March 3: Annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

Twenty Three teams of high school students from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin competed on March 3rd to design the most elaborate and hilarious (but also functional) ways to open an umbrella at the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The regional event lets high school students display their creativity, humor and ingenuity while learning about engineering.

The teams participating compete for a regional title and to qualify for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on Saturday, April 23 at the Waukesha Country Technical College in Pewaukee, Wis., where teams will compete to become the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Division II champion.

The results of this year’s competition are as follows:
1st Place**:  Beach Bums (Chatfield HS – Chatfield, MN)
2nd Place**:  Time Warp (Christ’s Household of Faith School – St. Paul, MN)
3rd Place:  Sharknado (Christ’s Household of Faith School – St. Paul, MN)
4th Place:  Bad Luck Brians (Christ’s Household of Faith School – St. Paul, MN)
5th Place:  New Prague Rube-E-Os (New Prague HS – New Prague, MN)
**Advance to Nationals

Other fun miscellaneous awards:

  • Best Use of Duct Tape / Most Duct Tape Used:  Rained Out – Southwest Minnesota Christian HS – Edgerton, MN
  • Team that Traveled the Farthest:  Team Elk Mound – Elk Mound HS – Elk Mound, WI
  • Best Drama:  Team Poppins – NRHEG HS – New Richland, MN
  • Most Optimistic:  Beach Bums – Chatfield HS – Chatfield, MN
  • Student’s Choice Award (given to team that best captured the “spirit of Rube Goldberg” and chosen by MSU engineering students) – Time Warp – Christ’s Household of Faith School, St. Paul, MN)

Designed to encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving for students of all ages, the STEM- (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM- (science, technology, engineering, art and math) friendly Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, according to its website, tackles the most mundane tasks and asks participants to create their own overly elaborate and hilariously conceived wacky contraptions that accomplish that task in honor of the competition’s founding father. The first National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was launched in 1988.

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was an engineer, sculptor, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who depicted overly complex machines performing simple tasks. The machines that he drew often were impossible to build and operate, but were entertaining because they defied implementation.

To view the KEYC TV news story on the competition: H.S. Students Compete for Most Unique Way to Open Umbrellas Without Hands.

 

Greater Mankato Vex Competition

The Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence was a proud sponsor of the first ever Greater Mankato Vex Competition which was held November 14, 2015 at Mankato East High School.  Thirty -five teams, including eleven from Mankato, participated in the event hoping to qualify for the state competition that will be held January 26-30, 2016 in St. Cloud.  The Mankato Free Press did an article on the event which can be read here: Mankato Free Press Article on the Greater Mankato Vex Competition.  Two of the Mankato School District teams also sat down and did an interview with KEYC that is worth watching if you don’t know much about robotics or vex: Student Interview with KEYC about VEX

Additive Manufacturing Workshops

Workshops to cover current state-of-the-art and future potential of Additive Manufacturing.

2015-09-09

MNCEME and Minnesota State Mankato are offering two Additive Manufacturing Workshops this summer.  These workshops are being developed by MSU faculty members, Dr. Kuldeep Agarwal and Dr. Winston Sealy, and are designed to educate industry and high school teachers about the various aspects of additive manufacturing.  The workshops will cover the current state-of-the-art and future potential of additive manufacturing and demonstrate a wide array of additive manufacturing technologies.  Both workshops are being held in Trafton Science Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

What is Additive Manufacturing?  Commonly referred to as 3D Printing, additive manufacturing is a methodology to fabricate 3D structural and functional parts, layer by layer, from metallic, plastic, ceramic, electronic, biological, and composite materials based on computer-aided design (CAD).

For more information about the workshops, click on the links below:

Additive Manufacturing Industry Workshop – http://cset.mnsu.edu/mnceme/industryam.html.

Additive Manufacturing Educator Workshop – http://cset.mnsu.edu/mnceme/educatoram.html.

For all inquiries, please contact us at 507-389-1201 or mnceme@mnsu.edu.

African American Engineering & Adacemic Day

On October 13th MNCEME along with MSU’s Institutional Diversity will host 225 students engaging them in hands-on activities and providing them opportunities to interact with current MSU students, faculty and industry professionals

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE NEWS RELEASE, 10-7-2015

Mankato, Minn. – Instititutional Diversity and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Minnesota State University, Mankato will host 225 students from seven Twin Cities-area high schools during an “African American Engineering Academic Day” visit day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

This event will provide students with an opportunity to meet African-American professionals in the field of engineering and help to familiarize them with a higher education institution like Minnesota State Mankato.

