Students developed their digital green thumbs by programming microcontrollers to keep plants alive, discovered how to harness air and waterpower in virtual reality and real-life, and solved process problems using continuous improvement techniques. They also heard from engineers at Toyota and Lexmark about Engineering Technology career opportunities.
"Today, companies need engineers with hands-on skills, engineering prowess, and creative problem-solving abilities," said Dr. Koffi Akakpo, BCTC President. "We're excited to offer students a pathway to enter that talent pipeline while they are still in high school."
In addition to the introduction to engineering opportunities, program participants learned about the Engineering Technology degree program at BCTC and the dual credit enrollment pathway available to high school students. Dual credit classes meet high school graduation requirements and offer college credit at the same time, accelerating students' entrance into the workforce.
Beginning fall 2022, high school students will have the opportunity to enroll in courses such as Basic Electricity, Lean Manufacturing Concepts, or Electro-hydraulics/Pneumatics to get started in the Integrated Engineering Technology program. There is also a Computer Engineering Technology option where high school students begin with Introduction to Computers and move to courses such as Computational Thinking and Computer Hardware and Software.
In addition to the time and money saved through the dual credit program, a partnership with the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering provides BCTC Engineering Technology graduates a pathway to seamlessly transfer to UK and earn their bachelor's degrees in either Lean System Engineering Technology or Computer Engineering Technology. Another partner in this pathway is Toyota. Their commitment to future engineers includes scholarship opportunities.
"This unique partnership between BCTC and UK College of Engineering provides students with pathways to exciting and good-paying careers in Engineering Technology," said Dr. Nelson Akafuah, Chair of the Department of Engineering Technology at UK. "High school students now have an extraordinary opportunity to start those pathways early and fast-track themselves to career success."