Pellissippi State: Orientation sessions set for new fall enrollees, special sessions for veterans

posted in: Events, Orientation, Students | 0

Students who have been accepted to attend Pellissippi State Community College for the fall 2014 semester should make plans now to attend a New Student Orientation session. Two special sessions have been scheduled for veterans.

The sessions are required of all first-time degree-seeking freshmen and are recommended for transfer students. Reserve a space as soon as possible.

Orientation gives new enrollees the opportunity to meet with Pellissippi State students, faculty, and staff; learn about what they can expect in college and what the college expects of them; learn strategies for college success; explore degree, major, and transfer options; and discover campus services and resources such as financial aid, tutoring, and computer resources.

New Student Orientation campuses, dates and times:

  • Hardin Valley Campus—June 24, 5-8:30 p.m.; Aug. 5, 5-8:30 p.m.; Aug. 8, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Aug. 22, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Strawberry Plains Campus—Aug. 11, 9-11:30 a.m., 1-3:30 p.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Blount County Campus—Aug. 12, 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.; Aug. 18, 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus—Aug. 12, 5-8:30 p.m.; Aug. 13, 8:30-noon
  • Division Street Campus—Aug. 13, noon-3:30 and 5-8:30 p.m.

The June 24 and Aug. 8 orientations on the Hardin Valley Campus include a special session for veterans.

TnAchieves students have assigned orientation dates in July. For more information about those dates, visit

Pellissippi State encourages parents, spouses and others supportive of the student to attend New Student Orientation. The application deadline for fall semester is Aug. 13. Classes begin Aug. 23.

To sign up for an orientation session, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact Disability Services at or (865) 539-7153.

Acting, art, dance among July creative summer camps at Pellissippi State

posted in: BCS, Community, Events | 0

Creative learning opportunities continue through July at Pellissippi State Community College’s summer creative learning camps. Early registration is encouraged.

The youth summer course selection for July, offered through the college’s Business and Community Services Division, includes the following:

“BizSmart: Shark Tank Meets Talented Kid”—July 7-11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., rising 4-8 grades; $209. Turn your art, craft, jewelry or photography into a business. Come up with a product or service, name your company, design a logo and marketing materials, and create a commercial. Participants need to bring a lunch, drink and snack every day.

“CreACTivity”—July 7-11, 1-4 p.m., ages 8-10; $115. Students will enjoy creative drama, theatre games and exercises as they expand their acting abilities. Instruction is provided by The WordPlayers.

“ImaginACTion”—July 14-18, 1-4:30 p.m., ages 11-13; $125. Through theatre games and acting, students will build their acting repertoire. Focus is on using imagination and technique to create characters for the stage. The week culminates in a performance showcase. Instruction is provided by The WordPlayers.

“Young Artist”—July 14-18, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., ages 8-15; $119. Improve fine arts skills and learn new skills, including basic drawing, figure drawing, proportion, portraits, sculpture, polymer clay, oil pastels, book and journal making, color theory, and perspective.

“Kid News: Lights, Camera, Action”—July 14-18, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., grades 4-8; $119. Create a news program from start to finish. Participants will work in teams to write scripts, rehearse, develop music and background, work green screens, record video, and edit footage. Students will screen videos at the end of the week.

“Basket Making”—July 21-24, 9-noon, ages 10 and up; $129. Projects may include a wooden base basket, basketry bowls from round reed, paper baskets from watercolor paper and a woven birdhouse.

“More Than Just Knitting”—July 21-24, 1-4 p.m., ages 11 and up; $109. Make your own knitting needles, dye yarn with KoolAid and learn the basics of knitting, including how to read a pattern.

“Claymation”—July 21-25, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., ages 8-15; $119. Learn the process of creating claymation movies and cartoons. Participants will work in small groups, and each group will write a script, create clay figures and backgrounds, take photographs, and compile the images into short animated movies. Students will screen videos at the end of the week.

“Zumba Kids ‘Dance Around the World’”—July 21-25, 9-noon, rising 4-6 grades; $105. Learn basic dance steps for salsa, samba, mambo, reggaeton and merengue. At the end of the week, students will perform the top three dances in a showcase for parents.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Participants may bring snacks or money for vending machines.

To find out more or to register, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

Pellissippi State partners with Boy Scouts to offer kids’ summer camps

posted in: BCS, Community, Events | 0

Pellissippi State Community College is joining forces with the Boy Scouts of America to offer two children’s summer camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math education.

“STEM camps such as these help kids become creative thinkers and problem solvers, and can help prepare them for the technological innovations they will face,” said Nancy Corum, a coordinator for Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division.

“In these camps, kids can discover how much fun and interesting these subjects can be and will take this interest with them. Hopefully, their experiences will inspire them toward a career in science and engineering fields to help fill the gap in America’s workforce.”

