NCAT National Center for Autonomous Technologies
New to the World of UAS, Professor of Chemistry Takes Passion in Leveling the Playing Field for Students

Shawn Shields Lyons set out to integrate GIS into Chemistry courses at Germanna Community College.


Lisa Bradshaw pictured with her team competing at Hawaii ROV Competition (bottom left). 

Bradshaw Propelled Through to Earn Masters in Electrical Engineering - Now Active Safety Software Engineer at General Motors

MATE ROV Competition Alumni, Lisa Bradshaw broke down barriers in order to pursue her quest to work in the automotive industry.

NCAT Presenting at the
2021 STEM for All Video Showcase

The 2021 NSF STEM for All Video Showcase: Learning from Research and Practice, will be held on May 11 - 18, 2021. This year's themes are: STEM for All: COVID, Equity & Social Justice featuring topics on:

  Projects or partnerships addressing broadening participation
  Impacts of COVID on STEM teaching and learning
  Design and implementation of STEM and CS programs
  Research informing STEM and CS teaching and learning
  Measuring impact of innovative programs

NCAT will be participating in the 2021 STEM for All Video Showcase highlighting the innovative steps we've taken to design and implement Virtual Reality into STEM activities and virtual learning. We've all heard or probably experienced "zoom fatigue" and NCAT is taking a creative approach at giving students and educators a more engaging experience that allows them to interact and socialize as if they are attending in-person. 

Be sure to check out the showcase & vote for the video that is most effective in conveying the creative work being done!
Negative Reactions to Drone Operations

NCAT is partnering with the GeoTech Center to document and map incidents where the public has had a negative reaction to drone operations. Data will be collected and used to produce a map in order to visualize these incidents. Data points (without personal identifying information) will be shared with the drone community and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Have You Witnessed a Hostile Act
Against Drones or Their Operators?

If so, please take time to assist NCAT, GeoTech and the FAA with this research by completing this short survey. Your responses will help quantify the prevalence of these negative reactions and geolocate the incidents, in order to focus greater outreach and education in these regions. 

Starting a Drone Program?

Let us help.

NCAT provides the resources necessary to guide you through the process of starting a drone program at your school. View our vast resource library that covers drone laws and regulations, curriculum for both secondary and post-secondary programs, drone operations and best practices, grant funding resources, student competitions and more! 

Social VR Professional Development Workshops White Paper

The emergence and inescapability of Social Virtual Reality is changing STEM education, STEM fields and the STEM related technician workforce. In 2020, NCAT became a leader in the use of Social Virtual Reality by quickly responding to pandemic imposed closures by offering educators some of the earliest opportunities to learn how to teach in Social VR.

NCAT has put together a guide to developing and implementing effective and engaging social VR events by using the example of the professional development workshop conducted entirely in Social VR. This guide shows the process of developing and implementing effective and engaging Social VR events that support learning, participation, and fill the void of inter-personal connections that have long been the downside of distance learning in any form. 

Virtual Space Onboarding

NCAT has developed virtual space onboarding guides for those who are looking to use AltspaceVR through either the Oculus Quest VR headset or 2D Desktop version.

Upon loading the Virtual Space Onboarding page, you will choose your path - VR Headset or 2D Desktop. Based on your choice, we will guide you through all of the necessary steps to take including everything from how to setup and pair your Oculus Quest device to attending events in AltspaceVR virtually or through 2D. You can either follow these steps online or download a PDF document guide to assist you through the process. 

Podcast Resources

Looking for a podcast centered around autonomous technology?

NCAT leaders have compiled a list of their go-to podcasts across all domains - air, land, & sea.

3rd Annual FAA Aviation Safety
STEM Career Symposium
April 29, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST | Virtual Event

The FAA Aviation Safety (AVS) STEM Career Symposium is designed to educate students about STEM/aviation-related career opportunities and encourage them to enter into these types of fields when considering their own career in the future.

The AVS STEM Career Symposium will include multiple guest speakers, interactive visual presentations, STEM engagement activities and opportunities for students to talk with Aviation Safety professionals. Participating students will learn about exciting AVS careers such as aviation safety inspectors, aerospace engineers, medical officers, pilots, and mathematicians. 

Service Learning Webinar
April 29, 2021 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT | Virtual Event

This webinar is a panel presentation for secondary and post-secondary educators, in transportation or related CTE programs, interested in creating or enhancing service learning in their education program. You will hear from a variety of presenters about their service learning projects, key successes, lessons learned, and the impact these projects have had. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A at the end of the presentation to ask any questions you may have. 

By attending this webinar, you have the opportunity for individual consulting on your new or existing service learning projects with the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence. Sign-ups for consulting will be made available after the webinar.

Introduction to SkillsUSA Drone Competition
May 18, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM CT | Zoom

Join us for an informational webinar to introduce the newly formed SkillsUSA sUAS Drone Competition! SkillsUSA Minnesota Executive Director - Jessa Dahmes will give an overview of the program and what they offer for schools and organizations. We will go through the competition manual and discuss skills assessment areas and equipment options as well as professional development opportunities for the core areas of the competition.

This webinar is open to any parent, teacher, or organizational member interested in STEM outreach activities or enriching existing programs with a student competitions model. 

Introduction to Imagery and Geospatial Analysis
May 20, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM CT | Zoom

Join us for an introduction to Imagery and Geospatial Processing and Analysis. Instruction in this webinar will cover processing of aerial (drone) imagery, creating mosaics, importing images into Geographic Information Systems (GIS), creating layers, and analyzing imagery.

This webinar is open to any parent, teacher, or organizational member interested in STEM outreach activities or enriching existing programs with a student competitions model. 

Do You Have an Event to Share?

We will promote your professional development workshops, webinars, educator workshops, or any other events related to autonomous technology and advanced technological education with our large network of educators, students, and industry leaders via our website and social media! 

April 19, 2021
More Powerful Batteries Will Be "Game-Changer" for Aerospace
Todd Colten, chief Aerospace engineer and director of Flight Services at Sentera, envisions a “big revolution” in the aerospace industry as a result of advances in battery manufacturing infrastructure. Sentera is a global technology company that devises hardware and software to interface with precision agriculture equipment such as planters and…

April 9, 2021
NSF Grant Awarded to NCAT Partner - Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence
Press Release 4/9/2021 Advanced technologies, technician shortages, lack of teaching resources, and expensive/complicated pieces of equipment. What do they all have in common? A big challenge for both education and industry. What’s the solution. A collaborative approach. The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence (TCOE), industry partners, and technical college…

April 8, 2021
Ag Tech Company Leader Shares Insights about Trends for 3 Types of Technicians
Sentera, a global technology company that devises hardware and software to interface with precision agriculture equipment such as planters and fertilizer applicators, employs three types of technicians: engineering technicians who work in the Minnesota company’s lab to build prototypes of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), sensors, and cameras; geospatial information systems…

April 8, 2021
Technician Opportunities Abound in Ocean Economy
Justin E. Manley, a marine technology innovator for three decades, sees many interesting, well-compensated opportunities in the ocean based or “blue” economy for people interested in hands-on, intellectual work. “There’s lots of roles that are a good fit,” he said. Among the challenges for technical educators is the historically low…

March 24, 2021
Girl Scouts Drone Programming Challenge Hosted by CAAT
The Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) was pleased to work with the Girl Scouts of Southern Michigan and Women Who Drone organizations to provide 35 local Girl Scouts with an exciting opportunity to learn how to program and fly a drone. Girl Scout Cadettes explored the world of microcontrollers…

This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE 1902574). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

National Center for Autonomous Technologies
13892 Airport Drive | Thief River Falls, MN 56701
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