The African American Engineering Academic Day visit will include a college preparation session, keynote speaker, a tour and speakers who will highlight the engineering profession. The main mission of African American Engineering Academic Day is to encourage and motivate African-American youth to pursue educational opportunities in the area of engineering and to increase their access to higher education.

The students will arrive and check in from 9-10 a.m., and after a 10 a.m. welcome, the keynote address will be delivered by Farche Thomas Wilcox from 3M from 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

From 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m., the students will have an opportunity to view demonstrations and partake in a resource fair. There will be a lunch and industry panel discussion from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. and campus tours from 1-2 p.m. The panel discussion will feature Wilcox, Minnesota State Mankato faculty member Winston Sealy and two members of the local National Society of Black Engineers student chapter.

Minnesota State Mankato sponsors of African American Engineering and Academic Day visit include the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Institutional Diversity and Opportunity Access Success Intercultural Services.

For more information on the African American Engineering and Academic Day visit, contact Shayla Braunshausen, director of diversity initiatives for Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-6126 or by email at shayla.braunshausen@mnsu.edu.

Girls Explore STEM Day

MNCEME in partnership with MSU, Mankato’s Institutional Diversity hosted 200 female high school students at Girls Explore STEM Day October 1st. Students had the opportunity to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through hands on activities, speakers and college readiness programs.

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE NEWS RELEASE, 9-28-2015

Mankato, Minn. — The College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Minnesota State University, Mankato will host 200 high school students at a “Girls Explore STEM” visit day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom that will allow the students an opportunity to explore education and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Girls Explore STEM visit day will involve engaging, fun topics of science, technology, engineering and math. It is intended to promote appreciation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in today’s youth. According to the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) (see page 7 at this link), U.S. women comprise just 25.8 percent of STEM workers despite making up 47.5 percent of the workforce.

The students will arrive and check in from 9-10 a.m., and after a 10 a.m. welcome, Jessica Smasal from Verizon Wireless will deliver a keynote address from 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

From 10:30 a.m. to noon, the students will have an opportunity to visit displays and see demonstrations from females in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions. There will be a lunch and industry panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. and campus tours from 1-2 p.m.

Minnesota State Mankato sponsors of Girls Explore STEM visit day include the Women’s Center, the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, Institutional Diversity and Opportunity Access Success Intercultural Services.

For more information on the Girls Explore STEM college visit, contact Shayla Braunshausen, director of diversity initiatives for Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-6126 or by email at shayla.braunshausen@mnsu.edu.

Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MNAMP) Awarded $15 Million Grant

MNAMP (led by South Central College, including many MnSCU 2-year colleges as well as the MNCEME and 360° Centers of Excellence) awarded grant to strengthen and improve advanced manufacturing education system in Minnesota

2015-10-02

South Central College
Media Release
Shelly Megaw, 507-381-0404
Shelly.Megaw@SouthCentral.edu

September 29, 2014

$15 Million Grant awarded to MN Advanced Manufacturing Partnership led by South Central College
3,000+ students and numerous manufacturers will benefit.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced today the recipients of its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, with South Central College receiving $15 million for advanced manufacturing education. South Central College applied for the grant in July on behalf of the Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MNAMP), a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) consortium of 12 colleges and a Center of Excellence:

  • South Central College (lead college)
  • Century College
  • Dakota County Technical College
  • Lake Superior College
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College
  • Minnesota West Community and Technical College
  • Normandale Community College
  • Northland Community & Technical College
  • Ridgewater College
  • Riverland Community College
  • Saint Paul College
  • 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence (Bemidji State University)

“A TAACCCT grant once again being awarded to our state community and technical colleges affirms the critical role our campuses play in preparing graduates to meet Minnesota’s workforce needs,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “This is what we do for communities and employers across the state. We’re able to leverage the power of a network of 31 colleges and universities to provide more education to more Minnesotans.”

The MNAMP consortium was created to help close the “skills gap” in the state by implementing a structure for advanced manufacturing education that emphasizes a standardized core curriculum, along with employer-driven apprenticeships and cooperative education opportunities. The grant project focuses on the fields of mechatronics, machining and welding. Participants will be able to earn stackable, portable industry-recognized credentials (certificates, diplomas, degrees), while simultaneously working in the industry. They will also be able to enter academic programs at multiple points based on assessment results that match individual skills.

