HI-TEC Event Supports Materials Science Workforce Of The Future

The High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) is an annual event centered on advanced technological education. It’s goal is to bring together secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians so they can update their knowledge and skills. 

On the surface, most of the HI-TEC presentations do not have “Materials Science” in the title, but like so many STEM-related curriculum and research areas, materials provide a foundation for many of these disciplines and degree programs. Much of what MatEdU has done and continues to do is to find the people and resources interested in advancing materials science, particularly where it intersects with influencing and driving technician hiring in the not-so-distant future. 

Photo from National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

Charged with preparing America’s skilled technical workforce, the event focuses on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce for companies in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation’s economy. 

HI-TEC explores the convergence of scientific disciplines and technologies including:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
  • Bio and Agricultural Technologies
  • Energy and Environmental Technologies
  • Engineering Technologies
  • Information, Communications, and Geospatial Technologies
  • Learning, Evaluation, and Research
  • Micro and Nanotechnologies
  • Security Technologies
  • Workforce Diversity

Materials Plays Important Role in Health and Biotechnology

Materials Science combined with Engineering often means Biotechnology, as our world faces more health crises and challenges. The HI-TEC event offered seven different presentations focused on biosciences and biotechnology, to dive into just one category from the above list. With 80-plus presentations, there was something for every participant. 

The InnovATEBIO National Center for Biotechnology Education, located at Austin Community College, Texas, one of MatEdU’s most recent allies (a more detailed post is coming soon) presented on how their national center serves as a model for ATE National Center Websites and Education Databases and how they built out their community and social presence. ATE national centers are expected to develop and support communities focused on educating technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy. 

  • Todd Smith, Director, InnovATEBIO, Digital World Biology, Seattle, WA; 
  • Sandra Porter, President, Bridge to Bio-Link’s Future and Biotech Careers, Digital World Biology, Seattle, WA

The HI-TEC event showcases how schools join forces with industry and nonprofits to advance technician education. MatEdU is an example of this and supports a range of technician-oriented programs across the nation, serving as a resource repository. MatEdU maintains a national network of industry and educational professionals to increase the number and diversity of highly skilled technicians ready for employment. Likewise, the HI-TEC event is organized to disseminate how NSF ATE projects are improving and building technician programs across nearly all industries, from aviation to medicine, automobiles to drones.

The July 2021 event has over 80 sessions available on the HI-TEC On-Demand Sessions page on a wide range of topics: Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Cybersecurity, Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion, Employer Engagement, Energy And Environmental Technologies, Engineering Technologies, Future Of Work, Grant Funding, Information Technology, Internet Of Things, Learning, Evaluation, And Research, and Micro Nanotechnologies (including a post on the Micro Nano Technology Education Center News page lists out HI-TEC presentations in that area).