Four Newly Funded Projects

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The logo for the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) annually funds approximately 12,000 new awards, with an average funding duration of three years. Each year some of those new awards are supported by the ATE Program, which focuses on improving and expanding educational programs for skilled workers in high-tech STEM fields. ATE grantees concentrate on a range of fields, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture and environment, bio and chemical, information and security, and micro and nanotechnologies and are based primarily at two-year institutions across the nation. This year we celebrate our new grantees by highlighting four newly funded projects from the 2023 funding cycle. 

Integrating Data Science and Hands-on Experience into the Community College Biotechnology Classroom with Applications to Antibody Engineering

This project aims to integrate antibody engineering into Kapi'olani Community College's biotechnology curriculum, focusing on practical skills for students to enter the biotechnology workforce. With a particular emphasis on data science and artificial intelligence, the project seeks to enhance the undergraduate experience and showcase the importance of these disciplines in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. By introducing antibody design, production, and characterization using the Design-Build-Test approach, the project will expand the capabilities of the Monoclonal Antibody Service Facility and Training Center (MASFTC). The project's goals include creating educational modules for hands-on learning, developing data science components with a web-based interface, and establishing a database to document student and faculty activities within the KCC-Antibody Center of Excellence (KCC-ACE), ultimately contributing to workforce development, economic diversification, and increased diversity in STEM fields in Hawaii and beyond.

Cyber Data Analytics Education, Curriculum, and Workforce Development
This project seeks to address the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals by developing a Cyber Data Analytics technician workforce program. This program will provide a blended education in cybersecurity and data science, focusing on the risks and vulnerabilities faced by small businesses. It will target associate degree students across various disciplines, offering relevant courses to fields like business, healthcare, accounting, electronics, and criminal justice. A unique aspect of the project involves creating culturally responsive curriculum content, incorporating Hawaiian traditions. The project's goals include developing evidence-based modules for teaching Cyber Data Analytics, studying the program's impact on teachers and students, creating new courses and an online Certificate, training faculty, and involving underrepresented groups and high school educators in entrepreneurship project-based learning opportunities.

Drones to Avionics Pathway (DAP) Project

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida ranks second in Avionics industry employment among the states and is experiencing significant growth in the field. The FAA reports highlight Broward College's service area as having high growth in Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This initiative aims to enhance access to Avionics careers, particularly for underrepresented groups. It involves introducing students to avionics through informal encounters and creating a specialized track in the Avionics AS degree program focusing on drone maintenance. By offering stackable credentials, AS degrees, and BS degrees, the project seeks to improve avionics education pedagogy and student outcomes through experiential learning methods, fostering increased enrollment, retention, and credential attainment. The project's activities include after-school programs, curriculum development, partnerships, outreach to underserved populations, and thorough evaluation and dissemination of results.

Light Detection and Ranging Technology Instruction for Future Technician Education and Development

LiDAR technology, crucial for advanced remote sensing, creates precise 3D virtual images and has gained prominence in the automotive industry for safety features and autonomous vehicles. Its applications extend to mapping, infrastructure inspection, and architecture, increasing demand for skilled LiDAR technicians. This project aims to meet this demand by establishing a certificate program accessible to students from various fields. The program will encompass LiDAR's applications in 3D scanning, building inspection, site analysis, and more. The project's objectives include developing LiDAR courses, creating an architecture-focused certificate program, and promoting diversity and inclusion in student recruitment and retention. This project sets a model for other institutions addressing the shortage of competent LiDAR technicians.

To learn more about other newly funded centers and projects, check out the fact sheet information on the ATE Central site to explore the full range of projects and centers currently funded.

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