineering students change career goals or drop out due to poor grades lack of interest or inadequate high school preparation college administrators say the numbers signal a time for change somebody has to take the first step somebody has to say we are going to commit our institution to preparing our students better in science attempt if you make that commitment and then form alliances or associations with the other colleges I believe we can see the end of the demarcation in this educational spectrum from high school to college in the upstate New York community of Clifton Park the administration and faculty of shenendehowa high school saw the national crisis as a challenge Shenendehowa steck nology department began developing a plan of action we thought we had a major goal for the department and that was to provide an enriched technology program for students pursuing college programs into n technical fields and we invite people from higher education industry and business to help us clarify that goal and to work some strategies out that would allow us to implement we're trying to provide a world-class educational experience for students the four-year pre-engineering education curriculum approved by the school board is designed to provide technology preparation for students in pursuit of careers in the vast array of engineering and technical fields I think we found ourselves evaluating the degree to which this program updated the traditional technology industrial arts businessrelated curriculum that certainly many people were crying for an update for particularly in a large district like this where the overwhelming majority of the students are college found today Shenendehowa spree engineering program exposes students to hands-on engineering fundamentals utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and backed by a faculty and community based Advisory Council that make it work our program allows students to experience pre engineering education as early as the ninth grade technical drawing architectural drawing students learn the rudiments using the basic tools pencil and paper and then move to the computer we're supposed to be making a model of our house later scale models are constructed from the drawing it's important for these students to begin at this age because drawing as a language of Industry and before they can really take other courses and technology they need to understand that language a car the travels on a particle beam take shape on paper and is later made into a scale clay model he's gonna be here a lot longer than we are and it's his imagination that's going to develop the future non ours digital electronics turns math into motion for 10th grade students this complicated maze of wires is a student project in mathematical logic the same logic that turns on a toaster or a rocket engine when I came in and he started talking about logic circuits and stuff and I'm just the whole class just SAT there just I have no idea what you're talking about you know we start them simple they kind of get overwhelmed that the hands-on experiences aren't Art there once they prove and understand how those logic functions work we get to the point where even circus like this and nothing but but larger numbers of simple things each course is a building block combined they create a technology foundation of pre engineering skills under the wide-ranging principles of engineering course students actually construct miniature manufacturing plants utilizing a unique system of plastic blocks wheels gears computers and robots Ford Motor Company chevrolet they are manufacturing their engine blocks using this same technology automated manufacturing the perception that they are playing with toys quickly vanishes and learning takes over we found it to be a very valuable experience because they can simulate real-world problems with this level equipment without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the railroad equipment high-tech kits replicating pneumatics and hydraulics used on industrial production lines construction equipment airliners and spacecraft are used to teach both theory and practical applications this is used to control the air pilot and control valve is operated by man it's half teaching ourselves and half of the teacher teaching so it's not all notes take down notes and memorize you got to teach yourself with principles and how things work and I think it helps a lot doing it that way you learn it better the team concept utilized in today's industrial environment is emphasized that students are encouraged to lend their individual strengths to the problem solving process principles of engineering also includes both theory and practical application of electric

motors using miniatures of industrial sized equipment students design their own drive systems and timing devices students in the computer aided design and computer application course develop their design skills creating anything from houses and boats to futuristic heat retaining beverage containers and intricate machine parts this is a timing gear typical of what might be found in an automobile engine students are being exposed to this level of design work about midway through this computer aided drafting course this level of technology these students are attaining I wasn't available to even college students 20 years ago this computer aided design is for a heat sink which must be manufactured to an exact tolerance before a student project can be produced samples of metals are stressed tested for strength using industrial lathes students machine materials to exact tolerances to test strength and durability in the pro final course automation and robotics students bring together the power of the computer and their new knowledge of material strength and robotics to solve a problem and produce a product in this laboratory student teams plan and implement a completely automated manufacturing system model a microcomputer configured for computer-aided manufacturing controls the machining of the part designed in the program's computer-aided drawing class tolerances are checked and then a robot takes over while developing the shenendehowa pre-engineering program it became apparent our funding base would require outside support to succeed and expand we look to rensselaer polytechnic institute in troy which had just received a state grant to establish a program in robotics after careful consideration the RPI center for advanced technology provided nearly seventy thousand dollars in seed money to help establish our program and purchase classroom equipment well a return for rpi is future students frankly the fact is that this I think is going to stimulate more kids to be interested in studying science or engineering than would otherwise be the case and Rensselaer gets about eighty about eighty percent of our students major in either science or engineering so we're very heavily dependent upon an influx of students who are interested in those subjects next we sought support from the area business and industrial community and found it anxious to contribute not only equipment for our laboratories but hours of invaluable mentoring in classroom instruction the dollar is a big problem without industry and businesses in the local area to help us this program could