ATE Impacts

2021 Successes & New NSF Opportunity Shared During ATE Office Hours


Working Partners identifies and disseminates core practices of effective industry and college partnerships.

Principal investigators of five Advanced Technological Education initiatives shared information about their successes during the 2021 wrap-up session of ATE Office Hours.

V. Celeste Carter, the lead program director of the ATE program at the National Science Foundation, began the 60-minute virtual session on December 15 by encouraging the 100 people in attendance and the entire ATE community to participate in NSF’s COVID Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Challenge.

“That is something new for everybody to take a look at,” Carter said. 

The challenge, which is segmented for four categories of higher education institutions, requires a three-page description of the evidence-based systemic actions taken to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. Narratives are due January 30.

“You’ve got time to do this. And colleges do not need to have a grant from NSF to enter the challenge,” Carter said.

In addition to the opportunity to present information about their program at an NSF virtual meeting, institutions in the various categories have the opportunity to win monetary prizes: $25,000 for first place; $15,000 for second place; and $10,000 for third place. Ten honorable mention certificates will also be awarded. 

» Read More or Comment

I Am ATE: Antonio Delgado


Photograph of Antonio Delgado

Name: Antonio Delgado

Title: Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships

Institution: Miami Dade College

Project Name: Advancing Strategies in Cybersecurity Education and Career Development (ASCEND)


ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Delgado: Back in 2017, faculty and administrators wanted to develop cybersecurity degree programs at Miami Dade College (MDC). Dr. Diego Tibaquira, lead cybersecurity faculty member at MDC, and I, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at that time, decided to apply to NSF ATE with the goal to build faculty capacity in cybersecurity, create an advisory board, and develop courses with a focus on supporting minority students. That application was awarded the NSF ATE for small projects. 

» Read More or Comment

Girls’ Videos Aim to Increase Female STEM Enrollments


Girls in STEM interviewed Sydney Eisinger (left), a control room technician at NextEra Energy and IRSC graduate.

The potential of peer persuasion is the impetus for Girls in STEM, a video series that three teenage girls created with the Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training (RCNET).

The brief videos of the girls interviewing young women about their careers as STEM technicians are on RCNET’s YouTube channel for educators to use and the general public to view.

“I think that it’s important to show girls my age that there are STEM jobs that don’t necessarily involve working in a factory or what you might think first comes to mind when you think of STEM,” Carmella Dunn, 17, a junior at Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia, explained during a recent interview.

“The key point I hope the teenagers see is that there are many opportunities in the STEM field that are often overlooked,” Jadyn Cooper, 17, a senior at South Fork High School on Stuart, Florida, said in a separate interview.  

Lindsay Raya, a junior at Fort Pierce Central High School in Florida, found that just talking about the video production raised her friends’ interest in STEM. “I think I have influenced my friends to go into the STEM field – just me talking about it all the time,” she said at the 2020 ATE Principal Investigators’ Conference where the three girls and RCNET Director Kevin Cooper, PhD, talked about the video series.

» Read More or Comment

Americans Face Persistent “Digital Divide” Based on Income, Race, Geography, and Disability


Two young women wearing face masks share a tablet.

Members of the ATE community are acutely aware of the importance of technology in our lives - and the challenges that many of our students face in overcoming technological barriers to access the educational resources that they need to thrive. The “digital divide” is a reality for many of our students - referring to the gap between groups of people in their ability to access, use, and benefit from computers and technologies such as the internet. As devices such as smartphones, desktop or laptop computers, and tablets (all supported by high-speed internet connections) become more central to the way we live - get an education, find jobs, access information, file taxes, etc. - the digital divide threatens to limit some people’s ability to fully participate in society. 

These issues have been particularly salient throughout the pandemic, and have thrown into sharp relief the persistent gaps that remain - and the potential solutions to close digital divides based on income, education, race and ethnicity, geography, and disability. Throughout this year, the Pew Research Center has released a series of reports on the digital divide, based on a representative survey of 1,500 adults conducted last winter. Here, we highlight some of the most pertinent findings.

» Read More or Comment

Overlapping Grant Initiatives Aim to Attract Females to Cybersecurity Careers


At the five-day GenCyber Camp at Coastline College girls use real digital forensic tools to investigate mock crimes.

Coastline College Professor Tobi West is using a long-game approach to bringing more females into cybersecurity.

Women are less than 15% of the cybersecurity workforce, but data indicate West is making progress attracting underrepresented groups of students – female, non-white, and low-income – to the Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) certificate and degree program she created with an Advanced Technological Education (NSF) grant from the National Science Foundation

This past summer West organized a GenCyber camp for middle school and high school girls at Coastline with funding from the National Security Agency (NSA) and a one-day CyberTech Girls program funded with a U.S. Department of Education Perkins grant. Both are part of her strategy for recruiting females for the DFIR certificate and degree program.

This summer’s program has already yielded some unexpectedly positive results: One of the women from industry who served as a mentor years ago has now become an adjunct instructor at Coastline and presenter at the GenCyber camp. Several other mentors have enrolled in Coastline’s cyber defense courses to help them advance in their law enforcement careers.

“To me those are really great successes,” West said.

