Students get hands-on experience with multiple PCC programs during Summer Institute

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by Elizabeth Townsend

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Students from Person High School, Roxboro Community School, Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership, Bartlett Yancey Student learn the Maya Software at PCCHigh School, Dan River High School, and the Homeschool Association had the opportunity to gain hands-on learning this summer at Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Summer Institute.

During the program, rising 10-12th graders discovered information about six PCC programs: Digital Effects and Animation Technology (DEAT), Film and Video Production Technology, Electrical Power Production Technology (EEPT), Electrical Systems Technology, Industrial Systems Technology, and Mechatronics Engineering Technology.

Participants toured PCC’s Person and Caswell County Campuses, as well as Spuntech Industries, Inc., Eaton Corporation, Carolina Pride Car Wash, and Duke Energy Progress’ Mayo Plant. They also participated in team building activities and heard from guest speakers.

“I had the pleasure of highlighting PCC’s Digital Effects and Animation Program to a great group of students during the Summer Institute,” commented instructor Chelsea Porter. “During our day the students learned how to use the same software large movie and game companies like Pixar and Blizzard Entertainment use to create their masterpieces. We used the software, Maya, to create 3D designs including animals and space ships. I think the students got a taste of some of the amazing artwork that our program offers.”Student work with electrical kits with instructor Mac McCormick

Also while visiting the Caswell County Campus the students learned the various aspects of filmmaking, including the multiple rolls needed for success: grip, set-design, lighting, and director to name a few. During this session the students worked together to product a short film.

Students of the Summer Institute continued their hands-on experiences with EPPT and Electrical Systems instructor Mac McCormick where they completing lab exercises with electrical kits. The students then applied this newly acquired knowledge to build and analyze the circuits.

While working with Dave Wehrenberg, instructor of Industrial Systems and Mechatronics Engineering Technology the participants learned various aspects of each program through videos showcasing former student work.

“Students also wired a 3 phase motor, completed four rigging and moving exercises, hooked up a motor and gear reducer, and learned about and actually checked voltage, current, and resistance with an electrical multimeter,” shared Wehrenberg.

To close the program, Woody Jacobs of Duke Energy Progress met with students, imparting his thoughts and personal experiences when it comes to education and success.

Revealing that his two sons both graduated from Piedmont Community College and are successfully working in their chosen profession, Jacobs shared, “As smart young adults you are getting ready to go to the next level. You have a college right here that will give you guidance and will give you opportunities.”

He went on to say that PCC offers numerous programs of study that can provide guidance on each student’s journey. He noted that the professors on staff are “professionals in what they do and they can pour themselves into you.”

Jacobs also encouraged the students to do what they love for a career and to take advantage of the resources available. “You are on a journey,” he said. “Think about where you want to go. Think about how you are going to get there. Think about the resources that are available to help you get there and take advantage of what this college offers to you.”

   Student experiment with rigging and loading excersicesStudents work with film equipment at PCCStudents work with instructor Dave Wehrenherg on motors
Photo: Summer Institute participants experiencing hands-on learning