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The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) led Connecticut Dream It. Do It. team-building activities and a unique Interactive Zone to showcase manufacturing and new technologies at the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s STEM/Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Expo held November 1 at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury.

CCAT, an Expo Silver Sponsor, joined with NVCC and the Smaller Manufacturers Association (SMA) in supporting the event for nearly 500 middle and high school students from throughout Greater Waterbury.

“The Expo gave students the chance to explore cutting-edge technologies and talk directly with leading area manufacturers about job opportunities,” said Alyce Stiles, CCAT’s associate director, experiential STEM education.  “We believe engaging events like the Expo inspire students to consider a future in manufacturing and aid in creating the next generation of talented industry leaders.”

Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. Interactive Zone

At the Expo, CCAT led an Interactive Zone with activities that focused on manufacturers and cutting-edge technology.

The zone featured a Live Portrait activity from within the latest annual Hartford Business Journal publication, Cool Stuff Made in Connecticut. LivePortrait, available as an app through the App Store or Google Play, allowed students to use a tablet’s camera over a LivePortrait image, transforming it from a still frame to a short video clip describing “cool” companies in Connecticut.

Another app-based activity used augmented reality to let students produce a flying drone. Using the Smart Manufacturing, The Comic Book, and the SmartMFG app, students were able to flip through the pages of the comic book, which depicted product design, retooling of a factory floor, and repair to a robot that had unexpectedly shut down. By pointing a device’s camera at a target image in the comic book, the pages were animated so that the students could then design, manufacture, and test a flying drone.

Smart Manufacturing, The Comic Book and the app were created by The Manufacturing Institute and MFG Day in partnership with Rockwell Automation and PTC, Inc.

In addition to the augmented reality apps, CCAT’s Interactive Zone showcased videos from the 2018-2019 school video competition, “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing.” Produced by high school students from around the state, the videos highlight students and manufacturers, and depict why the students think manufacturing is so cool.

Also offered at the Expo were tours of NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) for students attending. AMTC staff were available in the exhibitor area for questions and general information about the Center and its programs offered.

CCAT’s President and CEO Ron Angelo, joined Waterbury’s WATR Radio hosts on Talk of the Town and Manufacturing Matters, the live radio show which took place during the Expo. Also featured on the show were NVCC President, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer Colin Cooper, State Treasurer Shawn Wooden and Director of the NVCC Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center Joseph DeFeo.

“Having CCAT at this year’s Expo enhanced our student’s experience and brought another dimension to the event,” said Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber. “We are fortunate to have a supportive organization like CCAT in our state as a resource for the manufacturing and technology community.”

About CCAT

Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., that creates and executes bold ideas advancing applied technologies, energy solutions, STEM education and career development, and export and cyber compliance. By leading state, regional, and national partnerships, CCAT helps manufacturers, academia, government and nonprofit organizations excel. Learn more at or follow CCAT on Twitter – @CCATInc.

About Connecticut. Dream It. Do It.

Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. is part of The Manufacturing Institute’s nationwide effort to create a positive image of manufacturing today and to develop an awareness of the variety of rewarding career opportunities it offers. Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. is taking the lead in enhancing Connecticut’s current and future manufacturing workforce pipeline. Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) licenses and leads Connecticut. Dream It. Do It.  Learn more at