The grant targets unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers; incumbent workers; and other adult learners and underrepresented groups. Traditional students are also eligible. The program is expected to benefit more than 3,000 students and hundreds of manufacturing companies throughout Minnesota. Many Minnesota manufacturers, industry and workforce organizations and the Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence have stepped up to partner with these colleges.

“Our South Central College staff and faculty, along with our MnSCU partner institutions, have worked diligently to create momentum in capitalizing on this national movement toward workforce education opportunities for our students and employers in Minnesota,” said Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central College.

MnAMP directly builds on South Central College President Dr. Annette Parker’s work on President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) 2.0 Steering Committee, a cross-sector national effort to secure U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness.

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South Central College (SCC) is a comprehensive community and technical college that is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU), with campuses in Faribault and North Mankato. SCC has more than 50 technical career and professional programs, with a variety of Certificate and Associate degree options. The college also offers a liberal arts and sciences curriculum that enables learners to earn an Associate in Arts degree from SCC before transferring to complete a Bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. SCC is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer/Educator.

Engineering Concepts are Focus of Teacher Workshop – 2014

Teachers from Waseca Intermediate School learn to integrate concepts into science curriculum.

2014-08-11

In June 2014, MNCEME once again partnered with the Minnesota State Mankato College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) to deliver the third installment of the Teach the Teacher Minnesota Science Standards Workshop. Minnesota State Mankato professors, Jeffrey Pribyl (Chemistry) and Patrick Tebbe (Mechanical Engineering), took the workshop to the teachers at Waseca Intermediate School in Waseca, MN. During the course of this three-day workshop, Pribyl and Tebbe provided a survey of engineering as a profession, discussed basic engineering design principles, led exercises that developed both engineering and teamwork skills, taught the basics of electronic circuits, and led in the design, construction and testing of small mousetrap-based catapults. They also helped the teachers determine how to integrate engineering concepts into their curricula. In addition, they went on plant tours of MTU Onsite in Mankato as well as Itron in Waseca.

Following up after the workshop, Waseca Intermediate Principal John Huttemier said, “Thanks so much for putting on such an effective and engaging staff development training…Your leadership in the way of implementing engineering standards will create a lasting impact for so many students. It has been a pleasure working with you, and I have nothing but positive things to say about the experience for my staff!”

Additional details on this Teach the Teacher Minnesota Science Standards program can be found in an article written about the 2013 Workshop (Click here:  http://ed.mnsu.edu/infobrief/2014-04/#teach). MNCEME plans to continue this workshop in the coming summers, and will investigate expanding the program to include more than one school per summer.

Teach the Teacher Minnesota Science Standards – 2014

Program designed to provide teachers with knowledge to effectively teach engineering concepts to students

2014-05-29
KENT CARLSON, DIRECTOR | MINNESOTA CENTER FOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING EXCELLENCE

The Minnesota Academic Standards in Science, which organize and outline the science content that should be taught in grades K-12, were created by state educators in an effort to ensure that Minnesota schools are producing scientifically-literate students. When these standards were revised in 2009, for the first time they placed a significant emphasis on engineering. In particular, grades four and six are rich with engineering content. While this new emphasis on engineering is a welcome addition from the standpoint of STEM education, it creates a problem: most K-12 teachers have little or no training in engineering concepts. In an effort to address this problem, two Minnesota State Mankato professors, Jeffrey Pribyl (Chemistry) and Winston Sealy (Engineering), have teamed up with the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (MNCEME) and created a “Teach the Teacher” program designed to provide teachers with the knowledge they need to effectively teach engineering concepts to their students.

In June 2013, Pribyl and Sealy held a three-day Teach the Teacher workshop at Hilltop Elementary School. Hilltop is a STEM-focused school for grades four and five that serves Le Sueur and Henderson. Participants in the workshop included classroom teachers from both grades, specialists, and the principal. Also participating were the Minnesota State Mankato teacher candidates that were assigned to Hilltop Elementary to student teach for the 2013-14 school year. The involvement of as many of the school staff as possible allowed for great conversations about how each area could support the engineering standards in the curriculum, rather than creating a situation in which teaching these standards is the sole responsibility of just a few teachers. For instance, the music teacher found a number of connections to the engineering standards that she could help support while teaching the music curriculum.

The workshop delivered engineering content through lectures, but also through hands-on activities: the teachers learned engineering concepts by deconstructing toasters, building motors, and designing and building small catapults that had to meet certain performance criteria. Time was also set aside in the workshops for Pribyl and Sealy to assist the teachers in their engineering curriculum development. Finally, the workshop included tours of the MTU Onsite and Cambria plants to give the participants a glimpse of these engineering concepts at work.

