Developing an E-book and Other Interactive Instructional Materials for Technician Education in Vacuum Technology

This project will develop an electronic textbook (E-book) to support vacuum technology education. Vacuum technology is a critical, enabling technology for many industries, with semiconductor manufacturing being one of the largest. According to the 2019 report from the Semiconductor Industry Association, the global semiconductor industry is a key growth sector in the global economy, with the US semiconductor industry accounting for almost half the global market share in 2018. US-based industry semiconductor sales exceeded $200 billion in 2018 and the industry employs over 241,000 direct jobs. Currently, a cohort of community colleges prepares manufacturing technicians for the US semiconductor industry. Preparing technicians for this industry is a challenge for community colleges especially in complex technologies such as vacuum technology. One of the challenges is finding technician-level textbooks and equipping learning environments that facilitate the development of industry-needed skills. The E-book is expected to fill this need through its text and its associated animations, tutorials, video demonstrations, and interactive assessments.

This project will convert the first four chapters of the text "Introduction to Vacuum Technology" by David M. Hata into a modern electronic book. This format will increase access to vacuum technology instructional resources for both students and incumbent workers. In addition, the project will develop a laboratory guide to help community college instructors develop hands-on learning environments for their students. This laboratory guide will present options for implementing vacuum training systems, along with video demonstrations of equipment set-up and operation for laboratory experiments. All materials will be classroom-tested at Erie Community College, Normandale Community College, and other partner colleges. Erie Community College and Normandale Community College will license the e-book and associated resources through a Creative Commons license, and disseminate it with help of The Society of Vacuum Coaters, a professional society, and Lesker, Inc., a vacuum equipment supplier. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation's economy. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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