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Celebrating Twenty Years of Progress and Innovation
in Advanced Technological Education

ATE@20

ATE at 20

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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A Closer Look at HI-TEC and the 2016 Keynote Speakers

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Each summer, the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) invites secondary and post-secondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians to come together and update their knowledge and skills about advanced technological education. Now in its eighth year, conference attendees have the option to choose from twenty pre-conference workshops and industry site tours during the first two days, followed by the two-day main conference featuring keynote speakers, 60+ breakout sessions, and an exhibit hall.

This year’s conference will be held July 25-28 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. Here is a closer look at the upcoming keynote presentations.

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G-FMS Games Finding Audience Beyond College

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Rees Shad (on the right), associate professor of Visual and Performing Arts and chair of the Humanities Department at Hostos Community College, developed G-FMS instructional games in 2013 and 2014 with the help of students who went on to form a game-design company.

New York public school students are about to begin playing instructional games created by faculty and students at Hostos Community College for Game-Framed Mathematics and Science (G-FMS), a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education project. The games created to help Hostos' digital media students succeed in remedial and introductory math and science courses are now aiming for wider use among younger students.

G-FMS Principal Investigator Rees Shad said middle school and high school teachers in District 7, the region of the New York City Public Schools in the South Bronx, are beginning to incorporate the games in their classroom instruction. With the assistance of Hostos President David Gómez, Shad and his team will soon meet with top New York City School officials about using the games in fourth grade classrooms throughout the city.   

As an open resource, the games are available for free download under the GAMES tab of G-FMS's website: http://commons.hostos.cuny.edu/gfms/games/

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Five Questions About Archiving: What You Should Know

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Next week, ATE Central will be hosting an exciting new webinar on the importance of digital archiving for the ATE Community. On May 24th at 1pm EDT, Rachael Bower and Kendra Bouda will discuss what digital archiving is, why archiving benefits ATE, and how ATE Central can help with your project or center’s archiving efforts. Whether you’re just getting started with ATE, or you’ve been part of the community for a while, this webinar will provide you with helpful information about sustaining your deliverables beyond the life of your ATE funding.

If you’re planning on tuning in, or wondering if you should, these five questions offer a sneak peek at the type of material that will be covered:

What is an archive?

  • An archive is a collection of materials – often comprised of primary source documents – that has been preserved for its enduring value. For ATE, the Archive is a virtual space where deliverables and select administrative documents are collected, stored, and made available in digital format.
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Mentor-Connect Expands the ATE Community

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Mentor-Connect Mentor Peggie Weeks (center) listens to the grant proposal ideas of her mentees from Grayson College (Denison, Texas) and Albany Technical College (Albany, Georgia). Pictured from left to right, are Djuna Forrester, Alan McAdams, and Steven Davis from Grayson College, Weeks, and Joseph Ford, Chase Mumford, and Angela Davis from Albany Technical College.  (Photo by David Hata)

Mentor-Connect's utilization of Advanced Technological Education (ATE) principal investigators as mentors and an array of technical resources has achieved some initial, promising results.

The 81 college teams in the first four Mentor-Connect cohorts increased the geographic diversity of colleges submitting proposals to the National Science Foundation's ATE program: the selected colleges are in regions within 27 different states where an ATE grant has either never been funded, or has not been funded in the past 10 years. Since NSF started the ATE program in 1993 its competitive review process has awarded ATE grants in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. However, many of these grants have gone to colleges in metropolitan areas, and often these institutions have received multiple ATE grants.

Evidence that Mentor-Connect is adding geographic diversity to NSF-ATE proposals comes from the fact that 55 of the 61 colleges in the first three Mentor-Connect cohorts submitted proposals to NSF.

Evidence that Mentor-Connect is improving the quality of NSF-ATE proposals is indicated by the following: 22 of the 36 colleges in the first two Mentor-Connect cohorts that submitted proposals in either October 2013 or 2014 have been awarded grants of approximately $200,000 each in the program track Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE. This 61% success rate exceeds the ATE's program-wide funding rate of 22%.

