Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Engineering Challenge for the 21st Century (EC21) Workforce Program

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE  April 2015

 

Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Engineering Challenge for the 21st Century (EC21) Workforce Program

 
 
Beginning on Saturday March 7, twenty-two 9th Grade students from the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology traveled to Tunxis Community College to participate in the four-week Engineering Challenge for the 21st Century Program. This intensive four Saturday Program, always held on a college campus, runs from 9:00am until 3:00pm and teaches students basic engineering principles, mechanical processes and enhances math skills through Problem Based Learning. The program also aims to significantly strengthens interpersonal and teamwork skills as well as personal accountability. To better improve their interpersonal skills, students are instructed in the use of the DISC Behavioral Model, which is now widely used in business and education to foster a better understanding of different types of people and to communicate with others more effectively.
 
The EC21 Program is funded through a program grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) and Connecticut’s College of Technology-Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM). Designed to get students excited about STEM disciplines and pursuing careers in new high-tech manufacturing processes, the main goals of the EC21 Program are to have students work in a team based environment on engineering and technically related hands- on projects, to realize that they have the talent and ability to succeed, to better prepare them for college and ultimately, as contributors to the CT workforce.
 
The EC21 Program was developed by John Birch of the Birch Group, LLC, a consulting company specializing in leadership development in both the industrial and educational arenas, and a team of exceptional professional educators and consultants who have been working together with underrepresented and underserved inner-city students since the year 2000. Approximately four programs, consisting of four consecutive Saturdays, are held each academic year at city, comprehensive, and technical high schools throughout Connecticut. Over 1,400 students are alumni of the EC21 Program. Students are provided a small modest stipend for attending the Program based on 100% attendance, participation, and 100% completed homework, which each team has to submit by Thursday each week.  Mr. Birch is also a devoted member of the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology’s Advisory Board.
 
“Our team strives for excellence, just as we expect excellence from the students. They never let us or themselves down. We help the students realize their untapped potential and how to use that potential productively to help them achieve their dreams.” — John Birch

 

 

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