Feedback from the Hilltop participants was very positive. Delivery of this workshop at a different school in summer 2014 is currently in the planning stages.

 

Latino Engineering & Academic Day 2014

American Public Works Association honors Minnesota State Mankato’s Latino Engineering & Academic Day.

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE NEWS RELEASE, 5-9-2014
The American Public Works Association (APWA) recently named Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Latino Engineering & Academic Day (LEAD) initiative as the winner of its 2014 Diversity Exemplary Practices Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to diversity.
It is the first time since the award was first presented in 1997 that it has been awarded to a Minnesota initiative or organization. It will be presented on Monday, Aug. 18 in Toronto, Ontario, in conjunction with the 2014 International Public Works Congress and Exposition at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Latino Engineering & Academic Day has been held annually for the last six years on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. Its mission is to increase Latino high school students’ access to higher education through a day of mentoring with engineering professionals, hands-on engineering demonstrations, Latino-specific college preparation workshops and much more.

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport said the award reflected the University’s commitment to diversity.

“I’d like to congratulate all of those who have worked on the LEAD initiative on receiving this Diversity Exemplary Practices Award,” said Davenport. “Latino Engineering and Academic Day is one of the many events held on campus that demonstrate diversity as one of the university’s core values, and we are very proud to receive this recognition.”

Latino Engineering & Academic Day has served more than 1,200 Latino high school students in six years, including 150 at this year’s event, held April 1. High schools attending the 2014 event included Sleepy Eye, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, Fairmont, Austin, Albert Lea, Champlin Park and Blaine.

Currently there are eight Latino students who participated in the program while in high school who are now enrolled in engineering programs at Minnesota State Mankato.

Nadia Crooker, who works as a school liaison/migrant outreach worker for Sleepy Eye Public Schools, said that Latino Engineering & Academic Day has been of tremendous benefit to high school students.

“Since its inception, this event has been one of a kind,” said Crooker. “It has targeted Hispanic youth who never dared to even think about engineering as a career. It has shown them that they, too, can attend college, and that a career in engineering is very attainable to them. By bringing in Latino engineers to this event every year, these students have gained role models and something they may not have had before, and that is hope.”

Latino Engineering & Academic Day is directed by Minnesota State Mankato’s Division of Institutional Diversity in collaboration with the university’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology, Center for Latino Affairs and Opportunity Access Success Intercultural Services (O.A.S.I.S.) along with the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (MNCEME) and sponsors Bolton & Menk, Inc. and Hormel Foods.

The Latino Engineering & Academic Day initiative was nominated for the 2014 Diversity Exemplary Practices Award by Bolton & Menk, Inc., an engineering and surveying firm that has its corporate office in Mankato.

Program/organization nominations for the APWA Diversity Exemplary Practices Award may come from federal, state or local government units, educational institutions, non-profit institutions and private sector organizations.

A complete list of previous recipients of the APWA Diversity Exemplary Practices Award is available here.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Division of Institutional Diversity and campus partners are planning to expand Latino Engineering & Academic Day in the future to Twin Cities locations in addition to continuing to hold the event at Minnesota State Mankato.

 

Mathcounts – 2014

Traverse Des Sioux Chapter Regional Mathcounts Competition

Hutchinson Middle School Earns First Place

2014-03-25

On February 3, 2014, over 150 junior high/middle school students representing 19 schools from the Southern Minnesota region gathered in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom to participate in the MATHCOUNTS competition. This competition, hosted by the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) and co-coordinated by the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (MNCEME), has been reaching out to students and teachers in Minnesota since 1983. While students and faculty at Minnesota State Mankato have been involved in the competition as judges, exam proctors and staff for a number of years, this is only the second year that the competition has been hosted in Mankato. Professional engineers from the community and region work alongside CSET students and faculty and MNCEME to host the competition. The competition is held at regional, state and national levels each year. This year’s regional winners were: 1st place team – Hutchinson Middle School, 2nd place team – Mankato East Junior High, 3rd place team – Dakota Meadows Middle School, and 4th place team – Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School. Guest speaker was MSU mathematics instructor, Ashley Priem.

 


First Place: Hutchinson Middle School

 


Second Place: Mankato East Junior High School

 


Third Place: Dakota Meadows Middle School, Mankato

 


Fourth Place: Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Secondary School, Lake Crystal