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

Featured Resources in Optics and Photonics Education

From OP-TEC:

OP-TEC Veteran Education and Training

This page from OP-TEC, the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, contains information that will be helpful for veterans looking for a career in optics and photonics. This includes a definition of photonics, the education required for various careers, and a list of colleges offering photonics AAS degrees.

From Advanced Technological Education Television (ATETV) :

From the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC):

Light at the End of the Tunnel: An Introduction to the Study of Fiber Optics

The Materials Science and Technology Teacher's Workshop (MAST) provides this experiment on fiber optics. The lesson aims to show that light will travel down a glass tube because of internal reflection. This module will help students understand the physical properties that allow fiber optics technology to work. The lesson includes a step-by-step explanation of the laboratory procedure, discussion questions and a link to a video clip.



Recently Released on the ATE@20 Blog

The ATE@20 Blog has featured a number of great stories over the past month, highlighting updates and accomplishments taking place throughout the ATE community. In case you missed them, posts have covered the following topics:

If you have a story to share or an accomplishment to highlight on the blog, there is still time to do so. Please let us know by sending an email to

ATE20 Book + Blog Usage Survey

If you haven’t already, we’d like to ask you to take a few minutes to tell us exactly what you’ve been able to do with ATE@20: Two Decades of Advancing Technological Education book with a quick survey. The survey consists of 6 brief multiple-choice questions and an area for additional comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Community Connection


An Intro to and Annual Reports

Annual reports provide the National Science Foundation (NSF) with yearly information and data about your center or project’s impact and activities. Required of all NSF grants, program officers use these reports to learn about grant activities, monitor progress towards goals and objectives, and provide feedback. They also use this information to analyze program impact and produce their own reports.

As of last year, NSF reports are now solely submitted using the government-wide system. After receiving considerable feedback and questions regarding the project reporting service, the team recently launched a demo site to provide a platform for practicing how to use the tool. The demo site provides some examples of annual reports and allows PIs to explore the sections – although many of the actual features of the full site are not included. Whether you are using the demo site or the full reporting site, here is an overview of the sections your project or center will need to fill out to complete your annual report:

  • Cover

    • The cover sheet provides basic information about your project or center.
  • Accomplishments

    • This section has a series of questions and text boxes that focus on what was done and what was learned during the reporting period. Questions include, “What are the major goals of the project?” and “How have results been disseminated to communities of interest?” PIs are also asked to report on significant results and key outcomes.
  • Products

    • PIs have an opportunity to quantify products created via funding (e.g. inventions, publications, or websites) in this section of the report. Supporting documents including PDFs with tables, charts or other graphics can be uploaded here as well.
  • Participants

    • All of the people working as part of your project or center need to be listed in this section of the report, including students, staff, organizations and collaborators, and others.
  • Impact

    • This component of the report gives PIs a chance to record how their work, findings, and specific deliverables have had an impact during the reporting period. This section asks specific questions about impact in a variety of areas (e.g. the project’s impact on technology transfer or the impact on society beyond science and technology) and provides text boxes for PI’s answers.
  • Changes/Problems

    • This section provides a place for PIs to report on changes in approach or any anticipated problems.
  • Special Requirements

    • This final section allows PIs to respond to any special reporting requirements outlined in the award terms and conditions, as well as any award-specific reporting requirements.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the sections listed above and to begin to collect data for each section long before your report is due (you can find out when your report is due by logging into or getting there via Fastlane). The sooner you get started, particularly if this is your first annual report, the better.

Here are some links that will help support your efforts as you create your annual report:

While the information provided in this brief overview, and in the links above, should be helpful in completing your annual report, always remember, if in doubt, you can call or email your program officer who will be able to provide the most up-to-date information. Also, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns that were not addressed here. Your feedback is always appreciated!

Did you know?

As of 2012, there were 19,128 photonics technicians with two-year degrees employed in the United States. Over the next five years, the projected demand is expected to grow by 4,115.