The following STEM summer camps take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

  • Race Engineering Ten80, ages 13-18, 8:30-noon, June 23-27. Students will build and race remote-controlled cars. The hands-on course encourages learning about mechanics and technology. Cost: $150.
  • USA BMX Bikes, ages 13-18, 1-5 p.m., June 23-27. Students will learn and have fun as they build and ride BMX bikes. Cost: $150.

To enroll in one or more of the STEM-related camps, contact the BSA’s Sarah Barnett at (865) 243-8057 or

In addition to the STEM classes, Pellissippi State is offering a variety of other summer camps for children of all ages. To learn more, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

Pellissippi State aids small business with 3D printing prototype

posted in: Grant, Partnership, TBR | 0


When Bill Freshour, an engineering lab tech at Pellissippi State Community College, spent much of his spring semester helping a small, young Etowah-based manufacturer develop a prototype laser scanner, he was just doing his job.

At least that’s what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics would say. According to the BLS, engineering lab technicians “work to resolve issues and solve problems in manufacturing…. To accomplish their goals they use science, engineering and math, and the theories that accompany them.”

So, yes, Freshour did what his job description said he would do. But to the staff of Advanced Measurement Systems Inc., he did a whole lot more.

“This prototype is a very innovative design using new technology,” said Robert Watts, the company’s CEO, “and Bill and Pellissippi State were key to us being a part of that type of trial.”

Freshour got involved in working with Advanced Measurement Systems as part of Pellissippi State’s involvement in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee. Known simply as AMP!, the center is a public-private partnership intended to revitalize manufacturing and create jobs.

For small and start-up companies, AMP! partners provide resources for improvement and growth that the companies often wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. In the case of Advanced Measurement Systems, the competitive boost came from the technical expertise of Pellissippi State and the use of a 3D printer at Tech 20/20 in Oak Ridge.

Pellissippi State and Advanced Measurement Systems began working together after Tech 20/20 put out a call for businesses to take advantage of AMP! resources.

“This began as a student project for the AMP! Innovation Challenge, which pairs start-up small manufacturers in counties with high unemployment rates with STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] students,” said Mary Kocak. Kocak is a professor at Pellissippi State in the Engineering Technology degree program’s Mechanical Engineering concentration.

“The needs of AMS proved to be quite challenging,” she said, “so the project was taken on by Bill.”

Advanced Measurement Systems, a four-year-old McMinn County business that manufactures and sells cutting-edge laser electronic measuring systems to the collision repair industry, initially brought to the table the design for a prototype scanner that would allow greater accuracy in vehicle repair.

When a car’s frame is damaged, collision repair companies may use machines to reshape the frame and fix the vehicle. This type of repair was once measured by hand and then by individual laser measurements, but the new prototype allows continuous, dynamic measurements of a vehicle’s frame.

“This prototype is quite different than the scanner we are currently using,” said Watts. “For one, it’s significantly smaller, which prevents targets getting blocked and increases the accuracy of the measurements from the scanner to each target. It’s completely wireless, and it also uses only one laser beam, rather than two.”

The new prototype employs a green laser. Unlike a flashlight beam, which grows wider the farther it travels, a green laser retains its small diameter over a greater distance.

“That integrity over distance will allow us to measure larger vehicles, like motor homes and tractor trailers—which we currently can’t do—because the measurements are more accurate,” Watts said.

Every improvement to the laser scanner gives the business a competitive advantage in the collision repair industry.

Freshour took the company’s conceptual ideas and initial design for the prototype and created 16 separate 3D renderings of each piece needed to construct the revolving, turret-shaped laser. Those drawings were then sent to Tech 20/20 and manufactured using the company’s 3D printer.

AMS and Pellissippi State are now working together to modify design of the prototype further to allow it to be 3D printed in fewer pieces.

“If it can be made in one piece, as we think it can be,” said Watts, “that will save a lot of money in production and assembly. But it requires very precise design and manufacturing accuracy to be printed in one piece—no angle could be incorrect.”

If the one-piece design works as intended, no calibration of the laser will be needed, making the scanner even more accurate and reliable.

“Everything the college, Tech 20/20 and AMP! have done in collaboration with us has been invaluable in completing this project in a timely manner,” Watts said.

Advanced Measurement Systems hopes to show off the finished scanner at an October trade show. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than using traditional methods. The AMS prototype is still undergoing revisions, but in its current design, it could only be manufactured by a 3D printer.

“This is what the Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Technology team at Pellissippi State does,” said Freshour. “We work with industry on design problems, and help them to work things out. Local industry hires our students, so working with them also creates opportunities for our graduates.”

As Kocak points out, no single partner in the equation—neither Pellissippi State nor Advancement Measurement Systems nor Tech 20/20—could have brought the laser scanner project to fruition. And therein lies the benefit of the AMP! and other community partnerships in which the college participates.

AMP! was funded initially in 2012 by a federal grant. Under the helm of lead grant applicant Tech 20/20, Pellissippi State works together with collaborative partners Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.

Thanks to the AMP! grant, the college also has created a certificate program in Additive Manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, and provides more than $250,000 in scholarships for 125-plus students in Advanced Manufacturing courses.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

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