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Funded by a $117,000 grant from the Baxter International Foundation, College of Lake County (CLC) presents the first of a multi-year STEM and entrepreneurial Lake County Maker Week aimed at K through 12 students. The inaugural event takes place April 18-25, 2020 and includes a 4-H Robotics Showcase, Lake County Robotics Competition, Big Idea Jr. (a “Shark Tank” type of event), Rube Goldberg competition and culminates with the first Maker Faire Lake County. All Maker Week events will be located on CLC’s Grayslake Campus and open to the public.
Funding from the Baxter International Foundation will be used in part to purchase robotics kits for the Lake County Robotics Competition as well as the 4-H Robotics Showcase. Each kit features 650 building elements, including aluminum and plastic pieces, connectors, wheels, several motors, batteries and two controllers, including one that allows either programmed or driver-controlled operation. The CLC Engineering Transfer department is partnering with the Holly Kim Foundation to run this first-ever Lake County Robotics Competition. The department is also working with the University of Illinois Extension in Grayslake to facilitate the 4-H Robotics Showcase.
Photo: CLC students examine a robot as part of a 2019 scrimmage at the Grayslake Campus.
Maker Week seeks to increase awareness and participation of STEM and entrepreneurship activities in the Lake County community. Maker Week and its associated activities are intended to grow the “maker” and entrepreneurial culture by providing a shared space for STEM, Maker, entrepreneur enthusiasts and professionals to exchange ideas. This program will broadly increase involvement by K-12 students in STEM-related activities, particularly those in underfunded districts. elements, including aluminum and plastic pieces, connectors, wheels, several motors, batteries and two controllers, including one that allows either programmed or driver-controlled operation. The CLC Engineering Transfer department is partnering with the Holly Kim Foundation to run this first-ever Lake County Robotics Competition. The department is also working with the University of Illinois Extension in Grayslake to facilitate the 4-H Robotics Showcase.
Maker Faire Lake County
Maker Faire Lake County is the flagship event of Maker Week. Held on Monday, April 25 in CLC’s Physical Education Center on the Grayslake Campus, Maker Faire Lake County will be interactive and educational in all kinds of ways. From simple conversations and detailed explanations to amazing, do-it-yourself demonstrations, Maker Faire is all about participation and sharing. Makers develop exhibits with hands-on activities as well as present their innovations and unusual objects.
Makers see the possible and then make it happen. The goal of the Maker Faire is to bring as many Lake County makers together to celebrate the multifaceted fields of making, celebrate the unique Makers in our region, promote self-esteem, education and economic development and highlight the Baxter Innovation Lab at CLC.
A Call for Makers is expected to go out in early 2020. Companies, non-profits, school groups and individuals are encouraged to apply to exhibit. For more information about the Maker Faire Lake County, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/makerweek.
Lake County Robotics Competition
Lake County Robotics Competition is envisioned as a low-cost, low-barriers introduction to robotics. The goal of the robotics competition is to get middle and high school students excited about robotics by lowering the cost and time commitment typical of nationally based competitions. The CLC Engineering Transfer department has several robotics kits funded by Baxter’s grant, each worth more than $1,000, available for qualifying schools, community organizations, libraries, etc. The new competition has eliminated entry fees, making it an affordable program for 8th-12th graders interested in robotics. More information on the Lake County Robotics Competition can be found at www.clcillinois.edu/events/lcrc.
4-H Robotics Showcase
Maker Week kicks off on Saturday, April 18 with the 4-H Robotics Showcase. This event is the culmination of a grade-school robotics program run by Illinois 4-H through the UIUC Extension office in Grayslake.
“Illinois has a long history of supporting robotics programs through 4-H clubs and after-school programs,” said Sandra Prez, extension educator, 4-H Youth Development. “Through robotics, our 4-H youth improve their communication and teamwork skills by working in teams the way scientists and engineers do. In 4-H Robotics, youth gain experience in problem-solving and decision-making as they develop knowledge and skills related to robotics and engineering design process.” Students interested in the 4-H Robotics program can learn more at https://extension.illinois.edu/lm/4-h-lake-county.
Another goal of the Lake County Maker Week, said CLC Engineering Professor Rob Twardock, is to leverage the Baxter Innovation Lab, which opened on CLC’s Grayslake Campus in September 2018. Initially funded by a $175,000 grant from the Baxter International Foundation, the facility is a non-profit instructional makerspace/fab lab and the first public lab of its kind in Lake County. Located in Rooms T120/121 on the campus’ north side, the lab provides the space and equipment for individuals or groups to design and fabricate prototypes, as well as proofs of concept, with a variety of software, tools and equipment. The facility has equipment primarily for 2D and 3D CAD design and digital fabrication, including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills and routers, vinyl print/cut machines and more. In addition, equipment is available for woodworking, metalworking, electronics and programming. The Baxter Innovation Lab will house several activities during Maker Week events.
For more information on Maker Week activities, contact Twardock at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 543-2903; or visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/makerweek.
About College of Lake County:
College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.
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“CLC is such a welcoming environment for international students. Within my first year here, I was helping other international students as a student ambassador.”
