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.

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In This Issue

Resources in Agricultural and Environmental Technologies


Food Industry MarketMaker

MarketMaker is a searchable map that will be helpful to members of the general public in locating farmer's markets, wineries, restaurants, fisheries, and more. The map is also useful for food industry workers as it was created by "a national partnership of land grant institutions and State Departments of Agriculture dedicated to the development of a comprehensive interactive database of food industry marketing and business data." The project was put online by the University of Illinois Extension to build an electronic infrastructure to connect food-producing farmers with new markets. Additionally, it serves as an aid in the development of quality driven food supply chains.

From the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC):

Dining on DNA: An exploration into Food Biotechnology

This teaching unit on food biotechnology for college and high school students and teachers is presented by Access Excellence at the National Health Museum. A sample lesson, Welcome to the World of Food Biotechnology, is provided on the page and the whole document can be downloaded as a PDF. Other lessons include Traditional Biotechnology Laboratory: Making Yogurt, Who put DNA in my Salad? and An Exercise in Recombinant DNA.

From Bio-Link:

Biotechnology Curriculum Exploratory Middle School: Isolation of DNA from Fruit

DNA is present in all living things. It contains the same 4 base pairs, sugar and phosphate in all of these organisms. In this activity, students will be isolating DNA from several types of fruits. The isolated DNA can be stained or in a separate activity it can be run on an agarose gel to determine if the samples have any different characteristics. This activity is suitable for middle school or younger students and may be downloaded in Microsoft Word Doc file format.


ATE@20 Blog

Making the Most of the ATE@20 Blog

By now, we hope that all of you have found the ATE@20 book to be a great resource to share with other educators, campus administrators, industry partners, and students. As you wait for your copies to arrive, don't forget about the ongoing ATE@20 blog. In the weeks since the ATE Principal Investigators Conference, a number of inspirational stories and personal experiences have been highlighted:

Remember, the blog is here to feature your successes. Please let us know if you have ideas for future stories or accomplishments that we can boost for you! For more information or to get in touch with us, please send a note to

Community Connection


Working with External Groups: Sustaining Effective Collaboration

Members of the ATE community devote an incredible amount of time and effort to identifying potential partners, developing contacts and relationships, and cultivating these partnerships to sustain them over the long term. Feedback from partners, collaborators and others in the ATE community provides many benefits. Centers are required to have an NVC, but anyone can put together an advisory board or working group. Even if informal, it's important to consider establishing some sort of support and review group for your work in ATE:

  • For centers, a National Visiting Committee (NVC) provides a wonderful opportunity for feedback and support. An NVC will offer advice to center staff, assess plans and progress, and enhance the dissemination of the center's products. A great resource if you're new to ATE is the National Visiting Committee Handbook which will provide you with all kinds of useful information about forming and utilizing your NVC. You'll want to work closely with your program officer in setting up your NVC, so double check with them about this important center component.
  • Another option for getting external support and advice is an advisory board. An advisory board allows projects and centers to receive expert opinions from those "in the know" about how to strengthen and develop their work. It may be that you are looking for very specific help — like increasing participation in faculty development activities — or it may be that you'd like general feedback on areas like outreach or sustainability planning. Either way, a well picked advisory group or targeted working group might be exactly what you need.

Whether you chose a small working group for a specific issue or an advisory group that meets annually, imagine what new insights colleagues outside of your area of expertise can bring to the table. Consider reaching out to a diverse array of industry representatives (include experts who aren't just in your primary area but in compatible areas as well). If appropriate, connect with K-12, as well as 2- and 4-year college educators along with staff and administrators who may have valuable veiwpoints. Examine your project or center deliverables and goals with fresh eyes and consider who on your own campus might be able to help you as you work through project components.

Did you know?

The earliest wine made in what is now the United States was made by French Huguenot settlers in the modern-day Jacksonville, FL area. Dating back to the 1560s these adventurous settlers used scuppernong grapes, according to Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia.

ATE Events

Ongoing Events
Integrated Geospatial Education and Technical Training - Remote Sensing Online
Photonics Faculty Development Course: Fundamentals of Light and Lasers Online
Online Training: Increase Female Enrollment in STEM Classes Online
Upcoming Events
CA Perkins Nontraditional & Special Populations (JSPAC) Conference 2013 Sacramento, CA
Robotics, Engineering, and Technology Days Warren, MI
ACTE's CareerTech VISION 2013 Las Vegas, NV
Esri Mid-Atlantic User Conference Baltimore, MD
SciGirls Webinar: Get Girls Excited About STEM Online
Go Beyond New Year's Eve: A Grocery Store Guide to Bubbles and Champagnes Grandview, WA
Winter Working Connections 2013 Frisco, TX
CNS-ASU Winter School 2014 Mesa, AZ
2014 Winter ICT Educator Conference San Francisco, CA
ACE Five-day Experiential Learning Institute Apatos, CA
Emerging Technologies and Technicians Workshop Clearwater, FL
CNF TCN Short Course: Technology & Characterization at the Nanoscale Ithaca, NY
Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Class Seattle, WA
AACC Workforce Development Institute St. Petersburg, FL

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 submit them online.

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

News & Reminders

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If so, please make sure we've found that site and added it to the ATE Social Media Directory. Having your social media presence linked through the directory will help ensure that interested parties can find you online. In addition, if you currently publish a newsletter, please let us know, as we will be adding links to newsletters to the information available on ATE Central.

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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