Advanced Technological Education · September 2012

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

September 16-19 HTCIA International Conference and Training Expo Hershey, PA
September 19 Roadmap to a Grid-Tied PV Array Online
September 24-25 2012 Teaching & Learning with Technology Conference Columbia, SC
September 26 Residential Energy Audit Online
September 30 - October 2 AACC's 2012 Washington Advocacy Seminar Washington, D.C.
September 30 - October 3 CSCMP Annual Global Conference Atlanta, GA
October 3 Biodiesel Lab Exercise with Hydrogen Enrichment Online
October 8-11 Logistics Officers National Conference 2012 Washington, D.C.
October 10 Bringing Energy Home — Smart Renewable Choices Online
October 14-16 The Association for Operations Management Annual Convention Denver, CO
October 14-18 Frontiers in Optics 2012/Laser Science XXVIII Rochester, NY
October 16-17 CyberMaryland Conference Baltimore, MD
October 17 Alternative Energies Online
October 17-19 2012 NCPN Conference Richmond, VA
October 24 Measuring Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results Washington, D.C.
October 24-26 ATE Conference 2012 Washington, D.C.
October 28-31 STEMTech 2012 Kansas City, MO
November 4-7 Empowering the Future Fort Wayne, IN
November 4-7 Materials & Manufacturing: Empowering the Future Fort Wayne, IN

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

To add a continuously-updated list of ATE and STEM education events to your web site, use the ATE Event Widget.

Resources in Materials Technologies

From MatEd:

10 Simple and Effective In-Class Experiments and Demonstrations for Materials Education

This PDF report evaluates 10 basic experiments and demonstrations which can be used in elementary to undergraduate classrooms. The modules were compiled by Professor Tom Stoebe, a former Professor of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, and are intended to provide educators with short, introductory demonstrations of Material Science. The 10 activities span a wide range of topics, from metals to polymers, providing students with a brief introduction to an assortment of material science concepts.

Types of Materials

This webpage from Edmonds Community College provides a brief introduction to a number of core materials including ceramics, composites, concrete, electronic/optical, metals, polymers/plastics and wood. Although the descriptions of each material are basic, the list may be useful to students who are just beginning coursework or who need a quick refresher.


Episode 33: Up in the Air, Energy-Efficient Architecture, OJT Stands for Opportunity

ATETV delivers web-based videos to connect students to careers in advanced technology. This episode of ATETV discusses wind energy technology, architectural technology, and internships. Community colleges provide hands-on experience in emerging fields such as green energy and technology. These industries are growing rapidly, and companies are seeking out skilled technicians for employment. On-the-job training takes the experience one step further, and gives students a competitive edge. The episode can be watched in full or through the three segments: Up in the Air, Energy-Efficient Architecture, and OJT Stands for Opportunity. Running time for the full episode is 8:24.

Social Media Tip of the Month

Is Facebook right for your project or center?

Facebook With over 845 million monthly active users, Facebook is the biggest and most popular social media network. It has the broadest reach and most mainstream audience. In North America, over 50% of the population already has a Facebook account, so much of your audience will be subscribed already.

Facebook might be an especially good choice if you want to connect with a student audience or maintain ties with other ATE projects and centers. (Colleges and universities have different policies about online information-sharing between employees and students, so be sure to contact the head of your department for guidelines.) The easiest way to connect is with a fan page, which is free and quick to set up.

Once you have a page, how should you use it? What should you post? The lists below review some of your options.

Pros of Facebook:

  • Free
  • Large audience
  • Easy to set up and low-maintenance afterward
  • Analytics (Facebook Insights) are built into the page
  • Easily post status updates, links, photos, videos, and documents

Cons of Facebook:

  • Not ideal for short-term projects — building a fan group can take some time

What to plan for:

  • Post 1-3 times per day
  • Respond to comments, interact with other Facebook users
  • Create ways for your users to interact with your page (ask questions, use the polls feature, etc.)
  • Connect your website to your Facebook page by including a "Find us on Facebook" link

What to post:

  • New resources that your project or center creates
  • Links to news stories about your project/center
  • Links to news stories related to your project/center's mission (for example, if you develop nanotechnology curriculum, link to stories about new uses for nanotechnologies)
  • Photos or videos of your work in progress (be sure to get permission to use photos of people)
  • Polls or trivia to engage your audience

Tips and tools:

  • Use HootSuite to manage your posts and schedule them ahead of time. This will minimize active time spent maintaining your page.
  • Post on other people's pages and walls, and comment on their posts. The whole point of social media is to be sociable, after all. The better you foster a friendly, approachable image, the more others will be inclined to come and check out your page. (That said, simply posting to advertise your page is frowned upon. Make sure what you say contributes something relevant to the conversation.)
  • Consider other freely available tools that could help you expand your audience or personalize your page.

Have questions? Contact ATE Central at We're happy to talk through your options and relate our own experiences with Facebook and Twitter.

Community Connection

How ATE Central can help you prepare for the PI meeting

Community Connection It's September, which means two things: school's back in session, and it's time to start thinking about the October PI meeting. Fortunately, ATE Central offers a number of free tools and resources to help you prepare to present your project or center to the ATE community. Here are some ways we can help:

  • Events Calendar. Make sure all your upcoming events are on our events calendar. Send a short description and a link (if applicable) to, and we'll add your event to our comprehensive list. You can also create a free, customized Events Widget for use on your own site. For examples of ATE centers that are using the Events Widget, check out MATEC NetWorks and GeoTech Center.
  • Resource/Project/Center Records. Now is a great time to look at the description of your project or center and its resources on ATE Central. Let us know if you have new resource URLs, a new project description, or a website we should know about. We can best support and amplify your efforts when we have up-to-date information about your project or center and its deliverables.
  • PI Meeting App. Last year, the PI meeting app was a rousing success! This year, we have kept all your favorite features and added some that will make your time at the conference even better. Although the app is not yet available for download, keep an eye out for it in October.
  • Archiving. ATE Central offers archiving services to projects and centers that would like to include it as a component of their Data Management or Sustainability plans. Having an archiving plan in place means that your hard work will continue to be used by the ATE and STEM communities. We are committed to working with projects and centers to develop plans that work for everyone. Contact to develop an archiving plan tailored to your needs.
  • CWIS. The Collection Workflow Integration System is software designed to assemble, organize, and share collections of data about resources while conforming to international and academic standards for metadata. CWIS was specifically created to help build collections of STEM resources and connect them into NSF's National Science Digital Library as well as other STEM education channels. Free access, support, and turnkey installation make CWIS a great tool for projects and centers with a large collection of resources to catalog. See the MatEd National Resource Center, the Southeast Maritime and Transportation Center (SMART) resource collection, MATEC NetWorks, and Bio-Link for examples of CWIS in action.
  • Outreach Kit. The ATE Central Outreach Kit can help projects and centers come up with an outreach plan or some specific outreach ideas. Leading up to the PI meeting, the Communication section of the Outreach Kit might be particularly helpful: it includes tips on creating a mission statement and designing key messages so you can get the word out about your project or center.

Please contact us at and let us know how we can support your ongoing efforts.

Did you know?

Did you know? According to the 2012 EvaluATE survey, almost one-quarter of all students in ATE-supported programs are female. By discipline, the number of female students ranges from less than a quarter to over half of all students. Biotechnology leads the pack with 56% female students. For more information about women in ATE, visit the National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science (IWITTS).


News & Reminders

ATE Central Social Media Report now available online

We mentioned the Social Media Report in last month's ACC; now it's available in full on the ATE Central website. The five-page report summarizes the aims, methods, findings, conclusions, and implications of the 2012 ATE Central Social Media Survey. It explores the stances of the ATE community towards social media use and identifies key areas in which the ATE community desires support. It also briefly explains current and future tools and project components offered by ATE Central that will encourage better adoption and use of social media technologies.

Follow ATE Central on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all things new at ATE Central and in the ATE Community as well as in the world of STEM Education

Want to know which ATE Projects and Centers and ATE partners and collaborators are using Social Media? Check out our ATE Social Media Directory and follow them too!

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. 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!

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