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“The nursing skills lab at the Grayslake Campus is great because the equipment is similar to what nurses use on the job. The clinicals were also great hands-on learning experiences, and the CLC instructors have a great relationship with area hospitals and clinics.”
“I have enjoyed all the instructors in the horticulture department, especially their expertise and practical work experiences. All the classes that I have taken are pertinent to my career choice.”
“CLC's field school in Belize was my first official exposure to anthropology in general and archaeology in specific. The college's field study trips are a great way to gain in-depth exposure on a field one might be considering.”
“Really get to know your professors; they are the ones who will write you a letter of recommendation in a few years, so keep in touch with them.”
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“The entire Illinois SBDC International Trade Center staff is an invaluable resource – always available, honest and thorough. If there is a subject outside their realm, they have a network of referrals who are experienced in that field.”
“The Truck Driver Training course built my confidence and really prepared me well for a successful career in this field.”
“In my first semester at the U of I, I attained a GPA of 3.8. CLC did a great job of preparing me for classes at one of the top engineering schools in the world.”
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“I became the first community college student accepted as an intern at a newsroom in Erie, Penn., thanks to my experiences on The CLC Chronicle and working with Professor Kupetz. That first internship opened many doors for me.”
“I am currently working part-time as a paralegal while enrolled as a full-time student in Roosevelt University’s Paralegal Studies program. If I had not received the education I had from CLC, I would not have the part-time job.”
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“CLC is a melting pot; a microcosm of America. The students come from so many different backgrounds and contexts, that you learn almost as much from your classmates as you do from your courses.”
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“Helping put students in a position to make a difference in others' lives - that's what makes my job so rewarding.”
“I am passionate about inspiring new students to understand and embrace the rapidly changing knowledge base in the substance-use fields, particularly as it relates to new brain science, strength-based approaches for treatment and evidence-based practices.”
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“My most memorable teaching experience is to observe a student enter the program with a specific career goal in mind, and after hard work in our program, obtain a specific job working for the company of his or her dreams.”
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“Teaching allows me to have a profound and lasting positive effect upon the professions in the criminal justice system, especially law enforcement. I enjoyed being a police officer very much, and I strive to pass on my love for the profession through my teaching.”
“While attending high school, I joined my community's rescue squad, and I soon realized that firefighting and rescue work was my calling in life. It's been rewarding to help people who are experiencing some of the worst days of their life.”
“My main goal is to help students understand and appreciate that education is a way of life rather than a journey to a job.”
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“When I was a CLC student, it was such a great experience because the teachers really care about the students. I decided I wanted to teach biology at a community college, and I still can't believe that I am here. It truly is a dream come true.”
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“I consider the needs of students every time I plan activities and goals for class. As a result, I utilize multiple teaching strategies, from lecture to a small-group critical thinking activity. In addition, I set and communicate high expectations and teach students how to successfully reach these goals.”
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“I try to relate course concepts directly to real life. For example, there are real-time weather discussions in my meteorology classes, where students see how the course material applies directly to the weather that affects their lives.”
“Teaching is not just about sharing knowledge, but - most importantly - inspiring students and helping them become life-long learners.”
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“Mathematics is so much easier to understand when you concentrate on learning concepts, not memorizing procedures. In my classes, we ask and seek answers questions like, 'What does this mean?' and 'Why does this make sense?'”
“I teach using guided notes and a tablet laptop in order to keep students engaged. Writing on a tablet instead of the chalkboard or whiteboard allows me to face my class, so I can see their reactions and more easily promote discussion.”
“My philosophy of teaching can be summed up by, 'Meet students where they are. Help them move forward.'”
“A student who transferred to Northern Illinois University and took calculus classes there emailed me to thank me for teaching her to be a more prepared student and to learn math throughout the entire semester, instead of cramming.”
“My passion for cars started when I was a young boy, holding a drop light for my dad as he worked on the family car. As time went on, I grew up and my Hot Wheels® cars just got bigger and faster.”
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“In my classes, students learn that history is not a set of static facts, but a dynamic and active process of interpretation.”
“History explains the world to us. CLC offers many opportunities for faculty and students to travel widely in the world. My travels in Jordan, the Netherlands and in several other countries have broadened my experience and helped me to be a better teacher.”
“I seek to make connections between course content and students' lives and to build relationships with and among students in the classroom. Students flourish when working together toward a common goal and when they realize that they can rely on their peers and professors for support and information.”
“I cannot compete with a smartphone in terms of overall information. Consequently, my teaching objective is not just to disseminate information, which students can get from a variety of sources, but rather to assist students in applying this information in real-world situations.”
“I'm fascinated by psychology's mystery as well as its different explanations, theories and philosophical assumptions about human nature. Perhaps most important, the field has the potential to help people live better.”
“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to help students navigate college and make decisions that will have a lasting impact on their lives and families.”
“I want my students to be able to recognize the extent to which society influences most of what we do and think, but that we can also change the course of society. To achieve this goal, I often provide a range of different examples and activities. ”
“I believe my students should be active participants in the learning process, and the material should be directly connected to their outside experiences. At the end of the semester, I hope they leave with the belief that they can change the world!”
“Using genealogy and popular culture allows me to make connections for students to unfamiliar sociological theories, by utilizing something they know (their family history; favorite TV shows, or movies) as a starting point.”
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