FAA and UAF Spark Interest in Drones at Camp

Matthew Westhoff, a pilot with UAF’s ACUASI, teaches students about drones at a camp in June. Photo by Patty Eagan.

Twenty-one middle school students built, learned how to operate and took home their own small unmanned aircraft at a camp taught by pilots and engineers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute the week of June 11-15.

The camp, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, uses unmanned aircraft to encourage kids to pursue science, technology, engineering and math-related education and careers.

Pilots and engineers from UAF’s Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration instructed the students through a combination of engineering, flying and interacting with simulators. The students spent the week building their own unmanned aircraft, piece by piece, and flying them. They listened to presentations from industry guest speakers and learned about topics like no-fly zones and the importance of registration.

The goal was for kids to leave with technical skills and a well-rounded knowledge of not only the UAS industry but also FAA safety rules and other requirements.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska Native News

Advance CTE: New CTE 101 Video

Advance CTE’s newest video provides an overview of how Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares learners for their futures while closing the skills gap for employers across the country. Use this video with critical stakeholders to continue to combat false perceptions of what CTE is and who it is for. This video is designed to help you make the case for CTE in your community and demonstrate the benefits of today’s CTE! We hope that you will watch and share!

AdvanceCTE101Let people know that CTE works and share this video with others:

  • Use the CTE video as an icebreaker during your presentations. It’s a great way to introduce the subject, focus your audience’s attention, and kick off discussions.
  • Share it with your network! View sample social media posts here.
  • Find out more about the data presented in the video here.

Source: Advance ACTE

OPINION: Three Reasons CTE Doesn’t Preclude College

Higher education advocates favoring career and technical education, community college and apprenticeships say CTE is path to jobs that employ the workforce and boost the economy but do not rule out traditional college degrees

Read the full article here.

Source: OPINION: 3 reasons CTE doesn’t preclude college

University provides Alaskans with affordable workforce training and certification

A welder works on the new coal-fired 17-megawatt power plant being built by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Welding programs, as well as several other vocational and technical education programs, will see reduced tuition this fall at all three major University of Alaska campuses. (JR Ancheta / University of Alaska Fairbanks)

As the primary provider of the state’s skilled workforce, the University of Alaska is identifying more affordable ways to educate Alaskans. Alaskans often think of our state as a place where we can secure a good-paying job without higher education credentials or certifications, but that’s less and less often the case. By 2025, 65 percent of jobs in Alaska will require some post-secondary credential. Alaska’s economy is changing and so is its university.

We’re starting with the career and technical education opportunities available through the university for those looking for a job as a welder, a nurse aide, a corrections officer, to refine bookkeeping or basic carpentry skills or to fill other critical positions in Alaska communities. The University of Alaska’s occupational endorsement programs are specifically designed to provide these skill-building courses.

To make these training opportunities more accessible and affordable, beginning in fall 2018, the university will reduce tuition by 25 percent in selected occupational endorsement programs and career and technical education  courses. The tuition reduction will apply to more than 300 courses in 50 programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast, including community campuses. Open registration for fall 2018 began April 16 and continues throughout the summer. The reduced tuition is part of the university’s plan to meet Alaska’s workforce needs by growing enrollment and increasing degree completion.

Read the full article here. Learn more about the tuition reduction here.

Source: University provides Alaskans with affordable workforce training and certification – Anchorage Daily News

Pilot program sparks passion

Joshua Diaz was thrown out of a window and excited about it.

The Kenai Central High School senior is the smallest of 10 district students participating in Nikiski Fire Station No. 2’s basic firefighter academy, which means he’s the one going out the window.

“We were practicing ladders and I’m tiny so I got thrown out the window from the fire,” Diaz explained. “We had learned knots before that, lots of them, and a lot of different smoke drills and rope rapelling. It’s all so exciting and fun and interesting”

The week-long academy held the week of March 12-16, is a first for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, who was able to send the ten students to Nikiski to earn their state certifications through grants, according to Stephen Robertson, an adjunct professor with Kenai Peninsula College and engineer firefighter in Nikiski.

“This is the pilot program for the district,” Roberston said. “It’s your first step into firefighting, to get someone certified and be able to have that base knowledge of it.”

The station has offered similar programs in the past, through EXCEL Alaska for Western Alaska students, but this is the first time Kenai Peninsula students had the opportunity to earn their certifications in the local station.

“The cool part for us is that we can get them hooked now,” Robertson said. “If they get hooked on it young, then they have a long, healthy career ahead of them and it starts to replace the older guys.”

The academy met five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the student’s spring break and, while most students usually tend to avoid tests over the holidays, the week culminates in a written exam.

Read the full article here.

Source: Pilot program sparks passion – Homer News