FDTC Students Travel to Nation’s Capital

Two Florence-Darlington Technical College students traveled to Washington D.C.

FDTC Students Travel to Nation’s Capital

Two Florence-Darlington Technical College students traveled to Washington D.C. to represent the college at the 2016 National Science Foundation ATE Principal Investigators’ Conference. South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center facilitated their participation. Michael Davis, second-year FDTC Mechanical Engineering Technology student and Ivy Wilson, second-year FDTC Civil Engineering Technology student, were nominated by their lead instructor and chosen by the American Association of Community Colleges as ATE Student Scholarship recipients to attend the Washington D.C. conference, October 26 -28, 2016.

Each student showcased a project.  Michael’s project was entitled “Additive Manufacturing from SiMT and MakerSpace,” and Ivy’s was entitled “Solid Works Render to 3D print.” The showcase sessions at the conference were attended by nearly 900 attendees representing education, industry and government. “For me, David Edwards helped me out a lot,” Wilson said about the FDTC Engineering Technology Instructor. “He helped me come up with a solid works project for my presentation. It was really cool to go because I had never been to Washington, D.C. before.”

Michael Davis said, “The experience helped give me a better understanding of what everyone else is doing, and it helped me become better rounded. It allowed me to take from what we learned here with 3D printing and additive manufacturing and compare it to related fields and what other colleges were doing.”

The ATE Student participant conference schedule included showcasing their projects and participating in several roundtable discussions with fellow student participants. Indus-try Speed Networking was a unique student activity at the conference designed to facilitate introductions between business/industry representatives and the student participants.

An ATE Student Recognition Breakfast was held on Thursday, where each individual student was recognized by National Science Foundation officials for their outstanding accomplishments in ATE programs. An ATE Student Breakfast networking session provided an informational setting for ATE students to network with one an-other and share their educational and professional experiences.  They were also treated to a complimentary tour of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum and given an opportunity to see some of the city’s important landmarks.

In addition to the student-focused sessions, Michael and Ivy attended the plenary sessions featuring keynote speakers on the following topics:  Better Skills, Better Jobs, and Better Lives, Preparing Technicians for the 21st Century Workforce, and Leadership in the World Today.  They also attended showcase sessions where ATE-funded projects and centers shared the purposes and products of their work. The overall conference theme was Growing Leaders; Leading Change.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1003733. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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