July 23, 2017

District News

A-Tech Robotics Team Hoping to Repeat as Regional Champs at Alliance for Working Together Contest

By Jan Perala

Amid flying sparks and metal crunching clashes, a radio controlled robobot, custom designed by A-Tech’s Robotics squad battled its way to a regional first place finish at the Alliance for Working Together Foundation’s Robobot Competition last year and the current A-Tech team, The Machinists, is looking to repeat the win in April with a new, innovatively designed machine.   

A-Tech’s 2016 team dispatched two time defending champions Madison High School in the final round of the competition last spring as 31 teams from public, private and career technical school from across Northeastern Ohio competed at the event. The A-Tech team went on to claim a 9th place finish among 65 competitors at Nationals.

Not content to rest on their school’s laurels, the A-Tech Machinists are preparing to enter the fray at the Alliance for Working Together Foundation’s seventh annual Robobot Competition held at Lakeland Community College on Saturday, April 29th. The event is open to the public. Admission is free.

Team members Ayden Arendas, Curtis Beukeman, Justin Osborne and Damian Schoville, seniors in A-Tech’s Precision Machining Program, explained that months of brainstorming sessions, testing and troubleshooting design concepts and meticulous assembly of the robot’s components, trimming it to a regulation 15lb. fighting weight, have created a formidable design for their bot.

 “We’ve been working on this since September. We machined 100% of the components of our bot, Arditi, in our lab and now we’re close to getting the machine down to fighting weight,” Arendas said.  “It’s been a great experience and we’re looking forward to competing at regionals and defending our title.”

The flying sparks and intensity of the gladiator style fray at the AWT Robotics Competition will be the culmination of a complex inquiry based project that immerses robotics team members in a comprehensive design and manufacturing process. The project has required the team members to utilize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) applications, and creative problem solving skills to build the robobot. Studies focusing on future trends in education and employment recommend an intensified emphasis on the development of technical skills which translate directly into career opportunities and have also identified so-called soft skills such as critical thinking, adaptive thinking, creative problem solving, teamwork and effective communication as tools essential for success in 21st century careers.

Mutually advantageous partnerships between industry and education are an emerging trend now embraced by employers and schools, but at A-Tech that trend is a long established tradition that gives students the competitive edge as they seek employment or move on to advanced training. The A-Tech curriculum equips students with 21st century skills by tapping into the knowledge of local industry experts who serve as on-campus instructors, as mentors and host students on early placement in their places of business. 

The A-Tech Machinists are under the guidance of Technical Advisor Scott Ray of Short Run Machine Products and Wecall, Inc. engineer Ben Chaffee who owns a degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Akron and a Master’s of Science in Robotics Systems and Development from Carnegie Mellon University and A-Tech Precision Machining instructor Ron Maurer, whose resume includes in depth experience in industry.

 Local industry sponsors for the A-Tech Robotics Project include Fargo Machine, Short Run Machine Products, Reese Machine, Wecall, Inc., Penco Tool,  The Spring Team, Austinburg Machine, Hemly Tool Supply, Fenton Manufacturing and Delta Railroad Construction.

The Alliance for Working Together is a nonprofit group comprised more than eighty members from area business and industry dedicated to promoting careers in manufacturing through partnerships with education.

Ashtabula Foundation Initiative Allows A-Tech Students to Make a Difference in Local Lives through Youth Philanthropy Board  
A-Tech Philanthropy Board Students and staff pose with the grant recipients for the 2017 school year.

A-Tech held a grant presentation ceremony on Tuesday, April 25th. A-Tech’s Youth Philanthropy Board disbursed $5,000 in grants to four Ashtabula County nonprofit organizations, redirecting seed money provided by the Ashtabula Foundation. The Foundation provides funding to youth groups in each high school in Ashtabula County affording students the opportunity to become acquainted with the process of identifying the needs of charitable organizations and allocating funding to help them assist county residents.

