Welcome to the ATE Central Connection! Published the first Monday of each month, the ATE Central Connection is meant to disseminate information to and about ATE centers and projects, providing you with up-to-date ATE news, events, reminders, as well as highlighting new centers, projects, and resources. In addition, we will also highlight an educational topic with complementary resources found within ATE Central to help illustrate how ATE resources can be used in the classroom.

We want the ATE Central Connection to be a valuable tool; please e-mail with any suggestions about how to make the ATE Central Connection more useful for you or to suggest any information you would like to see in an upcoming issue.

Upcoming Events

December 11 NetWorks Webinar: Reaching and Teaching Across Generations Online
December 11 Bringing Nanotechnology Education into Your Classrooms Tampa, FL
December 14 ICT Careers Day Boston, MA
December 14-18 2009 AGU Fall Meeting San Francisco, CA
December 16-18 Cisco Networking Academy CCNA Network Security for Teachers Albemarle, NC
January 5-8 January 2010 Pressure Sensor Workshop Albuquerque, NM
January 7-8 Winter 2010 ICT Educator Conference San Francisco, CA
January 8-9 Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Annual Conference Emporia, KS
January 9 Southwest Center for Microsystems Education (SCME): Mini Microsystems Conference Albuquerque, NM
January 20 Webinar: Evaluation Tools Online
January 23-28 SPIE Photonics West 2010 San Francisco, CA
January 25-27 Careers Conference 2010 Madison, WI
February 3-5 2010 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration (CIEC) Palm Springs, CA
February 4-5 Evalu-ate Workshop: Professional Development Impact Evaluation Tempe, AZ
February 12 NetWorks Webinar: Evaluating Student Impact Online
February 13-17 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting Washington DC
February 24-25 Writing in the Regulated Environment When English Is Your Second Language Malvern, PA

For more events please visit the ATE Central Events page or if you have any upcoming events that you would like posted on ATE Central or in the ATE Central Connection please send them to

Featured ATE Center

OPTEC: National Center for Optics and Photonics Education

OP-TEC, the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) resource center, aims to "provide support through curriculum, instructional materials, assessment, faculty development, recruiting, and support for institutional reform." OP-TEC is funded by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program and the Center works with secondary, postsecondary and industry partners to increase and sustain the capacity to produce photonics technicians. Their website pulls together information about the program's partners, presentations and videos, as well as overviews and skills standards in photonics. Visitors to the site will also find information about OP-TEC's upcoming events, and other professional development opportunities in optics and photonics. In addition, visitors to the site will find the OP-TEC blog as well as their recently completed Industry Survey which indicates that 2,100 new photonics technicians are needed in the U.S. over the next year, with an additional 5,900 technicians needed over the next five years.

Featured ATE Resources

Here is a small sample of the valuable resources in ATE Central that focus on Geographic Information Systems (GIS):

From the Lane County Community College MAPS GIS program:

MAPS GIS: Ancestry-Ethnicity

In this lesson students are led through a series of steps to describe spatial patterns of various data layers representing ancestry. The data for this exercise is form the 2005 U.S. Census self identified Ancestry. Students describe the spatial distribution as dispersed, clustered, or random. Students explore the different minimums and maximums of data ranges and discuss how a lack of awareness of these differences can mislead a map reader. Students learn about normalizing data, develop Boolean logic queries to explore correlations. The county-level data used in the exercise are from the US Census Bureau Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) - Sample Data PCT 18 and Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data P3. The module includes student activities, a web-based map, and instructor's guide.

MAPS GIS: Forest Biology

In this module students are introduced to the concept of a watershed and begin to develop its biogeographic history from settlement to present day.  Students then use maps they created to head into the field to check the validity of the data.  This module is place specific, but can be adapted for other locations.  This module purposefully has no instructions provided - as the module was developed to put students straight into GIS and use their problem solving skills initially, and then introduce GIS later in the exercise. The module includes student activities, a web-based map, and instructor's guide.

From the Geographic Information Systems Technology Implementation Project (GIS-TECH) at Del Mar College:

Geographic Information System Technology Implementation Project (GIS-TECH)

The Geographic Information Systems Technology Implementation Project (GIS-TECH) at Del Mar College (DMC) trains advanced technicians in the areas of building and converting large relational databases, installing GIS data servers and effectively using GIS for domain-specific applications. On the site, visitors will find information about the project, upcoming events, GIS certification, and user forums. The Resource Clearinghouse section features a number of modules including GIS for First Responders, Server Mapping, and Database Administrators. There are also a number of general articles about GIS in Agriculture, and some mini projects for the classroom. Access to these materials requires quick and free registration with Del Mar College.

For more ATE resources about GIS please visit:

News & Reminders

ATE Central Recieves Further Funding from NSF

We are extremely pleased to announce that ATE Central has been awarded a second grant from the National Science Foundation which expands the scope of the project and will allow us to continue supporting the ATE community for the next four years. We look forward to working with all our partners within ATE as well as WGBH Boston and others as ATE Central moves forward into this second phase! For more information please e-mail Rachael Bower (

Can CWIS Software Help Support Your Project Goals?

CWIS is open source software, created with NSF funding, that can help your project or center showcase resources online. It's free and very easy to use -- click here to check out a few of the sites running CWIS. We'd be happy to provide you with more information about CWIS and give you a quick tour of its features -- please e-mail Edward Almasy ( to get started!

Find Out More About ATE Central

For information about ATE Central and how your project or center can take part and benefit from ATE Central's portal and services you may want to download the ATE Central Handbook at