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PBSC students present at national NSF conference

Burgess and Morel at NSF ATE conference
Alexander Burgess and Joseph Morel

Two students in PBSC’s Electrical Power Technology A.S. degree program presented on a national stage this week.

Alexander Burgess and Joseph Morel were among a select group of community college students chosen to attend the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Principal Investigator Conference Oct. 23-25 in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Burgess spoke about the knowledge he and fellow classmates have applied to the design and implementation of solar-powered benches in downtown West Palm Beach. In his presentation, “Solar Benches: Application of Theoretical Knowledge to Real-World Problems,” he described how the benches give residents and visitors a place to rest while recharging their electronic devices. The first bench was a class project, and more were made for PBSC campuses. Now with the support of West Palm Beach’s Office of Economic Development, these off-grid gathering spots are getting a real-world test drive.

Morel, who also serves as the College’s student trustee, spoke about his experience working in the B.E.S.T. Summer Academy for high school students, which is part of PBSC’s InnovATE project funded by an NSF ATE grant. In his presentation, “Transferring the Knowledge from an A.S. Program to High School Students Through Hands-On Projects,” he described using the knowledge he gained in the EPT program to assist and guide high school students in hands-on STEM activities, such as solar racing cars, 3-D modeling, printing and scanning, and Rube Goldberg machine projects.

Burgess and Morel exemplified the theme of the 24th National ATE Principal Investigators Conference: “Hands-on/Minds-on: Pathways to a Highly Skilled U.S. Workforce.” They both received NSF ATE Award of Excellence certificates for their efforts.

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