MATEC NetWorks National Resource Center
Principal Investigator (PI)
MATEC NetWorks Sustains Its Work
MATEC Networks has achieved sustainability of its resource center activities through institutionalization at the Maricopa Community Colleges and through financial support from the sale of its products and services.
The majority of MATEC NetWorks’ webinars and national conferences are now done in collaboration with ATE centers such as EvaluATE and ATE Central, ATE projects such as Mentor-Connect, and nonprofit organizations such as the American Association of Community Colleges. In this way the center’s core strengths are leveraged to impact large numbers of educators and industry members across the country. In 2015 the center produced or co-produced 36 webinars for 3,133 registered participants. It coproduced the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC), a four-day national event with more than 600 participants.
Assessment of STEM Outreach Program Finds Promising Outcomes
The center has collaborated since 2004 with the SEMI Foundation to develop and produce High Tech U, a STEM career awareness program for high school students. The program is offered at industry sites and exposes students to real-world learning activities that are relevant to their STEM studies.
In 2014 the center surveyed former participants to gauge High Tech U’s impact. For this retrospective study, 1,410 students who completed the program between 2006 and 2010 were identified. Of the 252 students who responded to the phone survey, 56% were male, 44% were female. Amazingly 90% of the 252 are currently enrolled or have finished their higher education. Of the 252 survey respondents, 68% (171) persisted in STEM education. When compared to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, which shows that about 14% of college students complete a
STEM major, the High Tech U alumni, who participated in the survey, completed their education in STEM at a rate nearly four times higher than this national norm.
Many of the students reported that High Tech U’s introduction to high-tech workplaces reinforced their motivation to pursue STEM majors and careers.