On October 7, 2017 the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM), in partnership with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, held the third annual Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire (GHMMF) at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT. Over 800 attendees of all ages were able to interact with 35 Makers from the community and local middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Sponsors also had exhibits set up and were able to talk to attendees about manufacturing careers and the skills needed to work at their companies. With manufacturing being one of Connecticut's major industries, the GHMMF is a perfect way to show how an interest in robotics, electronics, 3D printing, and any other engineering and technology skills can lead to a career in manufacturing.
The Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing partnered with the CT Business and Industry (CBIA) Education & Workforce Partnership to survey Connecticut's manufacturers. The results of the survey give an overview of skills needed and types of positions that will be open to our future workforce. This survey allows programming in College of Technology partner institutions to meet these needs, ensuring that students are learning the skills needed to prepare for careers in advanced manufacturing.
Applications are now being accepted for the annual Engineering Technology Challenge Teachers’ Dissemination Program on July 10, 2017 through July 13, 2017 at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT. This is a great professional development opportunity for community college faculty and high school teachers to engage in problem based learning exercises while learning how to successfully integrate professional skills into curriculum. Professional and technical skills include teambuilding, understanding behavioral diversity, 3D printing, computer-aided drafting (CAD), and microcontrollers. The Connecticut College of Technology's Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing is a proud sponsor of this workshop!
The following story was featured in The CPEP Insider, a newsletter focusing on CPEP student engagement in the community.
Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire
On Saturday, October 8th, New Britain Ventures students along with teachers and staff joined fellow community makers at Tunxis Community College for the 2nd annual Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire!
The students demonstrated Rube Goldberg machines as well as the art of 3D printing. Visitors also got to try their hand at the Energy Transfer Machine, a kit CPEP is piloting in this year's Afterschool STEM Challenge program.
New non-profit organization will ensure that more Americans have access to the spaces, communities, and tools that enable them to make things, not just consume things.
MARYLAND (November 15, 2016) - The grassroots Maker Movement has, and continues to, impact entrepreneurship, education, economic and workforce development, manufacturing, community revitalization and technology inclusion in the U.S. To build upon existing efforts and to continue to grow the coalition of diverse organizations supporting the maker community, we are proud to announce the creation of an independent non-profit called Nation of Makers. The organization will serve and represent a wide variety of spaces, events, and institutions serving makers, including non-profit organizations, museums, libraries, science centers, educational institutions, foundations and for-profit companies.
Nation of Makers is working with leaders from the maker community in all 50 states and has received more than 300 letters of support from hackerspaces, makerspaces, companies, libraries, local government and economic development agencies across the U.S. who have already experienced the positive impact of the Maker Movement locally, and are committed to continuing to foster the growth and inclusivity of the maker community. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week USA, Nation of Makers celebrates the entrepreneurship represented by the American maker community.
"Giving more Americans the opportunity to make, invent and create is critical to our future," said Tom Kalil, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. "Making can inspire more young people to excel in STEM education, promote entrepreneurship in manufacturing, and empower more people to solve problems in their communities."
Makers are developing innovative solutions to important local and global problems, creating new products that are produced locally and building vibrant communities where small businesses can thrive. Some examples of the ways these efforts are taking shape include efforts in:
- Chicago, IL, where makers from the broader Chicago community are prototyping everything from energy storage devices and wearable electronics to food packaging and furniture at The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago.
- Anchorage, AK, where the MAKE Partnership is matching federal dollars to support trainings and workshops hosted by the Anchorage Makerspace that are geared towards manufacturing start-ups and maker entrepreneurs.
- Macon, GA, where SparkMacon is empowering entrepreneurs to launch businesses in the broader Macon-Bibb county.
- Brookings, SD, where Brookings Economic Development Corporation has opened Brookings Area Makerspace located at South Dakota State University, a shared workshop and creative space open to students, faculty and community members.
- Kingsport, TN, where the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce is supporting and celebrating the creation of a new makerspace at the Kingsport Public Library.
Founding Board Members of Nation of Makers include makers Harley DuBois, co-founder of Burning Man, Pamela Jennings, Professor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Winston-Salem State University, Adam Savage, head of Tested.com, and Stephanie Santoso, former White House Senior Advisor for Making.
Nation of Makers will support the full range of organizations that impact makers by encouraging connections, broadly sharing resources, facilitating funding opportunities, engaging in policy development, and advocating for the Maker Movement. The organization will help maker organizations amplify the passion, innovation, creativity, and diversity of the maker community, and maximize both its local and global impact.
