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PLTW class visit HVCC



Students in Mrs. Birchmore’s PLTW classes traveled to Troy, NY to tour Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC). While at HVCC, students visited several different facilities in the School of Engineering and Industrial Technologies. In the Materials Science Laboratory they were able to see a Tensile Test being performed as well as a Charpy Impact test. The Charpy Impact test sheared two of the same types of metal at different temperatures; one at room temperature and one below freezing. Information from this type of testing is how researchers discovered the reason why the Titanic cracked – the material was much more brittle at freezing temperatures than at room temperatures.

Another highlight to their visit was using the Sandbox in the Civil Engineering Technology building. The Augmented Reality Sandbox uses advanced computer software and 3D projection to create a hands-on watershed science learning experience. Moving the sand in the box creates a landscape with elevation lines, and holding one’s hand over it forms a “cloud” which releases water to flow across the landscape. One student stated, “It was like being God,” when they saw how they could move their hands over the sand and watch the rain pour down and reshape the landscape. Students tend to have a difficult time understanding contour lines, and the visual and kinesthetic use of the Sandbox allows for a much better understanding of contour lines as well as hydraulics, drainage and the basics of topography. 

Professor LaPlante spoke to the students about the importance of taking challenging math classes throughout high school and how math will help them if they pursue a career in the STEM fields. They also visited a CAD Lab and one of the Architectural Technology rooms, where the students saw several concrete samples. In the Construction Technology area, college students were working on framing the different areas of a house. Construction students outside were performing land surveys.

Students also met with professors from the Advanced Manufacturing facility. The college's Advanced Manufacturing Technology degree prepares graduates for careers as CNC machinists/programmers, tool makers and industrial maintenance technicians along with technical marketing, sales, procurement and manufacturing supervisory/control jobs.