Coordinator for Engineering Technology David Antol discussed the College’s Engineering Technology Program with the students, who watched demonstrations and learned about opportunities that exist for those who learn to use the technology. 3D printing is widely agreed to be one of the most valuable skills for job-seekers in the changing labor market.

Harford Community College recently participated in the YouthQuest Foundation’s 3D ThinkLink Initiative Vocational Orientation Day for students who may benefit from additional motivation to complete their education.

David Antol, Coordinator for Engineering Technology, took students from Maryland’s Freestate ChalleNGe Academy on a tour of HCC’s 3D Printer Lab and discussed the College’s Engineering Technology Program. The students watched demonstrations and learned about opportunities that exist for those who learn to use this technology. Antol said he hoped the students would see how 3D printing is being used and learn how they can be part of that experience. Mr. Antol serves as the Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant that creates pathways for dually-enrolled high school students in the additive manufacturing sector.

A nonprofit organization, the YouthQuest Foundation provides opportunities for at-risk youth, particularly high school dropouts. The Foundation is focused on academic and vocational development and teaching fundamental life skills. It teaches at-risk youth about 3D printing in order to instill in them critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as confidence in their own abilities and creativity. The initiative helps students prepare for their continued education or to gain employment in STEM-based occupations.

The Freestate ChalleNGe Academy in Maryland provides at-risk youth with academic, job skills and life skills training with emphasis on positive values in a structured environment that will give them hope and the opportunity to become productive citizens. The Freestate ChalleNGe Academy is a division of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. Established under the authority of both federal and state law in 1993, the FCA is a state-run 17½ month residential and post-residential intervention for 16-18 year olds who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out.

The Engineering Technology program at Harford Community College focuses on the application and implementation of knowledge and practices within the manufacturing sector and places a strong emphasis on problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills.

The program is built around the needs of the manufacturing industry; therefore, emerging technologies such as additive manufacturing (3D Printing) are key components. Students take classes in Blueprint Reading, Hydraulics and Pneumatics, and CADD, and acquire marketable skills in Electronics, Mechanics, and 3D Printing Technologies. Harford is one of the few community colleges with an emphasis on 3D Printing. Students in the program build their own 3D printer, through which they learn the design process, collaboration and team building, and develop hands-on, trial and error-based knowledge of manufacturing.

For more information about HCC’s Engineering Technology Program.