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

November 8 Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL): 1-Day Workshop at Association of American Medical College's 2011 Annual Meeting Denver, CO
November 9-12 2011 ATMAE Annual Conference Cleveland, OH
November 10-12 Bio-Link: DNA and Civil Liberties Conference II Wellesley Hills, MA
November 11 Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL): Presentation - NCBTA Greensboro, NC
November 11 Virtual Worlds in Technical Education Professional Development Manchester, CT
November 14 National Science Foundation Day Commerce, TX
November 15 The IBM Academic Initiative System Z Team Presents: Modernize Your Enterprise Systems Curriculum Online
November 15-17 Hands on Introduction to Nanotechnology for Educators University Park, PA
November 15-19 National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) Convention St. Louis, MO
November 16 Evalu|a|t|e: e-valuation: Assessing Webinars, Social Media, and Website Usage Online
November 17-18 OP-TEC Workshop on Optics and Photonics Education Grayslake, IL
November 17-19 ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo St. Louis, MO
November 18 Academy for College Excellence (ACE) 101: Info Session Online
November 19 Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL): 1/2 Day Private Workshop-Clemson University Clemson, SC
November 30 The Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center Open House, Conference & Workshops Troy, NY
December 2 MEMS 102: How do Microsystems (MEMS) work? Online
December 3-4 Winery Sanitation Workshop Wamego, KS
December 5-9 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting San Francisco, CA
December 6 GeoCUR Workshop at AGU San Francisco, CA
December 6 Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL): 1 Day Public Workshop Plymouth Meeting, PA
December 7-9 Ag's 2012 Challenge: Rebalancing Risk and Reward Chicago, IL
December 9 MATEC Networks Webinar: Instructional Gaming Online
December 10-11 Winery Microbiology Workshop Onalaska, WI

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 Project

Bridging Engineering, Science, and Technology (BEST) for Elementary Educators

Bridging Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) for Elementary Educators is designed to provide professional development for science and education faculty who prepare future elementary educators to strengthen faculty and pre-service teachers' understandings of engineering content, inquiry-based pedagogical techniques, and career pathways in technical fields. This project builds on the successful NSF-funded ATLAS project (DUE 0702853), designed to enrich teacher education courses with engineering and technology. The BEST project expands this innovative approach to include community college science courses, which are modified to incorporate open-ended engineering design activities. BEST is designed to reach 62 community college and 25 four-year college faculty. Additionally, approximately 800 pre-service educators and 7,000 elementary students are impacted. By developing course syllabi, sequences, and lesson plans, BEST documents how technology and engineering can be integrated into science and education courses for pre-service teachers. As more states include technology and engineering in their standards, the case studies, resources, and models resulting from this project can provide a powerful foundation to guide community college and pre-service efforts nationwide. BEST leverages opportunities at community colleges and four-year colleges that prepare tomorrow's teachers to enhance technological literacy. On the site, visitors will find information about the project, course integration modules, evaluation, and professional development for faculty.

Featured ATE Resources

Here is a sample of the valuable resources in ATE Central that focus on Agricultural and Environmental Technologies:

From AgrowKnowledge:

Rising Tensions Over the Nile River Basin

This lesson plan from AgrowKnowledge gives students the opportunity to analyze the concept of a global commons issue while analyzing a primary source document. The lesson includes reading materials which provide a background to the problem of the rising waters of the Nile River and the related political and ecological issues. Reading for comprehension questions and class activities are included in the unit. The material is intended for high school level students.

Fragile Fringe: A Guide for Teaching about Coastal Wetlands

This "Guide for Teaching About Coastal Wetlands", from the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center, helps students identify types of wetlands & understand the role of wetlands in controlling erosion, retaining water, filtering pollutants, and serving as nurseries for young organisms. The barrier islands, the Mississippi River, and the consequences of wetland loss are examined.

From the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center:

Energy and Agriculture

The Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) has provided this course overview on renewable energy in an agricultural context. Details on several learning units are included on topics including energy consumption, solar energy, wind, hydropower and ocean energy. Users must download this resource for viewing, which requires a free log-in, however there is no cost to download the item.

News & Reminders

ATE Central has an Outreach Kit to help with Your Project or Center's Dissemination and Outreach Plan

Are you interested in designing a more effective dissemination and marketing plan for your project or center? If so, then check out ATE Central's Outreach Kit at This online toolkit includes a Planning Guide to show you, step by step, how to build and execute a realistic and achievable outreach plan. Learn new and innovative ways to reach your audience and connect with the ATE community and beyond with the Social Media Guide. Use the Communications Guide to craft your project or center's message, discover new dissemination paths, and learn to build your own media kit. In addition, you will find a Resources section which will direct you to some best practices within NSF and ATE, other free and low-cost outreach tools, further helpful links, and some suggested reading. If you're ready to show Broader Impacts and ensure your NSF mission, then get started with the ATE Outreach Kit.

2011 ATE PI Conference Materials Available on ATE Central

Over the next few weeks, ATE Central will be posting materials presented at the 2011 ATE PI Conference. Check back at often, as we will be adding materials throughout the month.

Digitally Enhancing America's Community Colleges: Strategic Opportunities for Computing Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) recently released a report that addresses a fundamental question about community colleges: why are so many of them unable to successfully secure federal funding for computing programs? The report, Digitally Enhancing America's Community Colleges, offers recommendations designed to spur new grant proposals, inventive initiatives, and dynamic partnerships that infuse innovation into community college computing courses and programs. The full 24-page report is available online here: NSF's release about the summit, ACM, and the report is available here: Printed copies of the report along with a strategic planning template are available for free via an online request form at

ATEEC seeks reviewers for eERL resources

ATEEC is looking for environmental and energy specialists to vet (review) materials for the electronic Environmental and Energy Resources Library. If you are interested in participating please contact Lora at

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 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

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