SUNY Oswego technology education graduate student Ryan Czeck received an Impact Scholars graduate scholarship from SUNY Oswego for a project that introduces cutting-edge technology to students earlier in their studies.

Czeck, who works full time as a teacher in the Red Creek School District, also has two undergraduate degrees from SUNY Oswego, in technology education and business administration. 

The course that Czeck proposed is called “Computer Integrated Manufacturing,” or CIM. He is currently teaching it to high school students in grades nine through 12 in Red Creek High School. 

“Students are exposed to a whole range of critical thinking problems where they need to create custom products, custom artifacts and they learn a lot about manufacturing,” Czeck said.

He said he allows a lot of flexibility for his students because he wants them to be creative and learn how to use the machines for things they enjoy.

“I’m allowing them to bring in some of their motivations into the classroom, which drives them so they feel more inclined to do the projects and to learn the technologies because they feel like they’re learning something of value,” Czeck said.

Czeck worked closely with technology education professor Dan Tryon while applying for this scholarship. “Without his tutelage and recommendations, I would probably still be in the infancy stage of this project instead of jogging through the marathon,” Czeck noted.

Sharing with educators

Czeck presented his curriculum at the Fall Technology Conference at SUNY Oswego in late October. He wrote a report following his presentation where he said, “The research and curriculum has had a greater reach than anticipated, bringing extra benefits to my fellow colleagues in the field of technology education.”

CIM uses recent technology to begin teaching students at a younger age how to work things such as laser engravings, wood routing, plasma cutting, 3D printing, milling and filament winding, Czeck said. 

“Whether this is a small adaptation of an existing course, or creation of a new one entirely,” Czeck noted in his report. “the benefits to fostering a positive learning environment and the impact it can have on a student are too great to ignore and not share with fellow colleagues in the profession.” 

This scholarship helped pay his tuition, which not only assisted him financially, but also could make his research centered around the community. He wants to further opportunities for his students and other colleagues.

“This scholarship afforded me the opportunity to invest myself into my studies,” Czeck said. “If I didn’t have this scholarship, I would not have been able to put this time into developing the curriculum, lesson plans, researching machinery, softwares, mediums and networking to pilot this course in my district.”

"SUNY Oswego's impact scholars program was designed to connect graduate students' innovative practices and research with our local community partners,” said SUNY Oswego Dean of Graduate Studies Kristen Eichhorn. 

“Ryan's project has increased educational opportunities at Red Creek School District with additional electives that are directly impacting 226 high school students,” Eichhorn noted. “The principal shared with us that this project directly aligns with their district priorities and needs, which is to enhance students' access to career readiness skills. We are thrilled that Ryan's successful project was shared at SUNY Oswego's annual Tech Conference so other districts can benefit from these curriculum innovations."

For information on graduate programs and opportunities at SUNY Oswego, visit the Graduate Studies website.

-- Written by Gabrielle Kroeger of the Class of 2023