ATE Events

Ongoing Events
Integrated Geospatial Education and Technical Training - Remote Sensing Online
Photonics Faculty Development Course: Fundamentals of Light and Lasers Online
Advanced Manufacturing PBL Newsletter Online
Innovations 2014 Conference Anaheim, California
Deep Sea Discoveries in the Atlantic: Onboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Online
Upcoming Events
New Mexico Vine and Wine Conference Albuquerque, NM
Transhumanism, Filmmaking and the Future Phoenix, Arizona
Emergency Training Workshop Online
Iowa Wine Growers Annual Conference West Des Moines, IA
AutoRama Student Career Day Detroit, Michigan
Lessons Learned from Fukushima Online
All About BioMEMS Workshop Albuquerque, New Mexico
Winter Pruning Workshop Topeka, KS
Getting the Most Out of Your Introductory Courses Online
Sensory Evaluation Workshop Richmond, VA
NETLABS+ Development Training Hagerstown, MD
Supporting Student Success in the Geosciences at 2-Year Colleges Workshop Garden City, NY
WEBINAR: Right-Sizing Evaluation for ATE Small Grants Online
NEATEC Annual Conference Malta, NY
SEMI High Tech U | Teacher Academy Phoenix, Arizona
Wine and Must Analysis Workshop Ashtabula, OH
Fabricating a MEMS Pressure Sensor Albuquerque, New Mexico
Instructional Strategies for Introductory Physics (ISIP) Workshop Auburn, WA
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association's 76th Annual Conference Orlando, Florida
A Day of ACE Pittsburg, California
National CyberWatch Center: Conducting Classroom-Based Research Online
RET Experience: Activities for the HS Classroom Online
New Mexico VESTA Spring Workshop: Wine & Must Analysis Espanola, NM
Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo New York New York, NY
National Conference on Science Education Boston, MA
American Society for Engineering Education Zone 1 Conference Bridgeport, CT
The Florida Forum on Engineering Technology Bartow, Florida
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Convention Washington, D.C.
Micro-Devices (MEMS) : How Do They Work? Albuquerque, New Mexico
Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 – Li4Es 3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit Tampa, FL
Nanotechnology Course Resources I: Safety, Processing, and Materials State College, Pennsylvania
SAE 2014 World Congress & Exhibition Detroit, MI
Teaching at Scale: Effective strategies for higher order learning in large courses Online
NIMS Credentialing Workshop for Metalworking Instructors Daytona Beach, FL
10th Annual Community College Program Chicago, IL
National CyberWatch Center: National Cybersecurity Student Association Online
Industry Partners for Your Nano Program Online
Weights and Measures and Scale Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

OP-TEC Awards Photonics Outreach Grants to Four Colleges

The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC) announced sub grant awards to four colleges that will be used to encourage high school students to enroll in associate degree programs preparing them for careers as photonics technicians. These grants are hoped to increase photonics course enrollments through “high school pipeline” building efforts. A complete news release can be found here.

2013 Survey of Online Learning Report

Using responses from more than 2,800 colleges and universities, this study is aimed at answering fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education, such as: Is online learning strategic? How many students are learning online? How are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) faring? To learn more about this survey and online learning initiatives, check out the Sloan Consortium website to download a copy of the survey.

MentorLinks: Request for College Proposals

The American Association of Community Colleges is pleased to announce a national grant competition for the MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education (ATE) program. Colleges should be interested in working with an experienced community college mentor who has successfully planned and implemented a major change in a high-technology program. MentorLinks colleges will receive $20,000 for the two-year grant period plus travel support for the project director to attend 3 national project meetings and ATE Conferences. The grant's primary emphasis is on substantial opportunities for technical assistance and professional development as part of the mentoring relationship. The grant period runs from . The deadline to apply is . For further information, please see

MentorLinks: Request for Mentor Applications

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is pleased to announce a national call for applications for the MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education program. AACC seeks applications from two-year college professionals who are interested in serving as mentors to work with a college whose faculty and administration want to develop or strengthen a certificate or degree program for technicians in a science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics field. MentorLinks colleges will be selected in a separate request for proposal process and assigned to a mentor. Up to ten institutions will be selected as MentorLinks colleges and up to ten individual mentors will be named to the MentorLinks Mentor Team for a two-year grant period beginning . Mentors will receive an honorarium and travel support to attend a mentor training and orientation meeting, national project meetings, and to conduct college site visits. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2014. For further information, please see

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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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