Meet the Maker: Navajo Tech

By Kristen Lomasney

Project Egress gave the high school students participating in Navajo Tech's engineering graphics course the opportunity to not only learn about 3D printing, collaboration AND Apollo 11, but earn college credit besides!

Project Egress gave the high school students participating in Navajo Tech's engineering graphics course the opportunity to not only learn about 3D printing, collaboration AND Apollo 11, but earn college credit besides!

Read on to learn more about Navajo Tech and its participation in Project Egress.

About: Navajo Technical University, like all tribal colleges and universities, grew out of a prayer in the 1960s that envisioned all tribes moving toward self-determination by expressing their sovereignty and establishing their own institutions of higher education. It was as a result of this movement that NTU began as the Navajo Skill Center in 1979 to meet the immediate needs of an unemployed population on the Navajo Nation.

Students enrolled to learn the rudiments of a trade, graduated, and joined the workforce; however, it soon became clear that the students wanted more. In 1985 the Board of Directors changed the Skill Center's name to Crownpoint Institute of Technology and in November 2006 the Navajo Nation Council approved changing the name to Navajo Technical College. In 2013, NTC became NTU - becoming the first university established on the Navajo Nation.

Today, NTU is one of the premier institutions of higher education in the nation, providing a unique balance between science and technology and culture and tradition. Much of what guides NTU's success is our mission and our identity rooted in the Diné Philosophy of Education.

PART: #18-B: RIGHT HAND LATCH ASSEMBLY B

About the Process:

"Project EGRESS was a great opportunity for students in our 2019 Summer STEM & SKILLS Dual Credit Program to apply what they learned during the summer. High school students from Many Farms, Arizona and Wingate, NM were able to participate in this once in a lifetime experience to be a part of history to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission.

The high school students were able to earn college credits by participating in our ENGR-130 Engineering Graphics course. Students learned how to design parts in 3D CAD and how to print them on various 3D Printers. The students were excited to be working with Savage Industries alongside Mr. Adam Savage. This was not only hands on experience in working with 3D CAD, but also a lesson in the history of the Apollo space missions.

In the final two weeks of class, the students earned their final grades by concentrating on preparation for and printing the final working 3D model for the unified crew hatch. Using three different models of 3D printers, they were able to relate their own knowledge of how to use 3D CAD to build these 3D sketches and transfer them into printable STL files. They were able to learn each step in downloading the STL files, transferring to each software for the different 3D printers, and load them into the 3D printers for print.

In the end, this was great for the students because it brought them closer together by building fundamental team working skills and working with an interdisciplinary team. This was truly a great and exciting experience for these students.

The Project EGRESS team wishes to acknowledge the support we received from the Navajo Tech Advanced Manufacturing Center, the Navajo Tech Innovation Center, and Project KARMA."

-- Darrick Lee, NTU BSEE May 2019

Engineering Graphics Instructor & Project EGRESS Lead

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