Congratulations to the following entities for receiving their grant:
The City Church in Geneva, Ohio; Ashtabula Maritime Museum in Ashtabula, Ohio; Beatitude House, Ashtabula, Ohio and the Geneva Area Little League in Geneva, Ohio.

Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus’ Chapter of National Honor Society
Inducts New Members

On April 19th, Parents, grandparents, friends, teachers and school administrators paid tribute to A-Tech’s most accomplished students at a recent National Honor Society induction ceremony where eight students were formally installed as members of the organization. National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s most venerable recognition society for secondary school students, and those selected for membership personify the four tenets of the organization: character, scholarship, leadership and service.

National Honor Society President Austin Reece, a senior in the Health Care Academy program, opened the ceremony by introducing Dr. Jerome Brockway, A-Tech Superintendent, who offered congratulations to the new inductees. Dr. Brockway introduced keynote speaker David Miller. Miller, a Saint John High School graduate and entrepreneur who opened One Step, a non-profit agency dedicated to giving

A-Tech National Honor Society 2017 Inductees
Kennedy Paulchel - Design Drafting – Edgewood High School
Brianna Elmore - Public Safety Academy – Grand Valley High School
Amber Frederick - Health Care Academy – Pymatuning Valley High School
Nicholas Hammers - Design Drafting - Lakeside High School
Kaela Lawler - Computer Information Systems -Geneva High School
Kayla Lowery – Small Animal Care - Geneva High School
Ariel Reece - Early Childhood Education - Jefferson High School
Jourdenn Dailey- Culinary Arts - Jefferson High School

Current A-Tech NHS Members
Anthony Anastasia- Public Safety Academy - Geneva High School
Dominick Barricklow – Welding – Pymatuning Valley High School
Brooke Basen - Computer Information Systems – Jefferson High School
Bethany Brewer – Small Animal Care – Lakeside High School
Crystal Byler- Health Care Academy - Grand Valley High School
Phillip Carley - Horticulture & Landscaping - Geneva High School
Vivian Cochran – Cosmetology – Conneaut High School
Shelby Conley - Health Care Acacemy - Conneaut High school

Nicholas Neubecker - Public Safety Academy - Geneva High School
Jordan Palmer – Small Animal Care – Geneva High School
Austin Reece - Health Care Academy - Geneva High School
Hannah Sowry - Cosmetology - Pymatuning Valley High School

 

A-Tech Visual Design & Imaging Senior Wins “Why 21?” Design Contest

April is Alcohol Awareness month and Katie Park, Ashtabula County Prevention Coalition Coordinator, approached Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech) Visual Design & Imaging (VDI) program to help promote a “Why 21?” Campaign. Katie contacted Suzanne Pratt, A-Tech VDI Instructor, to see if she had any creative students who would be willing to enter a contest to design a magnet for the ACTS buses to display that will increase alcohol awareness.

With only a brief description of their needs and directions to a website that highlights why 21 is our national drinking age, Sarah Lister, A-Tech VDI senior from Jefferson High School, created the winning design! Sarah’s magnet design will be produced and displayed on the ACTS buses around Ashtabula County in the month of April.

 

Power Sports & Outdoor Equipment Seniors Compete at FFA Districts

Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech) seniors (l-r) Josh Butler and Jeff Metz competed at the 2017 Agricultural/Industrial Diagnostic FFA District competitions in New London, Ohio. These students had to first complete an online exam before going to compete. They placed 2nd in the state out of 105 schools.

In addition, to placing 2nd as a team, Josh was awarded 2nd place in the individual award at the contest for his overall point performance. Jeff placed 3rd in the individual award for his overall point performance.