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Talk To Me: Tools to Support Communication and Outreach

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For all of us in the ATE community some portion of our time is spent figuring out how to tell our project or center story – connecting with audiences and stakeholders about our work and the impact it’s having on students, faculty, institutions, and industry.  Let's face it, most of us already have a pretty full plate. Between activities related to the work outlined in our grants and responsibilities at our home institutions as well, (and little or no background in marketing) it can be difficult to add outreach into the mix.  It’s a situation most of us in the ATE community are familiar with – we are tasked with broadening the impact of our work by NSF through outreach and dissemination to appropriate audiences, but we don’t always have a concrete plan in place for how to go about it. That’s when it’s great to have access to best practice from a group like Hershey Cause Communications who have created an array of wonderful toolkits, guides, and other materials specifically designed with non-profits in mind.

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Woman Applies ROV Competition Skills aboard the Nautilus and at Disneyland

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Tara Willis obtained her "dream job" of working with deep sea explorer Robert Ballard through participation in the MATE Center's ROV competition and At-Sea Internship programs.

Tara Willis was "that giddy little kid" who thought Robert Ballard's deep sea exploration of the RMS Titanic in 1985 "was so amazing" and something she would like to do.

She didn't act on that idea until she was in her 30s and taking an elective robotics course at Long Beach City College. It led to her participation in the international competition for underwater robots, also known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), sponsored by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. MATE obtained support from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program, the Marine Technology Society, and several marine companies to start the competitions in 2001. The competition continues to grow with support from dozens of organizations and participation by students from schools and colleges around the world.

The competition experience was so positive that Willis applied for an At-Sea Internship through MATE. None other than Ballard's E/V Nautilus team selected her.

"Out of that internship, I've actually been hired as one of their mainstay contract pilots," Willis said. In the summer of 2015 she helped pilot the research vessel’s ROV Hercules and ROV Argus when they explored the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. In the past she was part of the Nautilus team when it sailed to the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

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8 Resources to Consider when Developing and Sharing Curriculum and Materials

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires grantees to demonstrate broader impacts in an effort to ensure the NSF's mission: "To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." This means that outreach and dissemination efforts are critical for fulfilling the requirements and goals of our Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grants. But, how do we ethically use the works of others to develop and share the curriculum components and other educational materials produced by our projects or centers? And how do we make sure that our own works are protected?

Here are eight resources related to intellectual property (IP) and copyright that may help address these issues: 

Copyright in Education Flowchart

"Can I use material I found online for teaching or school work?" This illuminating infographic answers the question in a step-by-step guide, identifying what material can - and cannot - be used for teaching or school purposes. There are also sections on licensing one's own media, how to think about whether it might be feasible to claim fair use, and instructions for how to ethically and legally claim fair use in certain circumstances.

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MentorLinks Mentor Opens Doors & Helps Add Specialization to Biotech Program

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While leading a tour of Irvine Valley College's labs on February 10, Microbiology Professor Emalee Mackenzie tells c3bc Project Director Russ H. Read about her plans to add medical device manufacturing courses to the biotech offerings in Orange County, California.

As Microbiology Professor Emalee Mackenzie took in the scene of 36 medical device industry representatives and bioscience academicians in Irvine Valley College's conference space, she could not help smiling. She was happy that the professional connections she made through MentorLinks led to her hosting the Fifth Medical Device Skill Standards Meeting on February 10.

"It's all those connections, and meeting them at ATE ... that have been tremendous. Vivian opened doors and made all this possible," Mackenzie said, referring to the introductions Vivian Ngan-Winward, her MentorLinks mentor, provided at the 2015 ATE Principal Investigators Conference.

MentorLinks is a technician education program improvement initiative that the American Association of Community College offers with support from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program. MentorLinks pairs a college team that is working on a new or revamped STEM program with a community college educator who has expertise in the target discipline for a two-year period.

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Two from Pew: Numbers, Facts, and Trends for the ATE Community

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All of us at ATE Central are avid readers of the reports, surveys, and publications created by the Pew Research Center; not only is the research timely and varied, but the reports are a pleasure to read and chock full of graphics and tables that highlight research results in smart and applicable ways. We’ve showcased other Pew reports here in the ATE@20 blog and today we’re pointing you to two reports that came out last year. Not only do we hope they will be of interest and useful to the whole ATE community, but we hope they’ll be of interest to your colleagues, administrators, friends and students, too. Please feel free to share this blog post with others who you think might find them useful!

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