Education and Workforce Development

INVENTORcloud™ Program

The INVENTORcloud™ Program, developed by AST2, is a comprehensive program that offers inquiry and problem based learning in a unique, technology-rich environment for students. INVENTORcloud utilizes hardware technology and software applications to integrate innovation, creativity and design thinking with 21st century career and life skills.

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INVENTORcloud challenges students, individually and as teams, to collaborate in problem-based activities to solve real-world challenges. Students apply the design process using computer design and visualization tools to create virtual prototypes which are then produced with rapid prototyping equipment. INVENTORcloud, through virtual presence technology, enables students to remotely access STORM:Lab’s rapid prototyping equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters and mills to turn virtual prototypes into reality.

INVENTORcloud curricula are digital courses for a digital classroom. Content is derived from relevant videos, articles and subject matter sources. The rich, dynamic content creates thought- provoking and interesting courses for a broad range of students. Courses are aligned with Common Core State Standards and select state career & technical education standards and are eligible for dual credit.

The prerequisite Innovation, Creativity and Design Thinking (ICDT) course explores facets of creativity, design and innovation. Scientific processes, critique, brainstorming and ethics, are integrated with 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Subsequent courses include ICDT: Environmental Sustainability, ICDT: Bio Technologies and ICDT: Creative Entrepreneurship.  Learn more at INVENTORcloud.

STORM: Virtual Collaborative Learning Environment

AST2 developed STORM, a secure, private cloud computing technology to integrate equipment, people, information and resources that creates a Virtual Collaborative Learning Environment (VCLE). The technology enables collaboration, research, co-creation, and information sharing among co-located and geographically distributed people in virtual and mixed reality environments.  VCLE is the platform technology for INVENTORcloud and applications in workforce development and industry.

STORM:TeamUp enables access to INVENTORcloud courses as well as digital journals, blogs, calendars, resource scheduling and project management.

STORM:Lab and STORM:Tool supports remote operation of digitally controlled rapid prototyping equipment such as CNC mills, laser cutters and routers, and 3D printers. Support and instruction by STORM:Lab staff is provided through virtual presence by video, audio, text, and operational interaction and control with collaboration.

Workforce Development Applications

INVENTORcloud courses and VCLE technologies can be customized and adapted for workforce development and training needs in industry settings.

AST2 is working with ShaleNET, a consortium of University and Community Colleges led by Pennsylvania College of Technology, with a mission is to design a comprehensive recruitment, training, placement, and retention program for high priority occupations in the natural gas drilling and production industry.  AST2 is a member of the ShaleNET team which received a Department of Labor award to design equipment and develop training for workers in the shale gas and oil industry.  AST2 will provide development, operation, and maintenance of a customized Virtual Collaborative Learning Environment (VCLE) integrated hardware/software technology platform to facilitate remote access and operation of well site trainers at four locations across the United States.  VCLE will enable students to have virtualized “hands-on” access with a well site trainer as if they were physically present at the trainer site.