The Alpena Community College in collaboration with the World Center for Concrete Technology is developing a sustainability concrete technology project. Activities include educational materials development, research, professional development, and outreach to industry through seminars and job fairs. The primary audiences effected are two-year community college students, secondary school teachers, secondary school students, and concrete technology faculty. The project has five deliverables: (1) Research by two-year technology students into CO2 sequestration in concrete masonry product based upon a range of mix designs, admixtures, and curing methods. (2) Professional development for regional secondary school science instructors and their students through webinars, site visits to the center, and participation in the research project. (3) Outreach to industry by sponsoring job fairs to connect employers and two-year community college students. (4) An online certificate for industry professionals with capstone courses in sustainability, energy conservation, kiln optimization, and CO2 capture. (5) Formation of a four-year degree in Concrete Technology offered through the college.
There is a documented connection between CO2 emissions, cement production, the extensive use of concrete as a primary construction material worldwide, greenhouse gases, climate change, and global warming. The research component of this project is quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of concrete masonry according to range of production factors. Because no substitute for concrete as a construction material currently exists, establishing the potential of concrete as a sequestration agent has merit in the U.S. and across the developing world.
The project is (1) enhancing technical education in two cohorts of concrete technology students who can then enter their careers backed with extensive research experience; (2) developing science, technology, and mathematics instruction among regional science instructors; (3) developing a four-year degree in Concrete Technology at the college; (4) contributing research that has potential impact on CO2 emission levels worldwide; (5) promoting sustainability to industry professionals through the development and delivery of an online certificate; and (6) establishing the WCCT as a national center of sustainability research. An advisory committee of industry leaders, community college educators, and public/private sector employers meet quarterly to provide guidance to the project.
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