ATE Impacts

International Opportunities: A Growing Dimension of ATE Program


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Florida engineering technology students who studied in Spain with support from the National Science Foundation gained new perspectives on energy systems and conservation efforts through their classroom lessons and cultural experiences.

"Over there, everywhere we went they made sure we turned the lights off," said Danielly Orozco-Cole, Curriculum Coordinator of the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center for Excellence (FLATE). Walking long distances and taking public transportation— the most common modes of transportation in Spain—showed the students that energy conservation is a way of life in Europe.

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Then & Now: ATE Centers Work on Cutting Edge of Educational Technologies


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When the long-time principal investigators (PIs) of Advanced Technological Centers consider the span of their involvement in the National Science Foundation's innovative technological education program, the technologies they used in their early ATE days provide interesting gauges of progress.

Managing with Phone Calls and Letters. Yes, Paper Letters Carried by Mailmen

The Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center was one of three centers funded in the first round of grants awarded in the summer of 1994. The center was then known as the Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center. ATEEC has consistently served as its acronym even as the mission has evolved.

For the first year and half of ATEEC's existence, the staff relied on telephone calls and letters delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to communicate with NSF personnel, its industry partners, and the educators it was trying to reach with its hazardous materials training and related curriculum. The internet was up and running at that time, but not in the Eastern Iowa Community College District.

"We grew up literally, and NSF pushed us as an institution to be more technologically advanced. They were used to dealing with four-year [institutions]," ATEEC PI Ellen Kabat Lensch recalls. Getting a website was even a bigger deal than email. The center was located at Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa, and had to contract with an outside server because its plan for online activities exceeded the capacity of the college's computer system.

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MATE Center ROV Competitions Build Excitement for Marine Tech Careers


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Jill Zande never has a problem finding officials for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's competitions for remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

For MATE's 12th Annual International ROV Competition on June 20 to 22 in Seattle, she has lots of volunteers from the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and dozens of corporate sponsors. Zande is the MATE Center's co-principal investigator, associate director, and competition coordinator.

"Our member response has been nothing short of outstanding. In fact the only complaint I have ever heard is when some of our members, or member companies, have been jealous because they thought their rivals or competitors were more visible than they at competitions," said MTS President Drew Michel.

Marine technology professionals have many opportunities to interact with students during a Career Expo, poster session, and engineering evaluations of students' ROVs. Employers also get the chance to see how 500 secondary school and college students perform under stress, as their robots perform tasks that mimic undersea workplace challenges.

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20 Years of Innovation


Liz & Gerhard

Welcome to the ATE@20 blog.

Our blog celebrates the 20 years of innovations and other accomplishments that the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program has generated at community colleges, secondary schools, and universities around the nation. We have several ambitions for the blog.

By telling ATE's success stories we hope to inform educators, students, parents, and industry partners about the ATE program and expand the ATE community's robust partnerships. The blog is available for ATE centers and projects to use on their websites and in their newsletters.

By utilizing the blog's interactivity, ATE Central hopes to gather information for the ATE@20 book it is publishing this fall. We hope this interactivity enhances the collaborations that have been a hallmark of the ATE program since it began.

The launch of ATE@20 comes 20 years after NSF began planning the Advanced Technological Education program. ATE itself was an innovation for the National Science Foundation, though one Congress asked NSF to create rather than one NSF sought.

A Little History to Start

This first blog entry provides a brief summary of the ATE program's early history. The backstory focuses on the involvement of Gerhard Salinger and Elizabeth Teles in shaping the program that has become the National Science Foundation's largest investment in community colleges.

Congress passed the Scientific and Advanced Technology Act known by its acronym, SATA in October 1992. President George H.W. Bush signed the legislation on October 23, making it Public Law 102-476. Its sponsors included North Carolina Congressman David Price and Maryland Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. Price, a Duke University political science professor before his election to Congress, wanted the NSF to support workforce issues in a way that complemented Department of Education tech-prep activities and Department of Labor short-term training. Mikulski, a social worker before she began her political career on Baltimore's City Council, wanted government investments in high tech fields to include economic development for diverse populations.

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