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Focus on the Workforce: Partnering for STEM: The National Educator's Workshop


Mel Cossette

Mel Cossette
Principal Investigator
National Resource Center for Materials
Technology Education 
National Educators Workshop
Lynnwood, WA

Training the future workforce is critical to our nation’s economy, especially in the areas of manufacturing and material science. Edmonds Community College (EdCC) and the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), which is housed at EdCC, are dedicated to this initiative through the annual National Educator’s Workshop (NEW) event, which is produced by MatEdU.

NEW is creating a network of industry and educational professionals to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of highly skilled technicians ready for employment. One of the ways EdCC and MatEdU support workforce education is by collaborating on the production of NEW with professional organizations such as SME.


Focus on the Workforce 2

The National Educators Workshop (NEW) brings together students, faculty, professional organizations, and business to strengthen understanding of STEM principles and to enhance K-20 technology education integration. A unique feature of NEW is hands-on, interactive learning which presents information in a way that engages all participants.

Each year the workshop has enhanced the quantity of information while maintaining quality and relevancy. NEW builds upon a history of 28 years of annual workshops aimed at promoting science, engineering, and technology education. Each workshop includes keynote speakers, relevant sessions and regional industry subject matter experts. While most workshops stand alone, there are also comprehensive three-day training sessions that focus on areas such as nanotechnology, composites and additive manufacturing.

NEW is strategically held in three different regions across the country. This expands NEW’s reach and provides access by highlighting educational opportunities and industries in each area. With support by SME, this year’s event is being held at North Seattle College in Seattle, WA, from Nov. 2–3. The event is titled, “Materials and Innovation: Building the Future.” Industry partners this year include The Boeing Company, SME and the National Science Foundation’s National Resource Center for Aerospace Technical Education (SpaceTEC).

MatEdU and SME support career pathways and choices in STEM fields. Sharing information on emerging technologies, advanced manufacturing processes and procedures and unique ways of delivering this knowledge is a cornerstone of NEW. Preparing our future workforce, as well as providing incumbent workers with hands-on experiences is central to NEW’s mission.

Come Learn More!
For information on attending NEW, please visit and follow the link to the 2014 NEW event. Additional details are being added regularly so check back often. Several tours are in the process of being finalized and will include Boeing’s Future of Flight and Boeing’s Everett Site, as well as the Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center.

NEW has engaged over 7400 participants who have participated in over 700 experiments and demonstrations of the latest developments in materials science, offering strategies for teaching and learning. Recent endeavors have provided best practices and hands-on curricular materials that will strengthen the understanding of STEM principles. Peer review and publication of the experiments and demonstrations have provided the materials education community with current, valuable aids for teaching and research.Focus on the Workforce 1

NEW offers significant benefits and impact in terms of providing exceptional opportunities including career awareness for students, professional development for faculty, active industry involvement, networking and the sharing of successful practices in pedagogy. NEW serves the national STEM community as a whole by: promoting the 2+2+2 High School to College Education Pathway; inviting the participation of strategically selected host sites that have demonstrated local partnerships across educational levels including secondary schools and industry; providing valuable opportunities for K-20 STEM teachers to broaden their perspectives and knowledge and expand their professional development venues; and supplying the materials education community with current, valuable aids for teaching and research, which can be used immediately in the classroom. NEW attendees have been a distributed mix of K–12, community and technical colleges and four-year faculty and industry. The faculty represents diverse classroom interests across the STEM areas.

NEW in Action
Highlights of recent NEW gatherings include:
  • Speakers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology who shared information on emerging technologies such as advanced materials being used by Boeing. 
  • Past tours have included NORDAM’s Nacelle & Thrust Reverser Division, featuring their work on composites for aircraft structures, and Fort Wayne Metals, which researches, develops and produces fine grade medical wire.
  • Workshops have included topics such as: Design and Build a Torsion Testing Machine; Additive Manufacturing; Teaching Materials in the 21st Century; Intro to Mechatronics; Creating a Simple Inexpensive Rapid Prototyping System; Sustainable Aquaponics. 

The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) is a resource center funded by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education. MatEdU provides curriculum resources for materials technology programs nationwide. MatEdU and EdCC collaborated to develop an 11,000 ft2 (1022 m2) advanced technology lab. The MatEdU website has open source modules, core competency studies and resources available. Their online Resource Center provides access to curriculum resources for materials technology programs and related courses of study. MatEdU offers classroom ready modules of labs and demos for use by educators, industry and the general public. ME 


This article was first published in the October 2014 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here for PDF.

Published Date : 10/1/2014

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