Dimensional Metrology Certification Project
Through this project American Indian students are gaining knowledge and experience by applying cutting-edge metrology techniques using data capturing equipment to improve manufacturing quality. Students are learning equipment operation and maintenance skills and how to analyze and solve complex metrology problems. Students are directly applying the technology in meaningful and relevant projects, thereby growing in competence, comfort, and self-confidence to work successfully as technicians in the high tech manufacturing disciplines. NTU is introducing metrology technology to teachers and students at secondary schools with majority American Indian student populations through workshops and demonstrations to cultivate the STEM pipeline. Investigators are conveying how technologies are used in engineering, manufacturing, architecture and geographic information systems fields and providing learning opportunities for high school students. By developing ties with high tech organizations and educating Navajo students in cutting-edge STEM technology fields, this project is aiming to communicate new education and employment potentials in STEM, which for Navajos living on the reservation was previously considered unattainable.
Navajo Technical University's (NTU) Dimensional Metrology Certification Project is incorporating formal training within various STEM curricula to provide industry standard certifications in advanced metrology technologies, specifically Laser Scanner, Laser Tracker, and Portable Coordinate Measuring Machine. NTU is partnering with industry to develop educational materials and standards leading to certifications and training primarily in the area of Dimensional Metrology data capture and related technical hardware and software operations. NTU students are learning these technologies through culturally relevant metrology technology education materials, problem-based learning methodologies, internships and peer mentoring. The project's evaluation effort will take a mixed-method approach (quantitative and qualitative analysis) to assess and to develop an understanding of what changes in faculty and student learning take place as a result of project activities and the contextual circumstances associated with these changes. In so doing the investigating team will add to the knowledge base of how projects of this type contribute to the improvement of technician education in tribal colleges, thereby offering a model for other similar institutions.