not have gotten off the ground that concept of joining business industry and education together the only way that we can accomplish a master goal is with them today representatives of the area business and industrial community routinely visit our classrooms offering instruction and insight only practical experience can offer we think it's important that we have in the future a group a pool of technically educated engineering people to draw from not only to do what we traditionally had thought of as engineering or in my case metallurgy but technical people to be involved in in sales very importantly technical people to be involved in manufacturing I think it's really interesting when people come in from outside because when you're working in the classroom you just kind of get into the routine that everything is textbooks and just these machines and when they come in from other places you kind of get a view of where you're going to use this and how it's going to come into play when you get a real job to facilitate the partnership a pre-engineering Advisory Council represented by college educators business and industry was created working with the school staff the Advisory Council developed a strategic plan program goals and strategy for implementing a program of technical preparation I find that it's very important as a representative from a university that we be actively involved with the breeding grounds if you will where our future students come from the Advisory Council has empowered the community to affect the future path of Education and the quality of the students they may someday higher it's a vehicle for bringing to the local school boards and a local secondary and elementary school administrations the needs of industry the need for producing a student body that has stronger math and science backgrounds a student body that's equipped to to enter into the more competitive world of technology the Shenendehowa program is counted as a plus in attracting new industry to the region I talked to a prospective industry that comes into the Aryan is looking to make a location I talked to them about the programs that we have in place that are going to guarantee a quality labor force this program is orienting and developing potential quality technology literate workforce for those prospective industries the walls of a classroom can create a border that establishes the limits of a student's education the partnership we have forged has removed barriers and open doors to field expeditions where students are exposed to the real world experiences of professionals one of the things that you start to develop in school is how to lay out a building but what you don't realize in school is the fact that owners regardless of what you know is right and you know is wrong they want what they want and sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do to change their mind except give them what they're looking for to ensure the continued pool of technically skilled students it is essential to look beyond today's high school seniors our pre engineering students routinely take their knowledge to grade school classrooms were wide eyes wonder at the technology right now I'm just sprinkling iron filings on here to show you with magnetic field books one echo is all the way around the magnet encourages hall like that before an entire class or in small groups the hands-on approach is utilized to teach as well as create interest in the pre-engineering program okay now try it on in the end it is here we sow the seeds of

engineering excitement in the fertile minds of a new generation it's gonna charge it I hope the students will be more interested in science and in math science and technology when they get into the high school and will pursue careers related to math and science and technology because they have are getting an opportunity to see hands on some of the exciting things that you can do in this field in one period this experiment has generated an interest that can last a lifetime all right let's switch there you go watch your hand yep I hope I excited him and I all paid you know change their mind alone made of becca lo each summer shenendehowa as unique technology enrichment program turns a lazy day into a world of exploration and achievement for fourth through eighth graders offered through Hudson Valley Community College the two-week engineering summer camps utilize the same equipment as the pre-engineering classrooms but it's designed to be fun while stimulating an interest in engineering for my son this is better than playing Nintendo this is better than going to the park this is something that he really wants to do he comes out of here every day and I say honey how was your day and I hear great and I wait all year to hear something like that from him not all these children will build manufacturing plants our office towers but this generation will grow with new goals new appreciation and new knowledge enrollment in the Shenendehowa program has increased each year as students recognize its value of course it also offered in college and their basic requirements and some some programs technical programs if you want to go in that program you're already a jump ahead of the other kids who haven't had these voices you know exactly what you're doing Hudson Valley Community College one of the sponsors of the shenendehowa program has monitored its progress and now offers our graduates up to 9 hours of articulated college credit we felt with the credentials that the faculty have with the facilities that they have available to them and the capable students that they're going to be working with we believe that that's appropriate to grant college credit for those courses feedback from program graduates supports the pre-engineering concept I think it's a very good program it gives you an idea of a little every little type of engineering it gives you a little bit of everything so it exposes you in it that's really what you need to become interested in an otherwise I don't know how to become interested in it sometimes and the Faculty of the technical department has found itself recharged I was teaching subjects that were part of a dying industry prior to taking the sabbatical and as a result of improving my skills I'm much more enthusiastic than what's before higher education business and industry has now a vested interest in continuing and expanding our program this partnership is now empowered to make real changes in education we had something more powerful here than we ever dreamed about and I think if if other schools could learn how powerful this process really is and what it could do for their school I don't think they would hesitate I think they'd do it right away educators from as far away as Japan have discovered the shenendehowa program as they strive to maintain a competitive edge in the world marketplace and prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow the success of this program could have a positive effect on our continued national prosperity we've got to find a way of raising the level of expectation for public education we can't do it alone we need to involve people from business industry and higher education with us if we don't successfully find a way to do that we're not gonna make it you New York University.