Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling  |   Document Shredding
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating 15 Years Online
HOME

Troubleshooting preps students for STEM Careers




ROCKLIN - It isn't often that a college student reaches down to a high school for help. When Sierra College student Ray Billings needed to make a prototype for a class project, Rocklin High School had the necessary lab, equipment, willing teacher and engaged student. It was a great opportunity for 17-year-old Jeff Clark to apply his design, programming and machining skills according to Dan Frank, Rocklin High School Engineering Support Technology teacher. Clark turned Billings' robot motor mount design into a prototype using automated manufacturing equipment.

 "Our lab was upgraded with a grant provided through the Sierra STEM Community Collaborative," said Frank. "Connecting these students was an extension of that partnership. Converting a design into a part using industrial quality equipment is the kind of experience that encourages students to consider technical careers. These students developed technical skills through troubleshooting and teamwork -- exactly what businesses want in employees."

 In addition to attending Sierra College, Billings works in Engineering Services at Intel, is a top ranked combat robot competitor and mentors the Sierra College Mechatronics Robotics Club. He wanted to build a better motor mounting for his robot. The motor was designed for wheelchairs and was not meant to propel a 220 pound combat robot.

 "The mounting plates for these motors are made from cast aluminum, and they crack under impact during robot battles," said Billings. His project was to design a solution using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and develop a prototype. It was the capstone project for the Sierra College Drafting & Engineering Support class, "Managing the Computer-Aided Design Environment."

 Billings gave his CAD drawings to Clark who agreed to convert the mounting plate design using MasterCAM design software. The Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machining equipment that produces the prototype can read the milling instructions from the MasterCAM file.

 It is not as easy as it sounds according to Clark. "We ran into a lot of difficulties," said Clark. "The file was too large, the zero point set up was opposite of what I expected and the tools got stuck."

 The troubleshooting experience gave the students a taste of industrial realities. "There is always some kind of problem, like when the machine can't read the G code," said Clark. "Businesses that are successful depend on employees who know how to troubleshoot."

 Although the part was only partially cut out, the partnership resulted in a rich experience for both students. Clark will study aerospace engineering at University of Kansas this fall. "I'd always been interested in airplanes and taking classes where I could work on the computer and then see the part being made attracted me to engineering," said Clark.

 For Billings, the experience refined his ideas for building a stronger robot. "I really appreciated Mr. Frank's support and Jeff's commitment to working with me to overcome the challenges," said Billings. "I'm already working on some new designs based on what we learned."

 This unique student partnership was the result of support from the Sierra STEM Collaborative Grant (www.sierraschoolworks.com), managed by Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies Director, Sierra College. The goal of the grant is to develop a pipeline of students pursing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers.

 "The Sierra STEM grant encourages college and high school faculty to collaborate, host workshops and visit each other's labs," said Pepper-Kittredge. "The two students connected as a result of Sierra College faculty member Ed Mojica bringing his architecture students to tour the Rocklin High School lab. You never know what connection may change a student's plans for the future."

 For more information about Sierra STEM Collaborative, go to www.sierraschoolworks.com, or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Sierra College, at cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu or (916) 660-7517.





Placer County News Headlines

Mesa Verde Country Top 5 Winter Experiences in Southwest ColoradoCortez, Colo. - Mesa Verde Country in Southwest Colorado is a great winter destination. The area boasts mountains, sunshine and everything travelers need for the perfect cold-weather getaway

BottleRock Presents Vines & VibesNapa, CA, - BottleRock Napa Valley presents Vines & Vibes, the fourth annual Do It For The Love Benefit Dinner and Concert on Thursday, May 24, 2018, on the rooftop of the Archer Hotel

2018 Lexus GX570 remains luxurious SUVRoseville, CA,- What most drivers will like about the 2018 Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions

Tree Harvest Cannabis Festival Cancelled, Fall Dates PossibleWoodland, CA- The cannabis themed Tree Harvest Festival scheduled for April 20- 22, 2018 has been cancelled due to a municipality withdrawing authorization

Roseville Gas Prices Ease SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville have eased slightly this past week despite the strong upward trend and anticipation of prices pushing toward the $4 gallon mark

Roseville City School District to Share $400,000 Grant(Roseville, CA) - Roseville City School District (RCSD) is poised to be the recipient of $400,000, all aimed to benefit its middle school students through

Kay U. Brooks presented with Don Poole AwardSacramento, CA,- Attorney Kay U. Brooks of Weintraub Tobin was recently awarded the Sacramento Region Community Foundation's prestigious Don Poole Award for her significant contributions

Arson Damage at Margaret Azevedo Park in RocklinRocklin, CA,- On February 17th 2018 at about 10:38 PM, Rocklin Police Officers responded to Margret Azevedo Park in the report of a play structure on fire

Roseville City School District Honors Teachers of the Year(Roseville, CA) - The Roseville City School District (RCSD) recently announced their Teachers of the Year. Heidi Polewaczyk and Michael Larsen have been selected

Roseville Gas Prices Throttling HigherRoseville, CA- A quick look around Roseville had motorists noticing gas prices trending upward. Prices in Roseville have pushed past the $3 mark

IHOP Pancake Drive-thru Benefits UC Davis Children's Hospital(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - On Monday, Feb. 26, pancake lovers can drive through, eat their fill of short-stack pancakes and make a donation to support sick and injured children at UC Davis Children's Hospital

Wild Bill's 16th annual Tattoo-a-thon Feb. 24th(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Wild Bill's 16th annual Tattoo-a-thon will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 8 a.m. to midnight. Thirty tattoo artists have volunteered to work 16 hours during this year's event and all proceeds


NEWS: In Case You Missed It