JCC Hosts National STEM Guitar Project

Published: August 9, 2017

Workshop integrates science, math into guitar building.

Instructor Tom Singer discusses the guitar base with the group.Seventeen faculty members from colleges across the country - and even one from Australia – made some cool guitars July 17-21 during the National STEM Guitar Project held at Johnston Community College.

JCC is completing a National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) project to increase the number of students in technician pathways to serve area manufacturers. Deborah Porto, dean of business and advanced technology programs, attended the NSF ATE Principal Investigators conference and observed a session by the NSF STEM Guitar project. There she invited the project to offer a summer session at JCC. JCC suggested the NSF STEM Guitar project would enhance our existing NSF ATE project and showcase our William R. Britt Advanced Technology Center

JCC instructors Brian Worley and Dwight Barnes show off their guitars.JCC is one of six colleges in the United States hosting the National Science Foundation’s Guitar Building Institutes in summer 2017.

The five-day institutes, combined with additional instructional activities comprising 80 hours, provide faculty training on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for middle, high school, and post-secondary faculty.

JCC’s Brian Worley, director of advanced technology programs, participated. Worley said JCC plans to integrate the project into the college’s robotics team, the industrial systems program, and STEM summer camp next year.

“The STEM Guitar Project is a complete learning experience,” Worley said. “We started with just wood necks and bodies and ended up with a working, playable guitar. I cannot think of many other project that incorporate every element of STEM.”

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