» Read More or Comment

Select Open Educational Resources


A young woman with dark curly hair and glasses reads a digital textbook on a tablet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically demonstrated the barriers that many students and teachers still face in accessing quality educational materials. It has also spurred many in education to call for making more resources openly available. Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital or non-digital learning resources placed in the public domain or released under open licenses that allow for unrestricted use, distribution, access, and adaptation. 

In this post, we highlight projects, organizations, and materials that relate to OER. We hope that these resources can be valuable for educators in the ATE community and that they will be shared widely with students, colleagues, or anyone else who might benefit. Do you have additional OER that you would like to share with the community? We would love to hear from you! Just email!

» Read More or Comment

With VESTA’s Help Highland Community College Creates Academic Program, Vineyard & Winery Incubator


Scott Kohl directs the viticulture and enology program at Highland Community College and manages 456 Wineries.

In 2007 when the owners of a nearby winery suggested the Highland Community College-Wamego offer winemaking classes, Scott Kohl knew nothing about wine production. He wasn’t even a wine drinker. But as the director of the satellite campus, he was persuaded and gathered information to create the curriculum for a three-credit Introduction to Grape Growing course. When 17 students enrolled – one drove three hours to attend – Kohl was impressed that the college could respond to an unmet need. Enrollment was similarly strong when the college added an introductory winemaking course.

In 2008 Highland leaders agreed to join the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA), not only to help the center funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program expand its online viticulture and enology degree program throughout the Midwest, but to reconfigure VESTA’s curriculum for in-person courses. 

“From there things just started to grow,” Kohl said. Indeed they did.

For more than 10 years the small rural college has offered enology and viticulture certificate and associate degree programs. The teaching vineyard it started with VESTA support has grown to four vineyards with 5,200 vines. Most remarkably, the college created Highland Vineyards and Winery, LLC. The limited liability corporation is the business branch of the Highland Community College Viticulture and Enology Program and operator of 456 Wineries, a wine business incubator that is located across the highway from the campus. Income from sale of wine made with the college’s grapes, the rent paid by the wine incubator tenants, and grants help sustain the program that enrolls about 16 students per year. Many alumni are the owners or employees of the 60 wineries that now dot Kansas; the state had 12 wineries in 2007, Kohl said.

» Read More or Comment

Resources for Hybrid Teaching and Universal Design for Learning


A young woman with curly hair studies at a laptop in front of a shelf of books.

With the new school year underway, we know that members of the ATE community may be adapting their lessons and syllabi to accommodate different learning modalities in the rapidly changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with several semesters of experience, there is still much that we all can learn about effective teaching and learning in remote, hybrid, and even in-person formats.

In the spirit of mutual support and collaborative learning, we are sharing five resources that we believe will be helpful for all educators to strive to make their pedagogy more inclusive, accessible, and useful for all students. 

» Read More or Comment

Online Energy Management Program Leads to Impactful Career for Esteban Montero Chacon


Esteban Montero Chacon is happy that his work reduces energy costs for low-income people.

Esteban Montero Chacon, 40, was hired as a residential energy analyst in October 2020 while he was finishing his associate in applied science (AAS) degree in energy management from Lane Community College. By December his boss was so impressed by the way Montero Chacon revamped the agency’s Heat System Crisis program that he told him to apply for the director’s job from which he would soon be retiring.  

Montero Chacon did, and in February 2021 he became the director of the Energy Services Division of Homes for Good, a public housing agency in Lane County, Oregon.

“I don’t believe I could do the job [without the program], because number one, that’s how I got here by being an energy technician myself. And number two, is just the fact that I learned a lot not only in the technical field of energy, but there was a lot to be learned about energy policy and politics and all the different things – all the guidance, the regulations, ventilation needs and such – that come into play and represent a big role in what my job is,” he said.   

Montero Chacon is particularly grateful to Roger Ebbage, the faculty lead of the Northwest Water & Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College. It was Ebbage who told Montero Chacon of the energy analyst job at Homes for Good in 2020, and it was Ebbage who encouraged him to enroll in the energy management program at Lane Community College in 2017.

Ebbage has been the principal investigator of several Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grants from the National Science Foundation including Award 1601375 that supported the conversion of Lane’s in-person energy management degree program for online delivery. He is currently co-principal investigator of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education, which is hosted by Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin.

» Read More or Comment

From the Archive: Welding Resources for the College Classroom


A welder in a face-covering safety mask works at welding with bright sparks.

Like many of the career paths available to graduates of ATE-funded programs, welding professionals have a wide variety of opportunities available to them. From construction to manufacturing, engineering to energy, skilled welders are in high demand in a number of critical industries across the country. In many of these industries, welders need only complete a certificate program or two-year college degree to start a promising career at a good salary.

In this From the Archive blog post, we highlight an array of materials created by and for welding programs across ATE to educate the next generation of welders. Our first set of resources include two courses created by the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) in partnership with Roane State Community College. Next up are curricular materials that focus on mathematics instruction for welders, followed by a template to aid instructors in evaluating the welding competency of their students. 

If you are new to ATE and would like to learn more about adding your curriculum, professional development materials, or other ATE grant deliverables to the ATE Central Archive, please join us for an informational presentation via Zoom on September 28th at noon CST.

» Read More or Comment

Items 11 - 20 of 236