 

A-Tech Students Balancing Academics and Career Technical Programs

Being a student at the Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech) can sometimes be a “balancing act” where they complete rigorous academics while learning a skill or trade to gain a competitive career advantage. This semester, students from Ms. Sarah Davis’ Physics class and Mr. Sarbiewski and Mr. Kiphart’s Culinary Arts classes took “balancing” academic and career education literally when they collaborated on a culinary/physics challenge involving forces and motion. The students were studying rotational and translational equilibrium and decided to challenge themselves to a center of gravity phenomenon activity involving culinary utensils and physics calculations to demonstrate their understanding of the counter intuitive nature of science. The teachers and instructors at A-Tech frequently allow the students to engage in cross curricular hands on projects to allow students to expand their career technical skills and improve academic performance.

 

Health Care Academy Students Learn Health Benefits of Essential Oils

HCA junior, Allison Owens, prepares her essential oil throat spray.

Kristi Byrnes, a distributor for Young Living Independent Essential Oils spoke to the Health Care Academy (HCA) students at Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech) about the health benefits of essential oils. Kristi has been using essential oils since 2016 and talked to the students about the benefits of using natural remedies to improve their health. Students were able to make their own throat spray using essential oils.

 

 

Visual Design & Imaging Students Visit Ringer’s Screen Printing

Pictured in the art department (l-r) A-Tech students Owen Hoover and Emma Curry with 2013 A-Tech/VDI graduate Derryn Tomsic and Eddie Wolf and Mike Haskell.

Visual Design & Imaging (VDI) students took a trip to Ringer’s Screen Printing and had the opportunity to enjoy seeing screen printing actin “real world style”! They were not disappointed! Mr. Ringer and his courteous staff, including A-Tech Visual Design & Imaging graduates Lily Huffman, Class of 2009, and Derryn Tomsic, Class of 2013, demonstrated the screen print process from incoming art to finished wearables as well as the set up process and embroidery procedures.

Soon Mrs. Pratt will introduce the junior VDI class to the promotional product industry and screen printing. Providing the students with the chance to make what they learn in the classroom relevant to these types of real world experiences is a valuable opportunity provided through the value-added education offered at A-Tech.

 A-Tech Public Safety Academy Juniors Meet with TAG Team

The junior class of the Public Safety Academy had the opportunity to meet with (TAG) – Trumbull Ashtabula Group drug task force detectives.  Detectives spoke about the process of undercover drug investigations, and the preferred evidence to file charges and serve search warrants.  Students were also shown undercover drug buy videos in Ashtabula County and advised of Prosecutor expectations for drug trafficking charges.  Students handled many forms of packaged confiscated drugs and learned of local trending drugs entering Ashtabula County.

 

 

A-Tech Precision Machining Class Visits Henry Ford Museum 

From left to right: Ron Maurer, Curtis Beukeman, Ayden Arendas, Damian Schoville, Justin Osborne, Joe Chiacchiero

The Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) senior Precision Machine class traveled to Dearborn, Michigan to the Henry Ford Museum to catch a bus to the Ford Rouge factory Tour. While there they were able to observe a movie on the history of Henry Ford as well as an animated video on the manufacturing and testing of the Ford F150 trucks followed by a tour of the assembly plant of the F150.

 “It was an amazing experience to visit such an important part of American and Industrial history. Seeing how Ford went from a garage in a small neighborhood to an amazing complex of innovation, meanwhile changing the lives of the average American , even the world, in the process was truly fascinating-Ayden Arendas, Precision Machining Senior, 2017

 

A-Tech Adult LPN Program Ranked in Top Five Schools in Ohio

LPN students (left) Kayla Gumbar and Katherine Wagner go over dissection with instructor Jaime Andes.

According to PracticalNursing.org, Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus’ Knoedler School of Practical Nurse Education is ranked fifth in Ohio for state approved programs based on first time NCLEX-PN passer rates. As of November 2016, seventy Practical Nursing programs existed in Ohio. Sixty schools were included in this comparison.

The ranking process analyzed up to 5 years of pass rates. The pass rates were averaged and weighted by the recency of the exam. The 2015 pass rate was given the highest weighting (0.37). This is the 3rd annual state LPN rankings completed by PracticalNursing.org.

