CAAT's 2021 Accomplishments and Activities

Technician Curriculum Development

Updated Vehicle Engineering Technician Program to Better Align with Industry Requirements

Industry hiring managers are very interested in hiring graduates from the VET program but would like to see more emphasis on electronics, microcontroller programming, and cybersecurity

The updated program debuted in the Fall 2021 catalog with these new courses:

  • AUTO 2600 - Automotive Cybersecurity (created with CAAT Seed Funding)
  • ITCS 1300 - Embedded C Programming for Automotive Systems (created by MCC)

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Professional Development

CAAT Conference and MATA Conference

  • cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions

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STEM Outreach to Middle and High School Students and Parents

Provided STEM outreach opportunities to more than 3,000 middle and high school students and parents

  • Worked with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan and Women Who Drone to provide the Girl Scouts Drone Programming Challenge where they learned to program and fly a mini drone. Included a presentation by Elena Buenrostro, president and CEO of Women Who Drone. (February/March, 33 students)
  • Participated in the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) All Things STEM Event with a hands-on session on hovercrafts. (May, 90 students)
  • Participated in the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) STEM Days camps with a workshop on catapults. (June, 120 students)
  • Provided a mBot Programming Challenge to area schools. Students learned to build and program a mBot Robot through hands-on activities and experimentation. (July, 27 students)
  • Collaborated with Macomb Community College, NCAT and Bosch, on a Dream with Robots Programming Camp. Students explored the engineering design process by inventing their own projects using the UB Tech - Dream with Robots Advanced kit. (August, 28 students)
  • Provided mBot and drone challenges for Macomb Community College's Great Pumpkin Fest event where kids of all ages were able to fly drones and operate robot cars. (October, 2,000 attendees)

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Educational Leadership

Participated in various opportunities to engage with leading educational organizations to further the education of technicians and engineering technologists in advanced automotive technologies

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Industry Engagement

Attended important industry events to keep the CAAT on top of the expanding workforce needs of the automotive industry

  • CAAT Director, Ben Cruz, was a panelist at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2021 Virtual Program in the program session "NSF Connection: Developing the Autonomous Technologies Highly Skilled Technical Workforce" (May)
  • Attended the CAR Management Briefing Seminars (August)
  • CAAT joined the Teleoperation Consortium to engage with experts in the connected intelligent transportation space. (October)

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Marketing and Communications

Maintained website for students, educators, and industry representatives that was visited more than 42,000 times by over 40,500 unique visitors

  • The website had more than 160,000 pageviews this year
  • Added 56 new resources to the CAAT's free library, from which more than 1,835 resources were downloaded
  • Engaged with over 1,300 followers over social media

Developed six CAAT Tracks newsletters distributed to 1,770 subscribers

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