The PIPED project is currently in a very dynamic phase of exploration and coming change. We present below some of the many adjustments, improvements, and other ideas that have been brainstormed under the efforts of the PIPED grant.
In our exploration of curriculum improvements, we are discussing and/or implementing the following:
- Current courses have introduced some green and sustainable content in Spring 2014. The first attempt was focused on the recycling system in SF Public Utilities Commission’s Building, “The Living Machine”. More examples will be developed.
- CCSF's HVAC series may have an impact on evolution of the PIPED curriculum, as there is significant overlap in STEM and in the workforce / industry.
- This could involve modularizing the HVAC courses into 0.5 and 1 units, in the long run, may enable us to use some of them in multiple programs such as PIPED.
- Leveraging our own successful Biotechnology program model, CCSF could introduce contextualized Math and English, such as ET 107/108A. These could be beneficial to program participants, and couls also replace the general math and English requirements in the PIPED AS degree curriculum. The math courses, similarly, should eventually be integrated in to the curriculum and ideally taught in a “Learning Community” format similar to the Bridge to Biotech model.
- Field Trips sponsored by local industry will draw interests among portfolio minded students. SFPUC’s “Living Machine”, Heron Eco-center, SF Southeast Water Treatment Facility would be the first 3 sites for these field trips.
- Both ASPE and ASHRAE are very interested in a student membership in their local chapters. Considering the fact that both organizations are dominated by mechanical engineers, it might be more manageable to form one student club on campus representing both organizations. This way, we can draw the benefits of both organizations into the same group of students.
- ASPE’s annual student membership fee is reasonable for a student budget. The cost of dinner at the local chapter meetings are often sponsered by ASPE and its membership. The student’s ASPE membership benefits should be developed andpublicized among students.
- High School presentation by CCSF PIPED or ME students, club members, as club sponsored activities can represent the outcome of the field trips above. The engineering students discuss the engineering of the system they visited at their field trip within a STEM activity at the high school.
- The CCSF club at the college should include a counterpart or a small brother club at the high school. The links of chair between the high schools and college should start with student to student. The faculty can follow that to build its own links among the faculty, but MUST be focused on what works among the students.
Student Recruiting & Marketing
- Current semi-professional students in PIPED classes can help with recruitment. We can design a protocol tool via the students in the class, such as understanding of the benefits of the PIPED training, both in the field and in the Academic chain. They can pass the info and options to broader group of people unaware of PIPED program.
- PIPED, as a CTE program, should be promoted among transfer engineering students as a complementary STEM application training, especially among the mechanical engineering majors, to complement their theoretical training in traditional transfer engineering curriculum.
- Formation of a student club is a good way to interject students’ interests and involvement into the PIPED mix. Some ideas to explore would be to form a student club on water related issues, another club related to energy. These clubs can include the technician level PIPED graduate as well as transfer engineering students with mechanical inclinations.
- Recruitment from high schools already started during the 2013-2014 academic year. The PIPED team members visited International Studies Academy (ISA) high school twice, John O’Connell High School three times, Galileo High once, and Burton High once. This effort will become more streamlined and formalized once we develop articulation agreements between the high schools and CCSF’s PIPED program. Such protocol requires significant amount of faculty collaborations between the HS STEM teachers and the college engineering faculty. Current PIPED dynamic has formed a team consisting of 2 teachers from John O’Connell High School and the PIPED group at CCSF. The goal is to develop a seamless pathway from high school through college to ultimate viable careers in PIPED or related fields, upon completion of the training program and the potential internship.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1103826.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.