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in Advanced Technological Education

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ATE at 20

Project Tests Ways to Boost Technical Students' Spatial Skills

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McHenry County College students Joseph Ignoffo and Alex Garcia work with snap cubes during a spatial visualization skills workshop.

Researchers who have demonstrated that it is possible to improve students' spatial visualization skills, which are key for success in some STEM courses and careers, are testing their curriculum with community college students.

The first 95 students who completed the non-credit spatial skills course at Del Mar College, McHenry County College, and Tidewater Community College earned on average, one full letter grade higher (a grade of B) in the introductory STEM course they took than students who qualified for the spatial skills booster, but opted not to take it (and averaged a grade of C).

PDFs of the lesson plans and other content are available at  http://www.higheredservices.org/spatial-course-mini-lectures/

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Del Mar College Student Wins AAAS Poster Competition, Presents Research in Qatar

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John F. Ramirez, a Del Mar College student, was among 150 undergraduates from around the world and 62 Qatar University students who participated in the First World Congress on Undergraduate Research in Qatar in November 2016.

When John F. Ramirez enrolled in Del Mar College the week before classes started in August 2014, the only open Biology I course was highlighted as the "phages" section.

Ramirez had no idea what phages were. But he figured if the labs were too complicated for him, the instructor would let him know it. Instead of washing out, Ramirez excelled with the encouragement of Professor J. Robert Hatherill. Students in the "phages" section learn basic biology concepts by conducting research on bacteriophages, which are viruses that live on bacteria.

During 2016 Ramirez's independent research on "interesting tidbits" about bacteriophages earned him a first place in the cellular and molecular biology category of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) student poster competition. In a separate competition, Ramirez was selected to attend The First World Congress on Undergraduate Research in Qatar in November.

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What’s Going on in Nanorobotics?

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Over the past few months, there have been a number of developments in the already fascinating world of robotics.

On October 6th, three European scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work developing nanoscale machines – the world’s smallest robots. These molecule-sized robots are manipulated through the conversion of chemical energy into mechanical energy. Many believe that nano-machines may have important implications in a variety of fields, including medicine.

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New from Pew: The State of American Jobs

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This ninety-five-page report – The State of American Jobs – from the Pew Research Center touches on a lot of valuable data for the ATE community related to the changing economic landscape, workers’ ideas about their own commitment to retraining and honing their skillset(s), and how workers view the role of higher education as part of this process.

The report begins by examining Changes in the American workplace, helping to pick apart the socio-economic factors at the core of this evolution. A significant focus of this section is the shift in job opportunities away from those that need manual or physical skillsets and towards those that require high levels of social or analytical skills.  Not surprisingly, employment opportunities are much higher for those with more experience and job preparation (whether from education, training, or gleaned through what my grandmother Hazel always referred to as the school of hard knocks – i.e. life experience.)

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A Note on Archiving with ATE Central

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As the official archive for the ATE community, we work closely with projects and centers to collect and store the curriculum, professional development materials, videos, and other digital content created with ATE funding. It’s important to us that the process of archiving these valuable deliverables is as seamless as possible for grantees. To that end, we’ve recently introduced a few new archiving resources to help as you think through the archiving process.

For instance, last month we launched a new archive submission form to simplify the archiving process. The form is a quick and easy way to upload the materials you’ve created directly to the ATE Central site. Each request is reviewed, processed, and published by ATE Central staff, and best of all, you can keep track of your past and current archiving requests, all via your ATE Central user account.

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Supply Chain Technology Center Uses Data to Spark Interest in "Right Spaces"

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Assignments in the supply chain technology lab at Norco College prepare students by mimicking real work challenges.

This year the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education (SCTE) launched a strategy to address the shortage of technicians qualified to work in automated warehouses and distribution centers.

SCTE is convening Industry-Educator Workforce Forums to introduce two-year college educators to the career opportunities within automated warehouses and for the educators to meet with representatives of the nation's largest retail and shipping companies.

EMSI, a private labor market data provider, estimates that supply-chain, technician-related employment across the United States will grow by 9.1% with more than one million new jobs created between 2015 and 2025.

SCTE has further analyzed labor market data for its State Labor Market Data Briefs that provide detailed information about the expected job growth in the 19 states with the busiest and biggest supply chain "centroids" of mammoth warehouses near major airports and highways.

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What Bioscience Technicians Should Know: The 2016 Core Skill Standards for Bioscience Technicians

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Across a variety of careers and industries, skill standards offer an essential set of expectations that help define what workers need to know and do to succeed. As many of us in the ATE community prepare students for their career of choice, these standards provide an effective framework for developing courses, learning best practices, and identifying industry-specific benchmarks for success.

Recently, the 2016 Core Skill Standards for Bioscience Technicians Toolkit was released, highlighting a set of core technical competencies and skills that are shared across the Bioscience Lab, Biomanufacturing, and Medical Device domains of the bioscience industry.

ATE Central sat down with report authors Jeanette Mowery, Bio-Link Leadership Team, and John Carrese, Bio-Link, to find out a bit more.

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Build Your Own Customized Recruitment Video Tool Ready For Educators to Use

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Educators who complete the free registration for the BYO Video Tool can combine snippets of ATETV video with their college's content by using YouTube Video Editor software.

Creating high quality videos to recruit students for advanced technology careers while showcasing particular college programs is much easier with the new Build Your Own Customized Recruitment Video Tool (BYO Video Tool).

An innovative Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program collaboration is providing all of ATETV's video footage, including uncut interviews with students, employers, and educators, in a vast keyword-searchable database accessible on www.TeachingTechnicians.org, a website provided by the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SC ATE) National Resource Center for Expanding Excellence in Technician Education.

The BYO Video Tool is easy to navigate and free to all users thanks to the National Science Foundation's ATE grant support. Pellet Productions produces ATETV videos that inform viewers in English and Spanish about educational pathways and career opportunities in advanced technology fields. The BYO Video Tool and instructions reside on TeachingTechnicians.org, where SC ATE also provides an online matching service that proactively links STEM educators with ATE-funded professional development opportunities and other STEM education resources.

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Emerging Technologies in Higher Education: A Closer Look at the 2016 NMC Horizon Report

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ATE community members may want to check out the 2016 New Media Consortium (NMC) Education Horizon Report. Published annually since 2002, this report is authored by 58 higher education specialists from around the globe in partnership with EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to both investigating the role of information technology (IT) in higher education and advocating for effective implementation of IT in higher education contexts. According to the report’s executive summary, “With more than 14 years of research and publications, [the NMC Education Horizons Report] can be regarded as the world’s longest-running exploration of emerging technology trends and uptake in education.”

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Teacher Builds Partnerships with Lessons from Indigenous Fellows Institutes

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Melanie Mesa Blas' students shared what they learned about climate change in Micronesia with Guam residents during a Disaster Preparedness Fair. Students' staffing of interactive booths was part of a pilot project with the Department of Agriculture, one of the organizations that partners with Blas.

At the Indigenous Fellows Institutes Melanie Mesa Blas expected to learn about ocean ecosystems and climate change, and effective STEM pedagogy. And she did.

But the unexpected lessons about building relationships are ones she has applied quite often and successfully since attending the 2013 institute in Guam and the 2015 institute in Hawaii. Both institutes were organized by the National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE) with an Advanced Technological Education grant. The professional development for science instructors of Native American and Pacific Islander students focuses on blending the perspectives of indigenous cultures with Western science knowledge.   

"Building relationships and honoring the elders I learned from National PETE and my fellows at the institute. I take that with me into my teaching and into my life and it has helped me to be the successful teacher and mom that I am today," Blas wrote in an email.

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