ATE Central

ATE Events — January 2021


EvaluATE webchats are an opportunity for small groups of ATE evaluation community members to come together to share and learn from each other in real-time. Anyone interested in evaluation is welcome to attend. Participants are encouraged to turn on their webcams and join in the conversation, offering a great opportunity to network.

WDI is the premier annual convening for new and seasoned community college-based workforce and economic development professionals.

The program will feature an exciting assembly of speakers from across the United States who will highlight innovative strategies and promising practices as we all adjust through adversity.

Drawing inspiration from natural intelligent sensor design, researchers at Penn State University have developed a number of solid-state biomimetic devices that provide unprecedented energy and area benefits for sensory computations. In particular, these researchers have mimicked auditory information processing in barn owl (Nature Communications, 10, 3450, 2019), collision avoidance by locust (Nature Electronics, 2020), and subthreshold signal detection by paddlefish and cricket using stochastic resonance (Nature Communications, 2020). Penn State researchers have also mimicked probabilistic computing in animal brains using low-power Gaussian synapses (Nature Communications, 10, 4199, 2019) and realized a biomimetic device that can emulate neurotransmitter release in chemical synapses (ACS Nano, 11, 3, 2017). These researchers use novel nano materials, nano devices, and in-memory computing architectures to demonstrate this new paradigm of sensing and computing. The goal is to deploy theses low-power and smart biomimetic devices at remote, inaccessible, and resource constrained locations.

Presenter: Saptarshi Das, Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Materials Science and Engineering, Penn State University

Das Research Group at Penn State leads a new multidisciplinary area of science, namely biomimetic sensing and neuromorphic computing inspired by the neurobiological architecture and neural computational algorithms found inside various animal brains allowing evolutionary success of the species.

InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory invite you to a mini-symposium on emerging technologies in Agricultural Biotechnology.

1:00 pm EST Agricultural Genomics: The Rise of Genomes

Doreen Ware, Ph.D., Molecular Biologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service and Adjunct Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York

Breeding for 2050 and beyond will require designing plants for new environments and preparing them for new diseases, while they are still offshore. Key to this effort will be access to high-quality genomes and annotations for agricultural species and their pests. The genomes of many plants have been sequenced over the past decade, but these are usually limited to one reference assembly. The available genomes are often fragmented and missing complex repeat regions—and so lack sufficient high-level representation of genes and functional variation within a species. We are now entering an era where genome assemblies are reaching a theoretical maximum of contiguity and completeness—at ~0.1% the cost of 10 years ago. This provides an unprecedented opportunity to access genomic information to dissect complex agronomic traits and to provide insights into species evolution.

2:00 pm EST Emerging Trends in Agricultural Diagnostics

Zach Bateson, Ph.D., Research Scientist, National Agricultural Genotyping Center, Fargo, ND

Pests and pathogens account for up to 30% of the annual losses in food crops worldwide. All agricultural commodities are negatively impacted by pests, either directly in the field or indirectly through the supply chain. Molecular diagnostics to identify and manage threats in agriculture lag behind diagnostic applications in the medical sciences, despite deep connections between agriculture and human health. In this webinar, I describe the diagnostic biotechnology used at the National Agricultural Genotyping Center (NAGC) and how diagnostic data provide insights into emerging threats across the agricultural community. Specifically, I discuss research underway at the NAGC that helps: 1) identify drivers of colony losses impacting the honeybee industry, 2) quickly detect herbicide resistant weeds, and 3) measure environmental pathogen densities to develop predictive models for crop diseases. While the research is diverse in scope, the diagnostic methods take advantage of a commo
nality across all pests and pathogens—the genetic code.

3:00 pm EST Clones, Carbon and Climate Change: The Epigenetics of Oil Production

Rob Martienssen, Ph.D, Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY

The African oil palm is the most efficient oil bearing crop, but demand for edible oils and biofuels, combined with sustainability concerns over dwindling rainforest reserves, has led to intense pressure to improve oil palm yield. The fruit abnormality, mantled, is a somaclonal variant arising from tissue culture that drastically reduces yield—and has largely halted efforts to clone elite hybrids for oil production. Using epigenome wide association studies, we found that loss of methylation of a LINE retrotransposon related to rice Karma predicts mantled fruit. Identifying “bad Karma” in cloned plantlets allows growers to cull mantled palms before they reach the field. Since many palms in a given plantation are low-yielding, the broad introduction of high-performing clones promises to reduce the land needed to meet world requirements for palm oil.

Through funding from a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) grant, the presenters have developed an innovative laboratory exercise and curriculum on CRISPR gene editing. The kit exercise provides the ability to perform state of the art CRISPR gene editing laboratory procedures, giving students at the high school and introductory college course level the ability to learn the science behind current gene editing efforts without the need for elaborate materials or equipment. At its base, this exercise enables students to practice CRISPR-directed gene editing using a mammalian cell-free extract, a plasmid bearing the lacZ gene and an appropriate CRISPR-Cas (Cas9 or Cas12a) complex which together catalyze a genetic deletion or insertion/replacement of a new sequence when a single-stranded DNA donor template is provided. Both genetic knockout and genetic knock-in reactions are active in the instructional kit. Importantly, this procedure does not lead to the direct genetic modification of bacterial cells, which could lead to GMO issues of safety concerns; instead, bacterial cells are simply used as the readout after a standard transformation.