For more examples of the amazing ways makers are making a difference in their local communities, please visit the Nation of Makers website at www.nationofmakers.us
On October 27, 2016, five students that their academic began their academic journeys in Connecticut community colleges received the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program Recognition Award. Out of 115,000 students in ATE Programs, 67 were recognized during the ceremony which took place in Washington, D.C. during the ATE Principal Investigator’s Conference. These students have successfully transferred from Connecticut community colleges to 4-year universities through the College of Technology’s Engineering Science pathway program. The College of Technology is a model pathway program, which also has Technology Studies pathway, received NSF funding to create the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM), an NSF Center of Excellence.
As if completing a degree in engineering isn’t hard enough, these students also participated in the Mechanical and Manufacturing Technologies for Energy and Sustainability Program (MET2), an NSF ATE project grant and RCNGM partner. While in the MET2 Program students work on self-led, interdisciplinary teams of community college and university students to research and create prototypes for industry projects. Students learn professional skills as well as technical skills during the program and present their final prototypes for College of Technology faculty and administration in addition to submitting a final report.
Students received their awards from the NSF ATE Co-Lead Program Directors, Celeste Carter and Dave Campbell and were joined by RCNGM and MET2 leadership and faculty. In addition to receiving certificates, awardees were invited to participate in student-only networking sessions, tour the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the opportunity to exhibit their projects during Student Showcases in the exhibit hall.
Second Annual Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire
The Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing has been participating in and supporting Maker initiatives since 2012. It started with sponsoring and exhibiting at the Champlain Mini Maker Faire in Shelburne, VT. The experience of seeing a community come together to learn more about each other's STEM projects was very positive and has led to additional Maker initiatives for the RCNGM. In 2015, the RCNGM held the first Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire (GHMMF) in partnership with the CT Business & Industry Association (CBIA) at Tunxis Community College for over 1500 attendees as well as sponsored the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire - East Bay Edition.
The RCNGM team received such positive feedback from the first GHMMF that a second one had to be held! On October 8, 2016, the RCNGM again in partnership CBIA held the second GHMMF at Tunxis Community College for 1400 attendees. Half of the Makers (exhibitors) had returned from the 2015 Faire for a total of over 200 Makers at 55 Maker booths. Makers spanned all ages including students from high schools and CT colleges. View pictures from the GHMMF here!
The RCNGM has found that Mini Maker Faires are a great way to teach the community about how STEM projects are part of engineering and technology programs, including manufacturing, at local colleges. Students from Tunxis Community College, Asnuntuck Community College, Gateway Community College, Central CT State University as well the Mechanical & Manufacturing Technologies for Energy & Sustainability Program were able to demonstrate projects that they researched and prototyped. Industry representatives from GHMMF sponsors: Stanley Black & Decker, Legrand, Stanadyne, CSS and Renewal by Andersen were also there to talk to attendees not only about their products, but also abut what it takes to have a career in manufacturing.
Nation of Makers
RCNGM PI and Executive Director, Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch, was also invited by the White House to connect Makers in Connecticut through the Nation of Makers initiative. Today, the Nation of Makers is proud to announce that is officially a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Makers. The RCNGM team looks forward to continuing its work with the Nation of Makers and the extended Maker community as a platform for educating communities on technologies and how when they are combined with creativity and critical thinking can benefit others in the community as well s on national and global levels.
Stay tuned for more exciting news on Maker initiatives from the RCNGM!
RCNGM featured in an article in Community College Daily, the website of the American Association of Community Colleges, on recruiting for manufacturing through maker faires.
Today kicks off the National Week of Making, a celebration of the Maker Movement and all maker initiatives around the United States. Events include an invitation-only gathering of 50 maker leaders - one from each state- at the White House which our PI and Executive Director, Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch is attending. Participants will discuss maker initiatives in their own states and how to ensure the continued expansion of the Maker Movement. Another exciting event will be the National Maker Faire taking place over the weekend.
Here at the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing we have embraced the Maker Movement as a forum for teaching the community that if you have an interest in making at home, there are educational pathways that can turn those interests into a career in an engineering or technology field, such as manufacturing. We were able to demonstrate this last October during our first Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire at Tunxis Community College. Over 1500 attendees were able to interact with over 45 makers of all ages and backgrounds. We also sponsor and participate in other Maker Faires in New England such as the Champlain Mini Maker Faire and the Rhode Island Maker Faire - East Bay Edition.
For more information on these events:
A look back at the 2016 NAWI annual conference held at the United States Coast Guard Academy in Mystic, CT.