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Home | Tag Archives: Western Technical College

Tag Archives: Western Technical College

Joint Modernization Command judges bring real-world experience to El Paso science competition

Back in early March, before COVID-19 and social distancing, a huge room full of El Paso-area students showing off their science experiments, drones and robots was an inspiring sight.

At the Five Star Innovation STEM Cup and Robotics Competition at Western Technical College on March 6-7, drones whipped around the room, over and through obstacles; robots battled it out to see which had the strength to push another out of the battle circle; and students talked about their science experiments to judges from the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command.

More than 250 students from around the El Paso area competed in the engineering, robotics and drone competition. This was the first year drones were included in the competition.

The event, now in its eighth year, included workshops and presentations from Western Technical College’s information technology experts, cyber security experts and more. Military professionals from JMC judged the various challenges and competitions. The keynote speaker for the event was Col. Bert Shell, Joint All-Domain Command and Control Division Chief at JMC.

“Seeing the high-level science and engineering that El Paso students are involved in is truly impressive and inspiring,” Shell said. “As the Army and JMC focus on the future, it’s important to encourage our young scientists, engineers and inventors. That is why JMC participates in this event every year. Looking around, it’s clear our future is in good hands.”

Five Star Innovation works to cultivate tomorrow’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals in order to make the El Paso region the nation’s hub for STEM business and education. The competition helps students understand the world around them, develops and strengthens their critical thinking and problem solving skills, and teaches them the principles and concepts necessary for discovery and innovation.

Shane Haggerty, President of Five Star Innovation, said that having JMC’s military personnel leading and judging the Five Star Innovation STEM Cup and Robotics Competition, gives El Paso students a different, important perspective. Both civilian and military personnel from JMC and the El Paso chapter of AFCEA International volunteered at the competition in an effort led by Rod Chavez, Capabilities Integration Analyst at JMC.

“These military judges pose real-world questions and offer a perspective that is much different than a judge from a traditional science fair,” Haggerty said. “These JMC judges really force the students to sell themselves and their ideas. They make the students explain how their ideas can help the Army and the world. It adds an extra dynamic, and it’s what makes this competition special.”

The winners of the competition received scholarships to Western Technical College, a $250 cash prize and the permanent trophy, which will be on display at their schools for a year. The high school division winner was Cristopher Nunez from Montwood High School with his project on an autonomous weapon recognition and alert system. The middle school winners were sixth graders Adrian Ramirez and Devon Calvin from Parkland Middle School, with their project on a suicide prevention app.

Author:  Jonathan Koester Joint Modernization Command 

San Eli HS Students Set To Attend Western Tech via Dual Credit Program

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the San Elizario Independent School District (SEISD) and Western Technical College will take their ‘Partners in Education’ relationship to an entirely new level.

This new Dual Credit partnership between SEISD and Western Tech will give San Elizario High School students the opportunity to graduate from high school and at the same time obtain an Associate Degree from Western Tech in the area of Refrigeration, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

While the cost of the program is usually $36,000, thanks to the Dual Credit instructional offering, the cost is subsidized by local scholarships from Western Tech and a reduced tuition rate which will be paid for by SEISD.

SEISD officials said, “This financial support ensures that this opportunity will not impact the students’ future federal financial aid and will be offered at zero cost to the families and students participating in the program.”

The San Elizario ISD and Western Tech A.O.S Degree Program is a 3-year program for eligible SEISD students beginning their Sophomore year in high school.

Students will attend Western Tech the second half of their instructional day for all 3 years and will have the opportunity to earn their AOS Degree to include the following:

  • EPA 608 Certificate
  • R410 A Safety Certificate
  • HVAC Excellence in Electrical
  • TDLR R-HVAC Technician License

According to Western Tech officials, the HVAC industry is projected to grow 14% annually for at least the next 6 years and is in need of qualified HVAC technicians.

SEISD officials add, “[This] program isset to change the future of Career and Technical Education in El Paso and possibly the entire state of Texas…upon completion of this program, SEISD students will find themselves eligible to take advantage of this growing job market.”

***

 For more information about this topic, please contact either Michael Rodriguez with San Elizario ISD at 915.872.3900 or rodriguezm@seisd.net​ or Marco Martinez with Western Technical College at 915.760.8157 or mmartinez@westerntech.edu.  

Fabens High Grads Snag Western Technical College’s 2017 Cotton Valley Scholarships

Western Technical College has announced the recipients of the 2017 Cotton Valley Scholarships.

Alan Sanchez Aguirre and Bryan Saucedo, both 2017 graduates from Fabens High School, will receive $25,000 in scholarships towards tuition, books, uniforms, laptops, and Matco tools at Western Tech.

“It is rewarding for us at Western Tech to be able to give the gift of education to well-deserving students like Alan and Bryan,” said Brad Kuykendall, Chief Executive Officer of Western Tech.

“We also applaud the efforts of Texas State Board of Education District 1 Representative, Georgina Cecilia Perez, who plays such a critical role advocating for long-term education.  We look forward to the bright futures Alan and Bryan have as they start their careers at Western Tech,” Kuykendall added.

A scholarship presentation was held earlier this month at Western Tech where the students received their awards from the Cotton Valley Scholars of the Rural Schools Education Program & Scholarship Foundation.

Both Alan and Bryan are enrolled in the Associates of Occupational Studies in Diesel Mechanics program.

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