The laboratory exercise models and mimics gene editing in mammalian cells, which is the major interest of over 90% of the gene editing activities in the field, without the need for special equipment including tissue culture hoods, CO2 incubators and any sort of microscopy. The reaction can be broken down into individual teachable modules and is direct, rapid, cost-effective and takes advantage of standard molecular biology reagents and equipment that are likely present in many high school biotechnology program labs and most community college instructional laboratories.  Curriculum enhances standard biology syllabi content of chemical information flow, genetic transformation, lacZ function, DNA function, etc.

Speakers:  Eric Kmiec, Ph.D.  Director, Gene Editing Institute, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, Christiana Care and John McDowell, Ph.D. Instructor Biology/Chemistry Department, Delaware Technical Community College


Nanotechnology is at the frontier of most STEM disciplines and is integral in everyday lives, including health, electronics, building materials, household products, alternative energy, and even fashion. Gain a basic understanding of nanotechnology. Deepen your understanding of current nanoscience research. Learn about opportunities and pathways for your students. Discover activities and content you can use to create your NGSS-aligned lessons or workforce development programming.

The workshop will be held on 6 consecutive Friday, tentatively, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26.


An all-digital Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 will allow the entire tech community to safely share ideas and introduce the products that will shape our future. 

CES 2021 will offer a highly personalized experience:

  • Keynotes and conferences. Now you’ll have a front-row seat for groundbreaking announcements and insights from the world’s tech leaders completely online.
  • Product showcase. With this digital revolution of the CES show floor, you’ll be able to explore products and services, based on your interests and business, through dynamic product showcases or live demos.
  • Meetings and networking. You’ll be able to engage with the brands, thought leaders, and business connections you care about with live interactions, meet-ups, or roundtable discussions.

Join the scientists at Bio-Rad Laboratories for a discussion about the technology that just won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry: CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. In this webinar, Bio-Rad scientists will discuss the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 system in nature, how it works in a gene-editing scenario and the exciting and truly broad range of applications on this technology.

In this webinar Bio-Rad scientists will discuss the following: 

  • The elements of CRISPR-Cas9 and how they work together 
  • Modeling CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing with students using a paper activity
  • The natural history of the CRISPR-Cas9 system
  • The applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in research, medicine, agriculture, and more

Speakers:  Research and Development Scientists and Curriculum Training Specialists, Bio-Rad Laboratories

Photonics Spectra's inaugural online conference will feature over 70 presentations discussing the latest trends, technologies, and applications under four tracks - Lasers, Optics, Spectroscopy, and Biomedical Imaging. For companies wishing to stay competitive in 2021, it is more critical than ever to stay up to date on the latest advances and emerging applications for photonic technologies. Join your colleagues and customers online in January. You will gain valuable information during four days of keynotes, educational presentations, and product showcases.

Join FLATE’s Educator Webinar Series as they provide resources for all STEM educators and anyone interested in outreach for STEM and manufacturing careers. The webinar will provide tools and tips to help educators to get started and learn how to prepare for virtual STEM summer camps.

Key takeaways: 

  • Learn about available online resources  
  • Tools for summer camps: learn how to use them  
  • Available online platforms & technology 

This ET Tech Talk Session will feature Pete Cirak, Quality Director at Seal Dynamics defining the uses of Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM), industry applications, and integrating them into the technical education programs.  This series will focus on emerging industry 4.0 technologies that manufacturing 2-year technician programs should be included in their programs.

Key takeaways:

  • Online resources for emerging industry 4.0 technologies.  
  • Available techniques and tools  
  • Ins and Out of CMM

Join the scientists at Bio-Rad Laboratories for a walkthrough of the gene editing and genotyping lab activities in Bio-Rad’s Out of the Blue CRISPR Gene Editing and Genotyping Extension Kits. These award-winning activities put the power of true CRISPR gene editing into your students’ hands with safe and familiar materials, elegant and instructive controls, and engaging supporting activities.

In this webinar Bio-Rad scientists will discuss the following: 

  • Using CRISPR-Cas9 to cut and edit the endogenous bacterial lacZ gene
  • Screening for genomic edits using blue-white screening
  • Illustrating the roles of all components of the CRISPR-Cas9 system (targeting, cutting, and repair) with a complete set of controls
  • Confirming the genomic edit with multiplex PCR and gel electrophoresis
  • Use of bioinformatics to model the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 targets in the human genome

Speakers:  Research and Development Scientists and Curriculum Training Specialists, Bio-Rad Laboratories