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CCCCD Recognizes Nortel Networks For Youth Technology Training

CCCCD Recognizes Nortel Networks For Youth Technology Training

SEPTEMBER 27, 2002 - In appreciation of the relationship created under the National Science Foundation's Advancing Careers in Technology and Science (ACTS) project, Collin County Community College District recently presented plaques and certificates to Nortel Networks employees who trained area educators in technology and volunteered at the college's Tech Camp 2002.

"All the studies show that the best age to grab a student's interest is in middle school, so we are focusing our time and talent at that age group through Tech Camp and the 'NetWorks' kits (wireless technology educational kits designed by Nortel Networks). Both programs also offer hands-on activities which help to keep the students excited about learning," said Beth Kolman, manager of community relations for Nortel Networks' in Richardson.

In the interest of attracting students to technology fields, Nortel Networks and CCCCD joined efforts to train area middle and high school teachers and educators in the latest wireless technology both at the college and Nortel Networks. Secondary teachers and librarians received training in wireless technology from CCCCD engineering technology professors at the college's Preston Ridge Campus. In addition, technology coordinators and teachers from 13 north Texas independent school districts attended a "Train the Trainers" technology workshop at Nortel Networks in Richardson. Area educators were given Nortel Networks "NetWorks" kits designed by Robert Long, a former teacher and engineer and current manager of community relations for Nortel Networks' in Ottawa, Ontario. Valued at $200, the kits include a teacher's manual, a notebook of activities, a board game and additional material to teach middle school students about wireless communication.

"Providing professional development opportunities for secondary teachers ties directly into the college's workforce development goals. Labor needs have changed over the past year, however, technical competency is still critical and teachers are the best link to our future workforce," said Dr. Toni Jenkins, CCCCD executive vice president.

Nortel Networks also provided speakers and mentors for the college's Tech Camp 2002, a high-tech summer experience designed to bring math and science to life for local students entering grades 7 - 10 in fall 2002. Taught by CCCCD engineering technology professors, the camp focuses on early training for emerging and high-demand wireless occupations. This year the camp graduated 53 students, and 47 students received Federal Communications Commission ham radio licenses. The camp is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Brandenburg Life Foundation, Texas Instruments, Nortel Networks and Ericsson.

Nortel Networks employees Bill Barnes, Nancy Bateman, Dave Brombal, Steve Craycraft, Randy Dunning, Biji John, Joe Jurecka, Beth Kolman, Keith Landau, Duc Le Zaw Maung, Behzad Pirouz, Lynn Rabon, Emilio Rivera and Genga Thill served as mentors and speakers at the college's Tech Camp.

"As the Nortel Networks executive sponsor for Tech Camp 2002, I am pleased with how this program aligns directly with our business/community focus with regard to math, science and technology education," said Keith Landau, vice president, wireless networks, Nortel Networks. "I am truly proud of all the middle-school students who accepted the challenge to get their wireless operators' license. My appreciation goes to the Collin County Community College District's Engineering Technology Department for putting this excellent hands-on technology experiential camp together and also to all the other sponsors. Collectively we can make math and science both interesting and fun for the scientists of tomorrow."

For more information about the NSF ACTS project at CCCCD, call 972-377-1582.