The LPN program is currently scheduling pre-entrance exams call 440-576-5545 to schedule yours today.

 

 

A-Tech /GHS Grads Receive James Longar, Sr. Memorial Scholarship

A-Tech grads Rachel Carcell and Chaz LaRiche both of Geneva are the 2016 recipients of the James Longar, Sr. Memorial Scholarship. The award was presented by James’ wife Eva Longar, daughters Kayla Hejduk and KristinCastrilla and grandsons Bradley Hejduk and Kaden Longar. The scholarship honors the memory of James Longar, Sr. who passed away in 2011 as a result of complications of cancer.  Longar was a dedicated Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troup 534 which has produced more than twenty Eagle Scouts since 1998.

“We call the award the ‘Average Jim Scholarship’ Longar’s widow Eva said. Jim always said he was just an ‘Average Jim’.  He wasn’t wealthy and he didn’t have a lofty title, but what he did have was a big heart.” Jim Longar was a city kid who, at thirteen, moved with his mom to Madison after the death of his father, Eva explained. A kind older couple noticed Jim, took him under their wing and helped to give him direction. “Jim was so grateful that caring people supported him at a difficult time in his life and he dedicated himself to helping others through scouting and everywhere he went. He always said that if he won the lottery, he would create a scholarship fund to help students with potential follow their dreams. When we lost Jim, I was determined to make his dream come true by helping Geneva kids through this scholarship in Jim’s name. We look for kids with good hearts who need a helping hand to move forward. It’s a small thing, but everyone needs to feel they are special. That’s why we do this. ”

Carcell earned her Career Passport at A-Tech in the Carpentry Program. She is a Plymouth Township volunteer firefighter trainee and is studying to be an Emergency Medical Technician at University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center. LaRiche, a graduate of A-Tech’s Public Safety Academy is serving our country in the Army. 

 

 

A-Tech’s Chapter of Drug Fee Clubs of America Helps Students Gain a Competitive Advantage

Students who graduate from Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) poised to enter the workforce are already ahead of the curve in terms of acquired tools for their trades, job specific skills and real world preparation, and their participation in a campus wide organization that verifies their drug free lifestyles adds another important component to their comprehensive Career Passports.   

A-Tech’s chapter of Drug Free Clubs of America, the only one in Ashtabula County, is thriving. Two hundred thirty three A-Tech students enrolled in each of the school’s career technical programs lined up to join the organization last week. Card carrying members of the club will be able to provide prospective employers with proof that they are drug free with their job applications, opening the doors of opportunity to immediate employment. When they choose to join the club, students, with their parents’ permission, volunteer for a screening test to indicate that they are substance free.  Test results are completely private and confidential and are not shared with the school. The organization provides random follow up screenings at several times during the school year. A $14,000 grant from the Robert S. Morrison Foundation has made it possible for A-Tech to offer membership in the club to students at no charge this year.

Students whose tests show they are free of drugs, receive a photo ID recognizing them as members of the club. Drug Free America Club members are eligible for awards at A-Tech.

“This is an important opportunity that we have at A-Tech,” Health Care Academy junior Paige Houser said. “When we apply for a job and it’s already on our application that we are drug free it gives us an advantage over other applicants that an employer would need to test.”

Drug Free Clubs of America was founded by three Cincinnati firefighters who decided to take a stand against teen drug use. Since its inception in 2005, dozens of schools throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia have established chapters in a proactive effort to promote healthy lifestyles.

  Senior Masonry Student Not Only Preparing for State Competition But Also His Future

Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) Masonry senior Robert Cottom is not only looking forward to the State SkillsUSA Masonry competition to be held in Columbus at the end of April but also to starting his career in the construction industry as a mason. In the two years Robert has been in the program he has developed many of skills necessary to be a successful mason, such as reading blueprints, calculating materials, laying out patterns, forms, or foundations. According to Robert “A-Tech has put me on a path to a great career in the construction industry.”

