NSF-ATE RAMP (Robotics and Automated Manufacturing)

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National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education (ATE)

NSF ATE Project RAMP (Robotics and Automated Manufacturing Program) 2015-2018

The Project’s stated goal is to: Increase awareness of opportunities in STEM disciplines for women and underrepresented minorities through the development of programs and activities involving robotics and automated manufacturing.  To achieve the overarching goal of the project, the project team has identified a 3-step sustainable plan which focuses on awareness, preparation,  and career-readiness.  Awareness activities will be designed and utilized to ensure that K-12 students and parents are introduced to robotics, automated manufacturing, and the associated career possibilities.

The following objectives capture the project’s intent to stimulate interest, increase awareness of opportunities, and prepare students in grades K-14 for careers in the STEM disciplines:

1) Introduce opportunities for underrepresented groups to have access to programs involving robotics and automated manufacturing.

2) Provide dual credit courses in robotics and automated manufacturing for students in grades 9-12.

3) Expand the course offerings in the computer engineering curriculum at OCtech to include robotics and automated manufacturing and share developed resources with other colleges.

NSF ATE Project Diverse Engineering Pathways 2012-2015

The project involves a formal partnership to improve and positively impact the education of engineering technicians across the OCtech service area. Partnership consists of a formal alliance of 10 school districts, industry, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Claflin University and South Carolina State University. The Diverse Engineering Pathways project also includes the South Carolina Department of Education (SDE) and the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education (SBTCE). The partnership’s stated goal is to increase both the number and diversity of students who enter and complete associate degrees in existing and emerging STEM cluster disciplines. It will accomplish the following objectives: 

  1. Increase both the number and diversity of students entering associate degree programs in the computer engineering, instrumentation and other engineering technology disciplines through the implementation and articulation of high school STEM cluster majors (programs of study).
  2. Improve success rates and professional advancement opportunities for transitioning students from both high schools and industry through a formal articulated K-16 STEM career pathway and Bridge Program designed to provide transition courses in science, mathematics and engineering technology.
  3. Improve postsecondary delivery of science, mathematics and technology workplace skills, focusing on Mechatronics, Advanced Manufacturing and Computer Technology.
  4. Improve employer satisfaction with graduates in core competencies and workplace skills. 

The project will promote access to STEM careers and provide courses for under-prepared students, especially women and under-represented minorities. Strategies will include high school STEM career majors and STEM college academies that build on national models, such as Project Lead the Way®; middle school STEM exploration activities and summer camps; high school Individual Graduation Plans; program revision that will include secondary and postsecondary faculty and student cooperative projects, and mentoring using a technology platform for remote equipment and process diagnostics and collaboration; faculty development; and broad industry involvement in curriculum development, internships and co-op opportunities, scholarships and foundation support. This program will have broad impact and directly affect over 1,200 secondary and postsecondary students and over 45 postsecondary and secondary faculty.

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