Saturday, October 28, 2017

UCT’s Nursery Landscape Team Wins Gold!



Upper Cape’s Nursery Landscape Team won gold at the 2017 National FFA convention in the Nursery/Landscape CDE competition. Congratulations!

The contest is a competitive event in which the FFA members must prove their competence in nursery practices and landscaping. First, each member takes an exam that tests the students on plant anatomy, production, marketing, turf, landscape design, and maintenance.

Afterward, the participants complete “practicums.” These include providing a landscape estimate, propagating plants, and identifying plants, disorders and equipment.

Finally, the team had to compete in 17 skills challenges that tested their knowledge of industry standards.

The team won gold as a whole. Individual members won other medals:
William Maginnis - Gold
Hunter Gonsalves - Gold
Dimitri Bautista - Silver
Samantha Chalmers - Silver

Again, congratulations from me and from all UCT students, faculty and staff!


Friday, October 27, 2017

Curious about Culinary Arts? Read our Students’ Blogs


Besides cooking up amazing food at the Canalside Restaurant, our culinary students complete a weekly blog assignment featuring the dishes they’ve prepared.

Obviously their instructors read their pieces, but I’d love for you to hear right from the students about the delicious foods they are learning to cook.

Below are links to the student’s blogs. Take a few minutes to read about what they’ve been doing:

Beige Cupakes: https://beigecupcakes.tumblr.com/

Saturday, October 21, 2017

UCT Students Featured In Cape Papers



I’m always thrilled to see our students being recognized by the community. This fall two of our students were featured in local Cape papers.

Senior Horticulture student, Tyler Todesco, gave an interview to the Falmouth Enterprise in September, where he discussed his soccer career and future plans to own his own farm. You can read the interview here.

Just a few weeks later, senior Tyler Sprague was interviewed by the Sandwich Enterprise about his golf game and desire to study PGA golf management in college. Read the interview here.

I can’t wait to see which students make the paper in the future. Congrats to the Tylers.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Tune In: Upper Cape Tech Featured in Documentary

Interested in how UCT and vocational education, in general, prepares students for the workplace?


On Oct. 12, PBS station WGBH World Channel and WGBY aired a documentary, “Job Centered Learning” produced by Bob Gliner. This documentary features Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School and our students, as well as two other Massachusetts vocational schools.


If you missed the Oct. 12  showing, you can purchase a DVD from www.docmakeronline.com.


Watch the trailer below:



About the Documentary:
“Many economists, business owners, and labor leaders have raised alarm about a rising skills gap in the United States between the jobs that are available and those with the skills needed to fill them. This gap, largely notable among the wide range of careers in the construction trades but rapidly expanding to other occupations as well, is being driven, in part, by the retirement of baby boomers and the denigration of ‘blue collar’ work in our nation’s schools.


While many of these jobs, despite only requiring a high school diploma, pay beyond a living wage, high schools across the country have largely ignored these possible career options and instead focused on sending all of their graduates to college.


Yet, evidence clearly demonstrates that when high schools introduce vocational or career technical education as part of their curriculum, students not only learn valuable occupational skills, but are also more motivated to learn traditional core subject matter such as math, English and science because they see their connection to the occupational paths they are pursuing.


Job Centered Learning takes a critical look at the wide range of career education some schools are offering – masonry, fashion design, forensic science, welding, aquaculture, culinary arts, aircraft maintenance, animal husbandry – as well as the way such course offerings are framed in a variety of educational contexts.


Filled with insightful and provocative interviews with a diverse range of students, teachers, employers and leading experts in the field as well as vivid imagery of students actively engaged in life changing classroom experiences, Job Centered Learning will add to the national debate around both the vitality of our economy as well as the role schools can play in shaping how a new generation of students can find more meaningful educational experiences, fulfilling livelihoods and worthwhile careers.”
-- Bob Gliner

Monday, April 3, 2017

Creating a Labor Pipeline for Business with an Eye on Growth

Creating a Labor Pipeline for Business with an Eye on Growth 


I had the pleasure recently of being part of group of vocational education leaders making a pitch for increased funding avenues during a meeting with Governor Charlie Baker.
The Governor followed up a tour of the South Coast by meeting with several vocational technical superintendents on the campus of the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech.
The national shortage of trained technical employees was a topic for discussion. Massachusetts is definitely feeling the pinch of the lack quality candidates for employment. Numerous employers that I’ve spoken with have expressed the primary limiting factor in growing their business is a shortage of qualified employees.
The Governor echoed those sentiments in his speech and said he would look to continue the Skills Capital Grants program administered by his office as well as other avenues to expand access to technical education and fill the void that exists in the skilled labor pipeline.
An interesting point made by the Governor was the potential for students attending tech schools to earn Associates Degrees through continuation of their technical program in their local technical school.
While the challenge to fulfill the needs of workforce development are significant, I came away encouraged by the meeting. Governor Baker was listening and has identified economic development and expansion of access to vocational education as a goal. The Governor understands that vocational schools can be a viable engine for the state’s economic growth. I look forward to Upper Cape Tech’s role in working with the Governor’s administration and the Workforce Cabinet to address the goal of expanded access and workforce development.