New housing starts and commercial projects continue to rise and current Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS) indicate that the need for masons will grow by at least 15% over the next ten years, which is much faster than most occupations listed in Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook. Average wage for masons is between $14.50 and $16.85 per hour.

The Masonry program at the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus is still accepting applications. For more information on to visit or enroll in the program contact Ms. Amanda Schumann, Career Pathways Coordinator at 440-576-6015, extension 1115.

   

A-Tech IMPAC Program Poised to Close Skills Gap for Area Manufacturers

By Jan Perala for A-Tech 

Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus and twelve area manufacturers will showcase an innovative new industrial training program housed in a gleaming, state-of-the-art equipment filled laboratory on the A-Tech campus at an open house this month.

 The Industrial Maintenance Pathway for Ashtabula County (IMPAC) is a customized training program developed in a collaborative effort between area manufacturers and A-Tech designed to provide workers with critical industry specific skill sets.  According to A-Tech’s Workforce Development Supervisor Ken Porter, employers participating in the IMPAC program partnership identified an array of crucial skills workers in their various manufacturing environments must attain and the IMPAC training program was carefully tailored to ensure that existing and prospective employees acquire those skills through enrollment in program. Industry experts from area manufacturers serve as IMPAC instructors,  providing specialized training in an A-Tech based facility equipped with state-of-the-art amenities provided by the program.

“The IMPAC program is very positive for Ashtabula County,” Grand River Rubber and Plastics Vice President of Operations Jason Brand said. “We have two maintenance technicians enrolled in the program and we are very pleased with their progress. I served on  the planning committee for the program and am glad to see that it is already providing  employees with essential job skills.”

Partnering with A-Tech in the new endeavor are Cristal, Mohawk Fine Papers, Presrite Corporation, Molded Fiber Glass Companies, Iten Industries,  TDMWEK, Grand River Rubber and Plastics, The Composites Group, Chromaflo Technologies, ASHTA Chemicals, Worthington Industries, General Aluminum Manufacturing and  Kennametal, Inc. The program is also supported by  Infinity Resources, Inc. and Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County. “This is an example of the education sector responding to the expressed needs of local employers and forming a working partnership to create a structured and customized training program to fill immediate and future workforce needs,” A-Tech Superintendent Dr. Jerome Brockway said.

IMPAC instructors and industry partners will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about the multifaceted training program at an open house scheduled for February 17th from 4:30 until 6 p.m. in Meister Hall (C Complex) on the A-Tech Campus. All interested individuals or businesses are invited to attend. For information about IMPAC please contact IMPAC Industrial Training Coordinator Ken Porter at 576-6015 ext. 1011.

 

A-Tech Environmental Science Students Experience Submarine Challenge 

Winners of the “Submarine Challenge” were welding juniors (left to right) Morgan Conrad and Aaron Good.

Throughout the week of October 20th Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech) students in Miss Davis’ Environmental Science classes worked to construct a submarine made of every day materials while applying the concepts and properties of water and density. The submarine had to float, sink, and completely resurface in an aquarium without the students pushing or pulling on it. According to A-Tech Administrator Mr. Jon Whipple, who served as a judge for the challenge, “I was impressed with the depth of their enthusiasm for the project and their ability to work under pressure.”

The project was designed to meet the state standards for environmental science pertaining to water which includes its unique chemical properties, the water cycle, and its importance to all living things. According to Miss Davis, “Students learned about the behavior of fluids, including pressure and density, and the scientific experiments that contributed to our understanding of fluids performed by well know physicists including Archimedes, Bernoulli, Pascal, and Boyle.”

New Small Animal Care Program Up and Running

The Ashtabula County Career & Technical Campus (A-Tech) welcomes students to the NEW Small Animal Care (SAC) Program. A-Tech SAC students (left to right) Shaylynn Glaettli, Dannie Duranine, Lyndsey Neal and Kaylee Severino gather to hold Toothpick the Hedgehog. Toothpick will be one of many animals for students to care for this school year.