(CT Space Grant, 10/5/17)
During this past summer, Ms. Thienly Nguyen, an undergraduate biomedical engineering student enrolled in the University of Hartford, was an intern at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) in their Education and Workforce Development (EWD) department. CCAT is a non-profit organization that, at its start, focused on supporting and improving Connecticut’s manufacturing industry. However, the company has long since grown to include focuses in information technology (IT) and energy, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as well.
While CCAT has an Advanced Manufacturing Center that would have aligned more closely with Thienly’s major, she chose to join EWD in order to challenge herself and try something a little different from what she has been studying. The EWD department’s purpose is to promote manufacturing and other related careers, primarily through student programming and employer-employee outreach.
Thienly, along with three other interns, was primarily responsible for preparing and running the Young Manufacturer’s Academy—a series of summer workshops for middle school students to learn about manufacturing and engineering careers. In these workshops, students had the opportunity to learn about STEM/manufacturing topics and familiarize themselves with robotics, computer-aided design (CAD), and more.