Advanced Technological Education ·

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

OP-TEC Hybrid, Online Professional Development Course: Fundamentals of Light and Lasers Online
Biodiesel Lab Exercise with Hydrogen Enrichment Online
NCATC 2012 Fall Conference Racine, WI
Frontiers in Education Conference Seattle, WA
11th Annual C3 Conference College Park, MD
VHDL and FPGAs: Advanced Workshop McMinville, OR
Logistics Officers National Conference 2012 Washington, D.C.
Bringing Energy Home - Smart Renewable Choices Online
2012 ACTE + NCLA Best Practices and Innovations Conference Oklahoma City, OK
Our Nano Future Online
VHDL and FPGAs: Beginner Course Wichita, KS
The Association for Operations Management Annual Convention Denver, CO
Frontiers in Optics 2012/Laser Science XXVIII Rochester, NY
CyberMaryland Conference Baltimore, MD
Alternative Energies Online
2012 NCPN Conference Richmond, VA
Measuring Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results Washington, D.C.
ATE Conference 2012 Washington, D.C.
2012 ISSA International Conference Anaheim, CA
Fall Bay Area ACE Community of Practice Berkeley, CA
STEMTech 2012 Kansas City, MO
NIST NICE Workshop: Connecting the Dots in Cyberspace Gaithersburg, MD
SCME Microsystems Webinar Series - Microsystem Processes II Online
Empowering the Future Fort Wayne, IN
CAEL International Conference Washington, DC
OP-TEC Workshop on Optics and Photonics Education Pocatello, ID
Transitioning Adults Education Bridges Online
An International Summit on Excellence in CTE Atlanta, GA
SCME Microsystems Webinar Series - Problem Solving for Technicians – How to teach a critical manufacturing skill Online
CareerTech VISION 2012 Atlanta, GA
Adult Education Career Pathways Online

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.

Featured Resources in Learning Research

From the National Center for Manufacturing Education:

Content or Process as Approaches to Technology Curriculum: Does It Matter Come Monday Morning?

Pen and Paper Content, which focuses upon conceptual structure, and process, which focuses upon intellectual skills, are two preeminent ways in which technology educators conceive of curriculum. If technology is to have validity as a school subject, its adherents must be able to define it. They must be able to answer the basic question, "What do you teach?" And as the subject is taught to children, teachers must likewise be able to articulate to them and their parents how the skills taught in the technology classroom are unique. Both content and process claimants may argue that their particular curricular approach reveals technology to students. If it is the case that these two ways of thinking are each capable of helping students acquire literacy in the subject, then perhaps there is need to view them not dichotomously, but rather symbiotically. Perhaps the approach to curriculum does not really matter. Maybe it is how this all plays out in actual classrooms that counts.

Design Panel: A Tool for Assessment in Design Courses

In this paper, authors Dave Kim and Hakan Gurocak present the fundamental framework of the ABET assessment plan for their program and explain how an assessment tool called Design Panel fits. The Design Panel tool is used to assess courses with substantial project components. Kim and Gurocak explain the details of organizing and managing such a panel assessment. Next, the Design Panel assessment results and their relations with other ABET assessment data are discussed. Finally, the authors provide lessons learned and feedback from the Panel members to improve the "Design Panel" as an assessment tool.

From MATEC NetWorks:

144 Tips on Synchronous e-Learning

This ebook is available for free download in PDF format. The eLearning Guild conducted a survey of its members, asking for their favorite tips for effectively creating, managing, and using synchronous e-Learning. Members could submit tips relating to any or all of five different categories. The tips range in length from one-sentence ideas to multi-page discourses. Readers will find tips in these categories: blending synchronous learning with other learning modalities, designers of synchronous presentations, courses, and webinars, managers who lead synchronous learning efforts, synchronous speakers and instructors technical production, planning, and preparation.

Social Media Tip of the Month

Using Twitter to Get More Out of the PI Conference

Twitter Twitter is a social media and networking tool that offers users a chance to compose short, 140-character messages, interact with other users via hashtags (#) and @replies, and upload images, videos, and links. Although it may seem daunting — and does have a somewhat steep learning curve — Twitter can be a great way to connect with others who share an interest or are participating in an event.


This year, the ATE PI Conference has a designated hashtag: #ATE2012. Use this hashtag in messages having to do with the conference, or search Twitter for other Tweets containing #ATE2012. This will collect all the Tweets about the PI Conference in one easy-to-find place so that you can learn about what your colleagues are doing and what they find intriguing.

For example, one attendee might write, "I'm having a great time talking with other nanotech PIs at #ATE2012" while another one could say, "I'm making some great industry connections at #ATE2012". Searching for #ATE2012 and using it yourself will return these Tweets, connect you to others who share your interests, and allow you to take part in the conversation.

If you have a mobile device, we also encourage you to participate in the PI Conference by downloading the PI Conference App, which will be available for most devices by mid-October.

Tip: The short form of Twitter messages, or Tweets, has spawned a number of unique acronyms and abbreviations. While these can be confusing at first, the Twitter Glossary will have answers to many of your questions.

Community Connection

IScS Looking for ATE Partners for Collaborative TUES proposal

Periodic Table of Elements Many ATE projects have difficulty recruiting enough qualified students. However, the Integrated Science Semester (IScS) can be used as a "Pathway to Technology" to transform potential recruits from unqualified into qualified students. Many of the students who went through the pilot program were raised in poverty and a large percentage of them were from underrepresented minorities. Their educations had not prepared them for college-level English, math, or science courses. The IScS program supported these students in their transition to success in college.

After completing three full-time, semester-long pilot offerings, IScS developers are ready to disseminate their program, including their advanced teaching methods, the integration of all courses at both student and faculty levels, and the full curriculum.

The IScS structure is flexible and can be adapted to many different types of technology. The sciences used in the pilot — physics, chemistry, and biology — can be replaced by other sciences and technologies and/or introductory math. The value of the program and approach lies in the integration of the whole package, a focus on experiential learning, attention to students' development, and increasing students' self-efficacy. The IScS team is looking for interested ATE partners to expand the scope of the project to other institutions.

Program Features:

  • Student cohort with at least five courses
  • All faculty will attend a five day Experiential Learning Institute prior to teaching
  • Integration of lab and lecture work
  • Promotes teamwork, personal responsibility, self-improvement and persistence

IScS is the science branch of ACE, the Academy for College Excellence which is now 10 years old. ACE has spread to nine Community Colleges from Florida to California with support from the Gates Foundation.

The Academy for College Excellence and IScS will be at the ATE PI Conference in Washington, DC, . If you are interested in partnering with or learning more about the program, contact Harry Ungar at to set up a meeting time and place.

Did you know?

According to a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report, in the 2010-11 academic year, 45% of students who completed a degree at a four-year institution had previously enrolled in a two-year institution.

News & Reminders

PI Conference App Coming Soon!

If you have a mobile device, keep an eye out for the free annual PI Conference App, which will be available for download in mid-October.

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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