Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Sierra College addresses Critical Thinking for STEM jobs


ROCKLIN, CA - The Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Collaborative assembled over 40 employers, teachers, principals and superintendents from Placer and Nevada counties to announce the new ACTivATE project on Feb. 13. The Applied Critical Thinking for Advanced Technological Education (ACTivATE) professional development program will train instructors in assessing students' critical thinking skills and provide support to faculty as they infuse more problem solving and other skills desired by employers into their curriculum.

 Willy Duncan, President, Sierra Community College District, reiterated the college's commitment to working with Placer and Nevada county high schools to better prepare them for success at Sierra College and in the work world after college graduation. "The ACTivATE project will enrich curriculum and expand the collaboration between college and high school STEM faculty," said Duncan. "This project supports Sierra College's goal of preparing job ready graduates who have the critical thinking skills businesses tell us students need to succeed in the workplace."

 According to the  Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national coalition of businesses, educators and policy makers, "To successfully face rigorous higher education coursework, career challenges and a globally competitive workforce, U.S. schools must align classroom environments with real world environments by fusing the 3Rs (English, reading or language arts; mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics; government; economics; arts; history; and geography) and 4Cs (critical thinking and problem solving; communication; collaboration; and creativity and innovation)."

 An employer skills panel made up of Andy Reimanis, Director of Engineering Telefunken Semiconductors America; Carol Rogers, Vice President, Progressive Technology; and Leandra Wilson, Director of Strategic Operations & Human Resources, Harris & Bruno shared specific examples of how employees use critical thinking. They all described the problem solving steps engineers and technicians went through to figure out how to solve production problems. 

 Because education must adapt to prepare our future workforce, Marianne Cartan, Superintendent, Nevada Joint Union High School District (NJUHSD), says that the ACTivATE project is timely. "With teachers revising curriculum delivery to meet the new Common Core State Standards, they need support and resources in order to bring real-world scenarios into the classroom that apply to their lessons and to develop demonstration-based assessments," said Cartan. "NJUHSD is eager to participate in the Sierra College ACTivATE project."

 To create the new Sierra STEM Collaborative ACTivATE professional development program, Sierra College will partner with Tennessee Technological University that produced a widely used Critical Thinking Assessment Test and the Northwestern University Searle Center for Teaching Excellence that developed Enhancing Critical Thinking in STEM Disciplines:  A Faculty Development Model, both National Science Foundation (NSF) projects. The ACTivATE project also builds on Sierra College's previous NSF Tech-Explorer grant that highlighted the fact that during a hands-on catapult building project, students did not exhibit the critical thinking skills required of technicians.

 The Sierra STEM Collaborative is funded by the California Community College Chancellor's Office to prepare students in career technical education programs in manufacturing & product development and engineering & design pathways at the high school and college level. Additional information is available at or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or

Placer County News Headlines

PCWA Customers Curb Water Use 34 PercentDrought Watch: Since June of this year, PCWA customers have decreased water use by 34 percent in comparison to base year 2013.

Roseville Area Events Calendar for October 3, 2015Roseville, CA - Bright sunshine and warm temps make for ideal conditions as the fall events season kicks into full swing in Roseville and beyond.

Placer County Child Support Services Recognized for ImprovementsThe Placer County Department of Child Support Services has received the 2015 Most Improved Child Support Program Award

Free Hazardous Waste Drop Off in AuburnPLACER COUNTY, Calif. - The Western Placer Waste Management Authority's annual household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday and Sunday

Repeat DUI's Targeted with Ignition Interlock ProgramOn Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 61, adding another 18 months to a four-county ignition interlock pilot program

California Fire Updates Summary (10-2-15)Nearly 1,000 firefighters are battling 7 large fires. In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving throughout the area today with light showers

Lincoln Salmon Festival Celebration October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration to bring awareness to the migrating salmon population

Roseville Coffee Wars: Dunkin Donuts and Dutch Bros. ExpandingRoseville, CA - Coffee is big business and Roseville is at center stage in South Placer County as the coffee giants battle it out to serve up their high-priced specialty brews.

151,000 Acres Scarred: Rough Fire GrowsCalifornia Fire Updates 2015: In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving slowly into the area today with light showers expected and cooler temperatures

Seniors First Awarded Grant from Wells FargoSeniors First was recently awarded $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank which will help to continue funding of Seniors First's eight Senior Cafes

Salmon Celebration Festival in Lincoln October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration

Free Healthy Aging Program Presentations in OctoberIn a series of four Saturday morning sessions at UC Davis School of Medicine, attendees will learn the latest from physicians and other experts about aging and medical science.

NEWS: In Case You Missed It