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This white paper covers SCME's work with Synergy and its integration of Value-Based and Scaling methods to enhance and improve SCME's impact on educators and their students.

"The Southwest Center for Microsystems Education’s (SCME) goal is to enhance the capability of emerging technology educational programs to produce technicians for research and the production of hi-tech products, namely Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS). SCME does not only produce educational materials but also disseminates this knowledge to secondary and post secondary educators. Industry contributes their needs, and benefits from this effort as well. SCME offers participants numerous educational materials, lab/fabrication experiences, and kits to bring back to the classrooms. Through the Synergy process, SCME has embraced Value-Based Evaluation. "

Acces the entire paper by James Hyder, SCME's Internal Evaluator, Synergy Coach and Industry Liaison: "SCME Outcomes Focused Phase"

Scaling MEMS Education Offerings: SCME’s Synergy Story - James Hyder and Matthias Pleil

White paper presented at the June, 2011 Synergy Conference in Providence Rhode Island (click for a listing of all presentations and handouts).

"As the demand for Micro-technology technicians continues to increase, there is a critical need for a standardized/readily available Microsystems curriculum to facilitate rapid dissemination of these highly skilled individuals. In an effort to lay the foundation for Microsystems education, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the creation of the Southwest Center for Microsystems Education (SCME) under its Advanced Technological Education program in 2004 and 2009 (DUE Grant Nos. 0402651, 0902411). The SCME has recently moved and is located at the University of New Mexico Manufacturing Training and Technology Center (MTTC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.

The following paper describes SCME’s “story” as to how they have actively engaged industry to improve their instructional materials design and delivery which will reduce the time to market, and increase penetration. Since the SCME has developed dozens of Learning Modules and several hands-on kits, it has become apparent that there is a need to improve the promulgation of these materials to educational organizations on a national scale in order to impact a larger segment of the student population. Utilizing lessons from the “Research, Practice and Transformation through Synergy Project” (DUE No 0903224) and “lean” manufacturing methodologies, the SCME is beginning to experience broader impact from their educational offerings that are now being duplicated by other projects/centers (scale). Specifically, utilizing the concepts of Training Within Industry’s Job Instruction, students and secondary/post-secondary alike not only receive an educational overview from workshops, but utilize the training they receive to demonstrably bring these skills back to the classroom and ultimately to industry. The faculty participants in these activities have a better understanding of the materials and a template to follow for when they facilitate their students’ learning and acquisition of micro technology knowledge and skills. Industrial participants immediately bring enhanced knowledge and skills back to their organizations. Additionally, SCME directly benefits from these “leaning” efforts thus becoming more efficient and further able to broaden their impact.

Trying Out Scale: How Synergy Projects Apply Diffusion Concepts

James W. Dearing, John Carrese, Laurence Clement, Elaine Craft, Patressa Gardner, Jim Hyder, Elaine Johnson, David McNeel, Joshua Phiri, Matthias (Matt) Pleil

This paper describes the work of three grantees of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program that voluntarily joined the Synergy Collaboratory, a cross-grantee effort sponsored by NSF to expose ATE grantees to evidence-based concepts new to them about scaling up and diffusing out innovative projects of their creation. The objective of this paper is to answer the following questions:
1. When a set of grantees is introduced to concepts about how to grow their work, whether that means replicating a program, expanding a clientele or number of students served, increasing the reach of a project so that additional businesses, colleges, or communities are involved, or partnering with others so that pilot activities can be multiplied, how long does it take them to try out those concepts?
2. Which concepts get tried, and how?
3. Are concepts tried together, or one by one?
4. Why do grantees try certain concepts and not others?
5. Do grantees add value to concepts by putting them to use?

We answer these questions through case study descriptions of the experiences of these three Synergy projects. We then summarize our observations by addressing the above questions.

Click here for a copy of this white paper - "Trying Out Scale: How Synergy Projects Apply Diffusion Concepts"


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