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Impact of Student Tours of Manufacturing Facilities

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.688.1 - 23.688.10



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Paper Authors


Marilyn Barger National Science Foundation ATE Centers

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Dr. Marilyn Barger is the principal investigator and executive director of FLATE, the Florida Regional Center of Excellence for Advanced Technological Education. FLATE is funded by the National Science Foundation and has been housed at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida since 2004. FLATE serves the state of Florida and is involved in outreach and recruitment of students into technical career pathway; has produced award-winning curriculum design and reform for secondary and post-secondary career and technical education programs; and provides a variety of professional development for STEM and technical educators focused on advanced technologies. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry at Agnes Scott College. She earned both a B.S. in Engineering Science and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) from the University of South Florida, where her research focused on membrane separation science and technologies for water purification. She has over 20 years of experience in developing curricula for engineering and engineering technology for elementary, middle, high school, and post-secondary institutions, including colleges of engineering. Dr. Barger serves on several national panels and advisory boards for technical programs, curriculum and workforce initiatives, including the National Association of Manufacturers Educators' Council. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, a member of Tau Beta Pi and Epsilon Pi Tau honor societies. She is a charter member of both the National Academy and the University of South Florida‘s Academy of Inventors. Dr. Barger holds a licensed patent and is a licensed professional engineer in Florida.

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Richard Gilbert University of South Florida

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Richard Gilbert is a professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida's College of Engineering and a co-principle investigator for FLATE. The Florida Advanced Technological Education (FLATE) Center is a National Science Foundation Regional Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) Center of Excellence with a statewide mission to help colleges within the Florida State College system maximize the skills and STEM impact of their A.S. degree programs that address the production of a technical workforce to meet the needs of Florida's high tech sector. Dr. Gilbert's applied engineering research interests are focused on electric field mediated drug and gene delivery. He has publications in this area and holds over a dozen patents tied to licensed technology related to applicators and delivery protocols.

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Marie A. Boyette FLATE

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Marie Boyette is the associate director of FLATE at Hillsborough Community College. Dr. Boyette earned her B.A. in Communication, M.A. in Adult Education. Her Ph.D.s in Curriculum and Instruction/Measurement and Research, and Adult Education are from the University of South Florida. Her research interests are in
STEM curriculum development and student outcomes as well as in experiential learning for career and technical education and training. Developed and deployed concepts include creating an annual “summer camp style” workshop for teachers covering the topics of alternative energy, integrating the technology and engineering side of STEM into mainstream curriculum, and engaging girls in STEM curriculum.

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Since  2005,  the  Florida  Advanced  Technological  Education  Center  of  Excellence  (FLATE)  has  conducted  over  160  tours  to  more  than  50  different  Florida  manufacturing  sites,  introducing  around  3,500  middle  and  high  school  students  and  300  educators  to  the  world  of  modern  manufacturing.  We  have  surveyed  most  of  the  students  after  the  tours  to  find  out  what  the  students  saw  from  their  own  points  of  views.  We  have  also  surveyed  the  industry  hosts.      One  of  our  goals  has  been  to  provide  students  with  contact  with  real  STEM  workplaces,  especially  those  in  manufacturing.    Modern  manufacturing  is  a  misunderstood  industry  sector  that  currently  has  a  large  number  of  unfilled  technical  and  high  paying  positions  that  companies  are  finding  difficult  to  fill  across  the  country.  The  jobs  are  extremely  varied,  exciting,  and  challenging.  Most,  and  increasing  numbers  of  these  jobs  are  in  highly  automated,  high  tech,  and  very  clean  facilities.  The  high  tech  jobs  are  high  paying  and  now  require  some  level  of  post  secondary  education  from  community  college  technical  associate  degrees  to  post  baccalaureate  degrees  in  all  STEM  disciplines.    They  offer  wonderful  careers  and  great  lifestyles.    This  presentation  will  share  our  basic  outline  of  how  to  organize  an  effective  student  tour  and  our  feedback  from  these  many  students,  industry  hosts  and  educators  as  well  as  aggregated  summary  results  of  seven  years  of  tours  of  manufacturing  facilities.    We  will  also  share  resources  that  have  been  created  to  try  to  help  dispel  some  of  the  misconceptions  about  modern  manufacturing.  The  feedback  illustrates  the  importance  of  exposure  to  real  world  work  environments  and  real  people  doing  real  jobs  for  the  rising  workforce.    

Barger, M., & Gilbert, R., & Boyette, M. A. (2013, June), Impact of Student Tours of Manufacturing Facilities Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19702

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