Tech Camp for Kids Returns for Another Season!

Preparations are underway for a fun-filled summer packed with Technology and Engineering fun at Osburn Hall on the campus of Millersville University. Dr. Len Litowitz leads his collective of engineering experts to bring a wide variety of interesting and challenging topics for your summertime camper to experience during these week-long day camps.

Check out the morning and afternoon sections by following the schedule link below. The link will give you descriptions of the camps and the topics.

2024 Technology Camp for Kids Schedule

This year, through the generous support of MANTEC and LancasterMakes as a program of the Lancaster County Career & Technical Foundation, the first 70 registrants to camps with a green dollar stretcher label ($) will receive $100 off of the registration cost! This offer is limited to one registration per camper for the summer season.

LancasterMakes is focused on increased career exploration and public awareness if Lancaster’s high-priority trade and technical occupations. MANTEC is one of seven private not-for-profit Industrial Resource Centers strategically located throughout the state. The IRCs help manufacturers succeed with assessment, technical expertise, and training.

Contact Dr. Len Litowitz for more information:

Farm in the Classroom Competition Kickoff

There’s a new competition underway in Pennsylvania called, Farm in the Classroom. The competition is the result of a collaborative effort between Dr. Sharon Brusic, Professor in Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology (AEST), and Tommy Kuhns, undergraduate student in Technology & Engineering Education (TECE) who is serving as the contest facilitator.

The Farm in the Classroom competition was designed by Brusic & Kuhns to promote more awareness and interest in sustainable agriculture – specifically hydroponic and aquaponic systems. Hydroponics is the practice of using nutrient rich water to grow plants. Aquaponics is an extension of hydroponics that utilizes the waste that fish produce as nutrients to support plant growth. Brusic & Kuhns received funding through the Agriculture and Youth Grant program through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to organize and implement this innovative contest for Pennsylvania middle school and high school aged students. The competition invites student teams to design, build, and test a hydroponic or aquaponic system.

Continue reading “Farm in the Classroom Competition Kickoff”

Dr. Molly Miller to lead the International Technology & Engineering Education Association

Dr. Molly Miller, Penn Manor Technology & Engineering Education Teacher, MU Adjust Professor, and MU alumna made the front page on LNP this morning. She has been selected to lead the International Technology & Engineering Education Association starting in 2025. Tap this link to read the whole story:

Congratulations Dr. Molly Miller!

Congratulations Dr. Miller

Student Teacher Fosters Entrepreneurism… For a Good Cause

Mr. Todd Garber and his student teacher, Millersville University senior Mr. Thomas Eby, were looking for a challenge to engage their design engineering students this fall and found it by turning students into entrepreneurs for a good cause. They put the class to work designing, pouring, marketing, and selling candles to benefit The Ryan N. Smith Relentless Fund.

Read all about it on the Lampeter-Strasburg News Blog by clicking here.

Green Team: Marauder Eco-filament Project Under Way

The AEST department has been investigating uses for recycled, single-use plastics from around campus. In partnership with the Sustainability Club, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has worked to collect, clean, shred, and sort various plastics and implement them in new and useful ways. This has led to a variety of interesting and useful student-produced tooling and products such as keychains, frisbees, and flower pots. This academic year, an offshoot of the recycled plastics program began a new project centered around the idea creating 3D printing filament.

The project, named Marauder Eco-filament is a collaborative research project where AEST faculty and students work together to investigate and innovate on existing, open-source filament production systems. One of the goals of this project is to develop a working extrusion system that has the capability to use the shredded, recycled plastic and reliably create 3D print materials from it. To that end, AEST students Ashla Durbin and Alex Nikkanen have created two proof of concept systems, one that uses shredded materials and another that uses intact two-liter soda bottles to create filament. These systems have been produced and are being iterated upon by Ashla and Alex to optimize their designs for more consistent products and ease of construction.

Upon completion of the systems, the second phase of the project will begin. Dissemination is a key aspect of any project and as such the Marauder Eco-filament team will take a multifaceted approach to sharing the work. One dissemination strategy is sharing through the academic community. Our team aims to presenting our work at Made in Millersville as well as producing several academic articles designed to suit the 3D printing and education communities. Additionally, plans for the systems will be drafted and shared with the 3D printing community. The spirit of open-source sharing is a foundational component to this work and our initial designs were sourced in the 3D printing community. Given this, the Marauder Eco-filament team is committed to sharing our knowledge and findings with those who can best use and innovate on them as we have done.

We encourage folks to stop by the production area and learn more about our recycled plastics program, the Marauder Eco-filament project, and the wide variety of manufacturing-related labs and activities we offer in Osburn Hall. We would also like to thank our Ashla and Alex for their continued hard work, Dr. Dominick Manusos for his work with the recycled plastics program, and Millersville University for their support of this project.

By: Dr. Alex Johnson and Dr. Justin Egresitz

New Robotics WorX Program

The new Robotics WorX program at MU will advance the automation and manufacturing industry. 

Want to learn more about the robotics world? High school and college students interested in robotics now have the opportunity to gain experience in an internship thanks to a $75k grant awarded to Precision Cobotics, Inc. and Millersville University’s Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology department.

The grant, provided by the Lancaster STEM Alliance, provides support for the  Workforce Development & Career Exploration in Robotics Engineering (Robotics WorX) program – a partnership between Precision Cobotics and AEST. It will provide internships for students in local high schools and at Millersville.

Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor of Automation & Electric Technologies and the program coordinator of Automation & Robotics Engineering Technology at MU, explains what the program entails. “The Robotics WorX program brings together Lancaster area high school partners, workforce development agencies, the University and private industry partner of Precision Cobotics for an innovative internship/mentorship program for high school and university students. Precision Cobotics will work with and guide student interns towards proof-of-concept solutions that will be realized in a newly outfitted robotics Solutions Lab at Millersville University.”

Continue reading “New Robotics WorX Program”

Keeping People Warm for the Holidays

On December 1, Millersville University’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) successfully concluded its second annual winter clothing drive for families in need at the MU Ware Center in Lancaster City. The NSBE student chapter at MU collaborated with Millersville University Applied Engineering students, the American Society of Safety Professionals club, the Construction club, the Robotics club, the Lancaster STEM Alliance, the Bright Side Opportunity Center, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Lancaster Food Hub. This collective effort resulted in the collection of over 100 different coats, hats, and gloves, all of which were donated to the Lancaster Food Hub for distribution to individuals and families in the Lancaster area.

In addition to the clothing drive, NSBE presented class projects and showcased sample technologies for the local community to explore, including various 3D printing technologies, investment casting, and recycled plastics injection molding. Jordan Branch, the president of NSBE, remarked, “It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of an incredible team giving back to the community while showcasing the sustainability efforts and exciting developments happening on our campus.” This initiative is aimed at inspiring and building a pipeline for minority and underrepresented youth in local communities to explore careers in STEM fields.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event. We hope to see you again next year!

Contributed by Jordan L. Branch

Grant Donation Brings New Equipment to the ‘Ville

Millersville students studying automation and robotics engineering technology will soon have access to new equipment, thanks to a grant donation from Phoenix Contact.

The Automation and Controls Lab in Osburn Hall will receive new equipment. Phoenix Contact donated close to $50,000 worth of hardware to Millersville as a part of their EduNet educational partnership. This includes industrial-grade computer systems used to digitize and control industrial processes. The equipment is being installed this semester and will be available to students starting in January.

The new equipment is an upgrade to previous equipment in the lab. “Our previous equipment was almost 15-20 years old, and while it’s still valid as industry grade, it is becoming technologically ‘old,’” says Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor in Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology at MU. This updated hardware will allow students to get hands-on practice with equipment that is relevant to their education and future careers.

The new technology will allow students opportunities to develop and work with Industrial Internet of Things for local and remote connectivity and control. Internet of Things is an industry term that refers to collective networks of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication among itself. It’s especially relevant to students looking to be automation engineers, controls engineers and manufacturing engineers. “Individuals in these careers are becoming more and more valuable to the industry, as they have the skill set to solve some of the toughest engineering problems facing the industry that supply essential and non-essential products,” says Haughery.

Phoenix Contact aims to prioritize sustainability through its business practices and with its equipment. Millersville’s own emphasis on sustainability is supported by the use of this new equipment. “This hardware provides students opportunities to gain experience using technologies necessary to control environmental and industrial systems efficiently with a mind to sustainability,” says Haughery. This includes consideration of lowering energy consumption, using less materials and tracking system health proactively.

Click here for more information on Millersville’s Automation and Robotics Technology degree.

By: Hannah Sutton ’24
Reprinted from Millersville NEWS, November 21, 2023.

Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair

Dr. Len S. LitowitzI originally prepared my comments for the last faculty meeting of my term as department chair. Those of you who know me best know that I am highly emotional and it would have been a difficult meeting for me to preside over. So, I’m offering my comments in writing as we navigate this changing of the guard. But first, time for a little more baseball talk, just like when Donna Hernandez retired. One reason I like baseball is that it is about impossible to get good at. For example, win 6 out of 10 games all year long and you have likely won your division. Bat .300 and you are considered a very good hitter. Bat .325 and you are an all-star. Approach .350 and you are the league MVP. And bat .400? It has not been done in the modern era of specialty pitching. Ted Williams did it last – in 1941. So, why I would have ever headed into the department chair role thinking that I would have been able to accomplish everything I set out to do? I am not sure. But I did – chalk it up to unbridled optimism, I suppose. What I found out was that my baseball analogy is a good metaphor for life. Do we ever really accomplish everything we set out to do? It certainly didn’t work out that way for me. The last several years have been particularly challenging. I would not have predicted getting upended by a pandemic, a cyber-hack, and in recent years, a constant fight to even keep the building properly climate controlled, no less get some faculty lines back.

Here are some accomplishments I am proud of. Although I was supportive, they are far from my efforts alone. Rather, they are the collective results of a lot of hard work by a lot of individuals and committees, and they just happened in my time. In keeping with my baseball theme, I will count many of these accomplishments in the win column. Continue reading “Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair”

Summer Institute: Teaching Across the Curriculum Using Problem-Based Learning

Click here to download the information!

Attention all teachers: Spots are still available for this summer institute.

This course focuses on how problem-based learning experiences appropriate for your content and grade level can be incorporated into your curriculum.
For many of today’s students the didactic approach is not enough. Increasingly, they need to see meaning and value in what they are learning. The “just in case” philosophy of education that served public education well in the 20th century is being replaced by the “just in time” approach of PBL. Click on the link above or below to view the information flyer.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Scott Warner or Dr. Molly Miller.

Click here to download the information!