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Harford Community College’s Business, Education, and Computing & Applied Technology Division was recently awarded a $200,000 grant for Advanced Technological Education (ATE) through the National Science Foundation.

With the grant funds, the College will create an additive manufacturing career pathway for community college and high school students to fill the workforce needs of the growing additive manufacturing field in Northeastern Maryland. Additive manufacturing is the process of making objects from 3D model data by joining materials layer by layer, a departure from traditional machining manufacturing.

Collaboration with partners in the Harford County Public Schools, local industry, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and the Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of Maryland (RAMP MD) is an important component of this grant. The National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education program focuses on partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels.

David Antol, Coordinator of Applied Technology at Harford Community College and an Engineering Technology faculty member since 2008, will lead the grant initiative and program development. With more than 40 years of experience as an electronic engineer in various manufacturing environments, Antol brings a strong background to develop the curriculum and pathways program for college and high school students. He has been responsible for developing new 3D printing classes at Harford Community College and has contributed to the Community College of Baltimore County Technology and Innovation in Maryland and Engineering Center. Antol graduated from Trine University in Indiana in Electrical Engineering and received an M.S. degree from Loyola College.

Lester Hitch, an HCC adjunct faculty member teaching 3D printing classes, will assist in curriculum development and professional development workshops. His previous career in working with one of the more advanced 3D printing facilities in the Department of Defense and his current position with EOS, one of the world’s largest metal printer companies, will benefit the students’ experiences.

RAMP MD’s teaming agreement with Harford Community College will enhance the College’s ability to work with a number of Aberdeen Proving Ground organizations and other associated federal partners to maximize the student interaction and ultimately develop a pipeline to meet regional workforce needs.

One of the goals of the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program is to share best practices developed during the program with other academic institutions.

The National Science Foundation funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations, and other research organizations throughout the United States. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded.

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