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Albany Tech unveils Mobile STEM Lab

Albany Tech unveils Mobile STEM Lab

Feb. 27—ALBANY — As part of its effort to rebrand its Manufacturing Technology Center, Albany Technical College launched its new mobile STEM lab Friday near the Pedestrian bridge that crosses Slappey Boulevard.

The rebranding of the Manufacturing Technology Center to the “Manufacturing Innovation Center” is a slight but essential difference, ATC officials said in a news release. The change of name better reflects the critical thinking involved in today’s manufacturing industry.

“The name ‘Manufacturing Innovation Center’ communicates the changes in the industry,” Albany Tech President Anthony Parker said. “The ongoing commitment by Albany Technical College to stay well-informed of the needs of manufacturers in the area is a priority. The challenges to the industry in the coming years will dictate that we work closely with employers to make sure we are at the cutting edge of training graduates as they enter the work force.”

The many issues related to manufacturing, including supply chain problems, plant floor capacity, consumer demand changes, and spending patterns, have created an industrywide transformation. One of the most significant factors has been the pandemic that seems uncertain as we move forward. Manufacturing has undeniable challenges that will open opportunities in the near future.

Companies will need to prepare for the unexpected, to innovate by introducing new methods, ideas or products. This resiliency will change the industry in the coming years and change how an employee will do the job as the industry moves forward. Ever-changing circumstances call for nimbleness and calculated decisions to answer tough questions. Tying the three areas together: technology, people, and the process will make companies successful.

About the new Mobile STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Lab:

The objective of the mobile STEM lab is to expose current and prospective students to the different facets of engineering technology by way of providing instruction and demonstrating the usage of engineering-associated equipment and tools.

In August 2019, the college initiated a request to purchase a Mobile STEM Lab for the engineering department. That lab was finished late last year and is now ready to use in the community. For years, transportation to campus has been an issue for students from surrounding rural counties. This new lab will enable the college to provide students with information on engineering fields based on the lab’s resources and provide ATC the opportunity to offer instructional engineering classes within the mobile lab.

The 30-foot trailer is custom-made with 10 computer work stations, air conditioning, sound-deadening walls, a lavatory, a 40-foot external viewable monitor, a 55-imch touchscreen TV, speakers, and a wireless microphone system.

The lab also has a 24-port switch CAT 6 network with printer and scanner, a router, and two roof-mounted antennas. A 12-kilowatt diesel generator is available for power.