A Look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges
The Central Carolina Community College Engineering Department celebrated Earth Day and international March for Science Day in a big way. Constance Boahn, CCCC Engineering and Information Technologies Department chair, organized an all-girls STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) workshop at CCCC’s Harnett Main Campus. The workshop series was called “Tech Like a Girl,” which introduces young females to careers in science and engineering. This was the first workshop of that series. According to Boahn, research suggests that there is a shortage of qualified workers in these fields and a large pool of talented females available that are not being attracted to fill these rewarding career opportunities. The “Tech like a Girl” theme originates out of LASER-TEC, a National Science Foundation grant in which CCCC participates. Nine girls from Cumberland, Harnett, Lee, and Wake counties participated in the first “Tech Like a Girl” workshop. The topic of the workshop was “Spectroscopy Using Photonics,” which is the science of using a spectrum of colors, like the rainbow, to study matter. Yvette Mattley, principal applications scientist at Ocean Optics in Dunedin, Fla., conducted the workshop. Ocean Optics builds spectrometers used in various applications around the globe. She recently developed an educational kit at Ocean Optics, which was used in the workshop, to help teach students how spectroscopy is used to study matter. Spectroscopy application examples include aerial crop analysis, blood disease detection, early detection of cancer cells, homeland security detection of poisonous gases, and many more. Mattley first shared her story of becoming a female scientist and how much she enjoyed her career. Then, she lectured about spectroscopy and led the students through some fun, handson labs including identifying the make-up of light sources from emission spectra and identifying an unknown plant extract by comparing it to the absorption spectra of two known plant extracts. Many of the parents stayed throughout the workshop and also learned from Mattley’s lecture and labs using the spectroscopy educational kits. The CCCC Laser Club SPIE/OSA student chapter members helped Mattley with the workshop. According to the student chapter president, Nickolas Jorgenson, “The chapter members also learned a lot about spectroscopy and career opportunities from Mattley.” Also helping with the workshop were Theresa Gietzen, a previous CCCC laser and photonics technology graduate, now working in engineering at Phononic Devices in Research Triangle Park; Evelyn Overton, a current CCCC computer information technology student; Henrietta Jutson, a technology teacher at Jack Britt High School, an engineering academy in Fayetteville, who also serves on the CCCC Laser program advisory committee; and Isabelle Karis, a current senior at Jack Britt High School, who plans on attending the CCCC Laser program upon high school graduation. The workshop, including the kits, was funded through the LASER-TEC grant. LASER-TEC is the Southeast Regional Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education, established by the National Science Foundation in 2013. The center is hosted by Indian River State College at the Fort Pierce Campus, and is comprised of community and state colleges, universities, high schools and technical centers, trade associations, and laser and fiber optic companies. The mission of LASER-TEC is to develop a sustainable pipeline of qualified laser and fiber optics technicians to meet the industry demand across the southeast region.
Scott Community College (Iowa) finalized the burial of their 50th anniversary time capsule on the Belmont Campus. The college celebrated its 50th Anniversary throughout the year in 2016 with events and activities, including the collection of items representing the college through the decades that were placed in a time capsule designed and fabricated by faculty and students from the college's Blong Technology Center. The time capsule was made from aluminum donated by ALCOA/ARCONIC, the CNC faculty and students designed and created the 3D emblem that is attached to the exterior of the time capsule, and the SCC library staff worked with the 50th time capsule task force to ensure burial of the items would withstand the elements for another 25 years. A proclamation was read earlier this month, at the May 2 Bettendorf City Council Meeting, by Mayor Robert Gallagher in honor of this occasion. The signed proclamation from the mayor and a video recording of the reading were interred in the capsule. The time capsule will be unearthed in 2041 when the college celebrates their 75th Anniversary.