the Technology Interface/Spring 97

The Midwest Center for Advanced Technology Education

Melissa Dark
Purdue University

As professional technology educators in a world that is undergoing rapid technological changes , it is challenging, to say the least, to stay abreast of the changes in technology, to distill out those changes that may potentially impact our young students as the citizens and workforce of tomorrow and to find the resources to locate, convert and/or create corresponding instructional materials. The Midwest Center for Advanced Technology Education (MCATE), established by Purdue University in partnership with Cincinnati State and Technical Community College, St. Louis Community College, Parkland Community College, Vincennes University, Triton Community College and Macomb Community College via funding from the National Science Foundation, will exist to serve this need. The MCATE mission is to provide unparalleled faculty and curriculum development opportunities to technology educators thereby affecting the educational experiences and opportunities of students preparing for careers in manufacturing and distribution. Through regional workshops, printed publications, the world wide web and telecommunications, MCATE will promote, provide and support faculty and curriculum development by sharing new and innovative technologies and student-oriented instructional strategies and by strengthening educator's understanding and application of technology.

The operational staff responsible for getting the Center up and running includes Dennis Depew, head of the Department of Industrial Technology and director of the Center at Purdue University, Melissa Dark, Assistant Director of the Center and Cynthia Dalton, the Center secretary. In addition, the site coordinators at each partnering institutions are Larry Ruess at Cincinnati State and Technical Community College, Bill Mason at St. Louis Community College, Dean Eavey at Vincennes University, Bill Laursen at Parkland Community College, Al Check at Triton Community College and Al Manore at Macomb Community College.

Dennis Depew, head of the Department of Industrial Technology and director of the center, sees the new grant project as a beginning. "Our goal is to build this into a national resource that serves the needs of industry and technology-based organizations throughout the nation" said Depew. "It is imperative that we strengthen teachers' understanding and application of technology. If we can produce the most highly trained educators in technology education, that expertise will be passed on to produce the most highly trained graduates and industry professionals in the world."

In MCATE's inaugural year, eight professional development workshops are planned. A $500.00 scholarship will be available to 20 participants per workshop. The scholarship, made possible through the NSF funding, will help defray the expense of travel, overnight accommodations and meals. Each workshop is a total of 4 days. The first three days will consist of content presentation and practice. Attendees will be asked to integrate what they learn into the classroom. . The fourth day, date to be determined by the presenters and participants, will cover debriefing, discussion of integration and sharing or curricular materials developed as a result of the workshop. The slated 1997 workshops are as follows:

  1. An Introduction to Microsoft Visual Basic for Technology - April 22-24, 1997 at Purdue University
  2. Advanced Computer Assisted Design and Manufacturing - June 11-13, 1997 at St. Louis Community College
  3. Introduction to CAD/CAM Integration - June 18-20, 1997 at Cincinnati State and Technical Community College
  4. Applications of Tooling in Manufacturing - June 23-25, 1997 at Triton Community College
  5. Understanding and Using Automatic Data Capture Technology - July 15-17, 1997 at Parkland Community College
  6. Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers - July 21-23, 1997 at Vincennes University
  7. Presentation Softwares and Techniques for Teaching Manufacturing - July 28-30, 1997 at Macomb Community College
  8. The Art and Technology of Teaching Technology - August 5-7, 1997 at Purdue University

A workshop brochure and registration form is scheduled to be mailed in late January - early February to technology educators in the Midwest. We invite you to become involved in the early stages with the development of MCATE. Our goal is to create a center that serves the needs of technology educators and in order to do that we need to communicate with and listen to the needs of technology educators.

For more information or feedback, please contact Melissa Dark at MCATE, Purdue University, 378 Knoy Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (317) 494-4252, The future world wide web address will be Check us out!