2012 has been a busy year for the Automated Materials Joining Technologies (AMJT) Project. Part of the Preparation for Tomorrow initiative, AMJT is a partnership involving the Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE), the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). The purpose of the project is to develop advanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in automated materials joining for career-technical high schools throughout the state. This year’s activities have included the project’s first annual Summer Teacher Training Institute, the first field tests of Courses 1 and 2, and advanced development of Courses 3 and 4.
Summer Teacher Training Institute
In June, the first Summer Teacher Training Institute was held to help prepare teachers and staff who will be involved in this year’s field testing of Courses 1 and 2. The institute was a joint training effort between SREB and CETE that took place over the course of two weeks. Part of the training was held in conjunction with Ohio’s second Preparation for Tomorrow project, Health Informatics, which is managed by the Ohio Association for Career-Technical Superintendents.
SREB staff facilitated the first week of training, which was held at the Medallion Club in Westerville, Ohio. The focus was on building capacity among the science, math and literacy instructors who will be involved in the initiative. It also provided an opportunity for collaboration among administrators and guidance counselors who will be supporting the instructors during the field testing period.
The second week of training was held at Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Clayton, Ohio. The focus was on the technical aspects in the projects of the first course in the AMJT sequence. CETE’s curriculum and technical consultants facilitated this training, providing hands-on experience to the three primary career-technical instructors who will be leading the field testing at their schools.
Field Testing of Courses 1 and 2
In August, the first field testing began for the initial AMJT courses at the following schools:
- Columbiana County Career & Technical Center
- Miami Valley Career Technology Center
- Tri-Rivers Career Center
Projects for Course 1 will be field tested during the first semester of the 2012–13 school year, while the projects for Course 2 will be field tested during the second semester. The participating schools will be responsible for refining elements of the projects for each course during this field testing phase.
Data will be collected on each project throughout the year to help improve the curriculum. This will include the primary AMJT instructors from each school providing ongoing feedback on the projects through online forms developed for the AMJT SharePoint website. Online surveys will also be administered to participating students at the end of each course. In addition, ODE staff from the Office of Career-Technical Education will be making onsite visits to each school to collect formative data and provide support.
Advanced Development of Courses 3 and 4
In September, an expert panel of secondary instructors, postsecondary faculty, and business and industry leaders will be convened at CETE to further develop the projects that have been drafted for Courses 3 and 4. Much of this work will involve identifying the academic and technical content standards that are embedded in each project.
This work will begin with a two-day meeting on September 20–21 that will be facilitated by Leslie Carson, the Director of SREB’s Preparation for Tomorrow initiative. Following the meeting, the panel will continue to refine the project drafts at a distance via Microsoft SharePoint through a process developed by CETE staff. The panel is expected to complete this work by the end of the year, at which point their drafts will be given to an expert curriculum consultant who will streamline the content.
Once Courses 1 and 2 have been field tested, the data collected will be analyzed at the end of the school year for incorporation into a final revision process. In addition, the content for Courses 3 and 4 will be prepared for field testing during the 2013–14 school year. To prepare, a new Summer Teacher Training Institute will be conducted in June 2013 for teachers and staff who will be involved in field testing the second half of the AMJT course sequence.
If you have any questions on the AMJT Project, please contact David Mullins, Program Manager, at Center on Education and Training for Employment (firstname.lastname@example.org; 614-292-5475).
Contributor: David C. Mullins