Friday, March 31, 2017

UCT Graduate Spotlight

Q&A with Kevin Farr, Jr.



What did you study at UCT? What were your days like? 
I studied in the engineering technology program. Depending on the week it was either an academic or shop week. During my shop days we would have selected labs. These were mainly electrical engineering-based, and set up by the teachers Tim Smith and Tim Oliveira. The labs revolved around a curriculum they set up to teach us basic engineering skills that set us up for projects like the rocket project the quitter project. 

What did you study at WPI?
I continued in my studies and I just completed my degree in electrical and computer engineering. 

Where are you working now? 
I’m working right now at the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA. 

How did your education at UCT help prepare you for your career? 
I believe UCT helped prepare me because it gave me a lot of hands on experience that I believe gave me an upper hand at WPI. Rather than focusing on learning a certain technical aspect, like coding, I was able to focus on the finer details of becoming a good engineer. It helped me build upon my skills such that I became a more valuable engineer when it came to looking for jobs. 

How long did it take you to find a job? 
So I didn’t take a traditional route to finding a job. There’s something at WPI called a Senior Capstone Project where you work with a faculty member on the project and continue taking classes. I built a close relationship with one of my professors and he offered me the opportunity to work and do my project at MITRE during the summer. So I was able to, number one, make money as an intern and, number two, to finish my project before the academic year even started. I did it in two terms rather than the four terms it usually takes. Then at the end of my project I was offered an extension onto my internship with the opportunity of getting a job. In December MITRE offered me a job and I began working with them in February. 

Would you recommend UCT to other students wanting to go into your line of work? 
Definitely. I think at UCT you can decide then whether or not engineering is right for you. There are opportunities to get onto various afterschool activities. For example, I used my underwater robotics project both for the state science fair and in application to WPI. If you want to have the tools and the resources to become an engineer, UCT is a great option, and they have those resources. If you work hard enough you can go to places like WPI. 


What are some of your best memories of UCT?
My best memories are I guess my senior year when I got to complete my senior project and did dual enrollment at the community college. So I got to live a college-esque life while also getting to focus on a senior project that I was personally been pretty passionate about. 


What was your Senior Project at UCT?
I made a semi-autonomous landmine detection/removal robot. 

Did UCT prepare you for college? 
I definitely think it prepared me for college. The teachers that I had and the way that they taught was in a way that they wouldn’t accept certain materials unless they were perfect. 
For instance, they wouldn't accept certain excel files unless they were formatted correctly. It showed you how you should be organized, present yourself and present your materials. It really showed off well when I did reach WPI and helped me with my homework in college. 

Have you ever regretted going to a vocational school? 
No. I had the option obviously to go to a regular high school but I think this was way more useful. I don’t know even if I would have gone into the engineering field if I’d gone to a regular high school, but going to Upper Cape Tech really helped steer me toward going into engineering.

Who should attend a vocational school like UCT? 

Vocational high schools are for people who want to enter the workforce with skills. They generally want to be ready regardless of whether they want to go to college or straight to work. Even if you go into carpentry and don’t decide to continue, but say decide you want to be a teacher, you still have underlying skills and takeaways that people can get from this experience that translates into other fields. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

UCT Shines at FFA Convention

Gold Medal Chapter Exhibit
Dimitri Bautista, Samantha Chalmers, Hunter Gonsalves and Will Maginnis
First Place Team - Nursery Landscape


Each year qualified students in Upper Cape Regional Technical High School’s Horticulture & Landscape Contracting program attend the Massachusetts FFA Convention & Expo in Sturbridge, MA.



FFA once stood for the “Future Farmers of America” but now includes much more than farmers -- it includes individuals pursuing careers related to all aspects of agriculture including biology, chemistry and engineering.

At the convention, members from all over the state meet together, listen to keynote speakers, compete and take workshops, as well as celebrate accomplishments and win awards for their hard work.

This year the following students won awards, scholarships and recognition:

Nursery Landscape
Dimitri Bautista, Samantha Chalmers, Hunter Gonsalves and Will Maginnis First Place Team
Dimitri Bautista, 1st place individual
Hunter Gonsalves, 3rd place individual.

Ag Sales
Camryn Sanborn, Alandre Miranda, Fiona McAfee,and Austin Marshall, Third Place Team,
Austin Marshall 1st place individual

Turf Management
Sarah Perry, Samantha Chalmers, Anthony DiPasquale, Valentino Petrone, Third Place Team

Chapter Exhibit
Presented by: Cory Sullivan and Miles Campinha, First Place

Agriscience Fair
Will Maginnis,  Second Place

Emil Jaeske Memorial Scholarship
Mike Fitzpatrick

Baystate Degree Recipients
Dimitri Bautista, Miles Campinha, Cameron Kidling, Fiona McAfee, Alandre Miranda, Camryn Sanborn and Cory Sullivan


Congratulations to all the participants and FFA!