November 27, 2017 Melissa Lamar

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Tunxis Community College in Farmington recently hosted the Engineering Technology Challenge for 24 students from Hartford High School Academy of Engineering & Green Technology.

The program, offered through the College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, ran over the course of six Saturdays this fall with the intent of fostering interest in careers in engineering and technology, and helping students experience what it’s like to attend college.

Engineering Technology Challenge professors Eric Flynn of Gateway Community College and Mehrdad Faezi of Manchester Community College are shown helping high school students with their 3-D pumpkin designs at Tunxis Community College.

“The more we expose our youngest students to advanced technologies and engineering programs, the more we can inspire them to see opportunities and possibilities for their future,” said Dr. James Lombella, President of Asnuntuck Community College and Interim President of Tunxis Community College, who leads the College of Technology.

The high school juniors and seniors were immersed in many hands-on activities that integrated professional skills, manufacturing, 3-D design, technical writing, and math, taught by several CT Community College faculty. They had assignments with deadlines, and received stipends which were connected to their participation, attendance and other factors to help connect the experience to career-level work. They were also mentored by CT Community College students who are enrolled in the College of Technology.

In its third year, the Engineering Technology Challenge program is funded through a National Science Foundation grant, and has been offered to several city high schools since its inception, including New Britain High School last spring.

The Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM) is one of seven National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education Centers in the United States. The RCNGM is led by the College of Technology at Tunxis Community College, a consortium of all 12 CT Community Colleges and eight public and private universities that was formed through CT legislation in 1995 to establish seamless pathways in engineering and technology. Among its goals are to bring together educators and industry, and to be responsive to workforce needs in Connecticut. It also provides seamless career pathways for students to earn certificates, associate of science and bachelor of science degrees in engineering and technology disciplines, with no loss of credit upon transfer. For more information on the College of Technology, contact Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch at 860.723.0608, or [email protected].

Tunxis Community College in Farmington is in the process of launching advanced manufacturing technology programs, coming in fall 2018. The college offers over 60 associate degrees and certificates, including eight associate degrees with science, engineering and technology emphases, and certificates in lean manufacturing and computer aided design. Tunxis is also the recipient of a $2.4 million National Science Foundation grant that established the College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, an NSF Center of Excellence. For more information on programs at Tunxis, call 860.773.1490, or visit