Asnuntuck Community College and 3M are continuing their partnership thanks to a generous grant awarded to the college. Asnuntuck, which has worked with the company on providing student interns, was granted portable mechatronics labs from 3M’s Manufacturing & Academic Partnerships (MAP) program. The equipment is valued at $150,000. The college is pleased to be able work with Enfield and Stafford High Schools, to incorporate Mechatronics into their 2019-2020 curriculum.

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems. It also includes a combination of robotics, electronics, computer, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering.

Each high school will have use of the equipment onsite at their facility for eight weeks. The other 36 weeks, ACC will utilize the equipment for a variety of different needs. The college will be able to take these portable labs on the road for corporate trainings, demonstrations, and work with students on and off their campus.

Stafford Public Schools Director of Curriculum Steven Autieri toured Asnuntuck’s Advanced Manufacturing facilities last week. He joined United States Senator Richard Blumenthal’s aide Michael Jordan; Asnuntuck administrators; Stafford and Enfield Public Schools educators; and 3M representatives during the visit.  “Stafford Public Schools is honored and privileged to be able to form such a meaningful partnership with Asnuntuck Community College and 3M to bring the Mechatronics program and instructional resources to our community,” said Autieri. “This partnership will help us to continue to examine our STEM pipeline pathway and ways that we can support all of our learners.”

 Stafford High School Technology Education Teacher Robert Michalak appreciates the donation, “Stafford High School is very excited for the opportunity to work with 3M and Asnuntuck to introduce our students to more 21st Century technology and possible post-secondary career options.”  

John Dague, K-12 STEAM Science and Tech Ed Coordinator is also appreciative of the donation. “Enfield Public Schools would like to thank 3M for inclusion in the Manufacturing & Academic Partnership between the 3M Separation & Purification Sciences Division in Stafford Springs, Asnuntuck Community College, and Stafford Public Schools.” He continued, “The grant through 3Mgives has funded teacher professional development in the use of FESTO MecLab® trainers and the integration of the Exploring Mechatronics curriculum to support Enfield High School’s Basic Electronics curriculum.”

The Enfield educator continued, “This partnership strengthens the ties between Enfield Public Schools and Asnuntuck’s College Connections Program in Electronics Controls Technology by exposing students to the applications of the technology in manufacturing.” He added, “The added direct and ongoing support of both 3M employees from the Stafford Springs plant and Asnuntuck staff will help develop awareness of mechatronics and automation systems as a career pathway for Enfield’s students, as well as options for employment locally and regionally.” 

Sean A. Mullan, CMRP, CRL 3M Human capital Lead for Plant Engineering Global Excellence said, “3M is very excited to partner with Asnuntuck Community College by starting a Manufacturing and Academic Partnership program in Connecticut.” He explained, “This is our 11th program in the US and will support 3M’s operations in Stafford Springs and Meriden CT, as well as our plants in Massachusetts.”  Mullan added, “3M is committed to supporting STEM and skilled trades education. The 3M MAP program gives high school students the opportunity to explore alternatives to a traditional 4-year degree program by introducing them to careers in advanced manufacturing.” 

CSCU North-West President Dr. James Lombella thanked 3M for their generous donation. “I am excited that the college continues to strengthen partnerships with private industry, along with the Enfield and Stafford Public Schools.” He added, “Together we are building a skilled workforce and giving our students good paying careers with transferable skills that they can build on.”

Asnuntuck’s CEO Michelle Coach said, “We are thankful for the generous donation from 3M.  Their partnership and contribution will allow for these portal units to be used at many locations including the high schools and correctional institutions.”

Dague added, “We look forward to a long partnership with 3M and Asnuntuck as we begin this program and expanding availability to other courses in the future.”