Colfax Students Develop Electric Amplifier that Works with MP3 players
Rocklin, CA- Modeling the innovation and design process, Colfax High School teachers, with support from the Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Collaborative, developed curriculum for making an electric amplifier that works with MP3 players.
The project has proven to be a full-scale success with freshmen. Students will demonstrate the results at an Amp-Up Expo on Wednesday, June 5 at 10:15 a.m. at Colfax High School.
The Colfax instructors sought a way for students to complete units in design, electronics, metal, wood and media that culminated in an appealing, memorable and useful project. The goal was to instill 21st Century Skills, promote Career Technical Education (CTE), and introduce STEM careers. Sierra College faculty provided advice and the Sierra STEM Collaborative supplied a vacuum former, plasma cutter and other new technology, as well as supported teachers' externships and professional development.
According to Christian Kinsey, Tech Essentials, teacher, Colfax students used to make race cars when the introductory technology class was an elective. Once Tech Essentials became required for all freshmen, instructors invented a more universally appealing hands-on project. The new curriculum introduced students to tools in the tech labs, reinforced applied academics and taught problem solving. In addition, the project allowed student customization, encouraged career exploration and appealed to male and female students.
"Although it was hard to let go of the car project and develop new curriculum, it was a fun process for the four teachers working together," said Kinsey. "We brainstormed to find a project that would inspire students, could be built in the semester, was cost-effective and included elements from all the CTE courses. Most importantly, we wanted to encourage innovation and teach critical thinking skills."
Students learn software and online tools to manage their projects, develop design skills, and produce documentation such as a parts list and bill of materials. They learn to use 3D drafting to design the sound tube, make a wood mold for vacuum forming the speaker caps out of plastic, solder circuit boards for the sound tubes and fabricate stands out of metal.
With a team, the students design a logo, use the computer numerical control (CNC) machine tool to cut vinyl images for branding, research related STEM education and career paths, develop presentations and demonstrate their electric amplifiers at an "Amp Up Expo." Community representatives give feedback on the final projects at the Expo. Students save the project documentation and support materials in online portfolios that can be shown to prospective employers.
"Every generation has a desire to listen to music," said Kinsey. "Sierra College STEM provided the support to take that idea and develop a fully integrated design technology course that starts high school students off with a powerful experience in design, fabrication and product development."
The Colfax teachers have linked real world product development with rigorous academics to excite students about the opportunities in design, engineering and manufacturing, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), Sierra College.
"The goal of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative is to support teacher innovation," said Pepper-Kittredge. "At Colfax High School, the teachers have instilled creativity into an academically challenging project that builds technical skills, and teaches communication and teamwork required by employers."
After Pepper-Kittredge reviewed the students' projects, she said, "Students were so proud of what they had created. These students are our nations' future entrepreneurs and innovators."
About Sierra College STEM Collaborative
The Sierra STEM Collaborative is funded by California Community College Chancellor's Office, to create a pipeline of students interested in technical careers. Students can pursue Welding, Mechatronics, Engineering, Energy Technology and Drafting & Engineering Support at Sierra College. For information, go to www.sierraschoolworks.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College at (916) 660-7801.
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesHot Pink Fun Run in Downtown Roseville September 28thRegistration is now open for the 7th Annual Hot Pink Fun Run, a family-friendly run, walk and fun zone on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
Monty Python's Spamalot at Roseville TheaterSPAMALOT tells the legendary tale of King Arthur's quest to find the Holy Grail. However, diverting a bit from the true story, this hilarious musical
High Marks for Sierra College Energy Tech StudentsThe Sierra College Energy Technology students who took the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry-level exam in June 2014, all passed.
Multiple Sclerosis Becomes Counselor's AssetDuring most of the '70s, Kathe Skinner, now a 65-year-old licensed marriage family therapist in Colorado Springs, Colorado, couldn't figure out what was wrong with her body.
Placer Water Agency Eyes $7 Billion Bond OpportunityFunding for water resource improvements in Placer County could be possible if California voters support the $7.12 billion bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot, it was
Napa Earthquake Victims Urged to Hire Licensed ContractorsEarthquake: The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is urging residents of Napa Valley and surrounding areas to only hire California-licensed contractors
8 Arrested in Roseville Police Drug and ID Theft OperationRoseville Police detectives, following up on a Roseville drug case, searched a home in Sacramento and found evidence of methamphetamine sales and identity theft involving scores of victims.
Placer County Republican Party Announces EndorsementsThe Placer County Republican Party has announced the following endorsements in local races for the November 2014 election.
Federal Subpoena Served to Placer County Sheriff's OfficeThe Placer County Sheriff's Office has received several inquiries about employee internal investigations and a federal subpoena.
Bill to Help Disabled Veterans Heads to GovernorA proposal sponsored by George Runner to protect California's disabled veterans cleared the Assembly this week with unanimous, bipartisan support, and now awaits action by Governor Jerry Brown.
Honda Offers Appealing New Accord Plug-in HybridHonda welcomed a new addition to its lineup for 2014: say hello to the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The new addition makes Honda one of the few automakers to offer
3 Arrested in Baby Formula HeistPlacer County sheriff's deputies arrested three Bay Area burglary suspects and are seeking a fourth after the group stole a large amount of baby formula from the north Auburn Bel Air store