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.

In This Issue

Wind Generator

Featured Resources in Energy Technology

From the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC):

Exploring Wind Energy Teacher Guide

This guide was developed by the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project. The guide consists of hands-on activities that provide a comprehensive understanding of the scientific, economic, environmental, technological, and societal aspects of wind energy for students. Topics include Measuring Electricity, Basic Measurement Values in Electronics, Turbine Assembly, and Benchmark Blade.

From Meeting the Challenge of Energy Management in a Carbon Constrained World:

Clean Energy Careers

This page, produced through a partnership between Washington State University and University of Washington and funded by the Department of Energy, contains an interactive diagram that illustrates how a variety of clean energy careers are related to each other. These include Substation Operator, Instrument Control Technician, Substation Electrician, and Lineworker. On separate pages, information is listed for each career on the training required, example employers, and educational programs. Furthermore, attached PDFs provide an Occupation Overview and Job Description for each position.

From Embedding Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Methodology in Two-Year College Technical Curricula:

Renewable Energy Projects for the Classroom

This 72-page PDF from Illinois Valley Community College contains a variety of activities related to renewable energy. They were "developed by middle school through community college teachers enrolled in a course entitled Introduction to Renewable Energy Topics for Teachers." Activity levels range from middle school to community college and include Introduction to Renewable Energy, Alternative Fuel Lesson: Driver Education, and Sustainable Energy Planning.

Community Connection

iWITTS Screenshot

Newsletters are a valuable outreach tool for ATE projects and centers hoping to build relationships and disseminate information. The WomenTech Educators Newsletter is a wonderful example in terms of the quality and quantity of its content. This month, ATE Central asked Donna Milgram, Executive Director of the National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science (IWITTS), to share the history, successes, and lessons learned from working on this exemplary e-Newsletter.

ATE Central: Can you tell us a bit about how the newsletter got started? What were the original aims and goals of the project? Who is the intended audience?

Donna Milgram: Our e-newsletter started in 1999; we were among the first nonprofits to harness the power of online marketing to help meet our mission of closing the gender gap for women and girls in STEM. Our goal is to disseminate best practices for recruiting and retaining women and girls in STEM, and our retention strategies work for male students, too. We try to do this in an engaging way for our audience so that we can model what we want them to do. Over time, this has meant including videos and news stories, and creating series such as our 10 Women in STEM Recruitment Mistakes and the 10 Women in STEM Retention Mistakes.

The intended audience is educators, administrators, counselors, and advisors in STEM fields that are traditionally male-dominated, ranging from nanotechnology to auto technology and at all school levels. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I often get asked: Yes, our strategies are for both female and male teachers. After all, it’s mostly male teachers teaching STEM subjects.

ATE Central: How have you built up your audience over time; do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Milgram: We’re lucky; we started early, so yes our 14,000 readers have come to us gradually. Tips and tricks: 1) Create sign-in lists for all your real-time events and ask for permission to add the emails of participants to your newsletter; 2) Have links to your newsletter throughout your website; 3) Have a free gift, such as a white paper, on your homepage where visitors must provide an email address in order to receive it (mine is announced on our homepage by my avatar at; 4) Ask sister organizations to share your free report in their newsletters. Of course all of our mailings include an opt-out link, which is required by law.

ATE Central: Do you push the newsletter content or new issue information out through social media? If so what do you use (i.e. Facebook, Twitter)?

Milgram: We do. Our newsletters are linked from our Facebook page at and on LinkedIn. Facebook is also a valuable tool for evaluating potential newsletter content. Using the Facebook dashboard, we can easily see which of our recent Facebook posts have received the most “likes,” “shares,” and “comments.” This can give us clues about what content our readers are most likely to find interesting.

ATE Central: How do you select your content? Does it have to meet certain qualifications?

Milgram: We create a newsletter calendar and decide the purpose of each newsletter; then we link content to our goals. Our signature is to provide content that is heavy on practical “How Tos” and newsworthy content of interest to our readers that is otherwise hard to find. We’ve had readers tell us they’ve implemented strategies by reading our newsletter alone.

We also analyze what our newsletter readers like by using e-newsletter analytics and then provide more of that type of content. For example, we learned that our readers love videos of me, especially when I share an “ah-ha” moment of mine, so I do as many videos as my schedule permits.

ATE Central: What have been the biggest challenges in terms of audience, content, management, etc.?

Milgram: One challenge has been that we’ve had the newsletter for so long! We have many subscribers who have been on our list for ten years or more. We want to make sure that we keep the content relevant and interesting for all our readers, whether they just signed up or have been part of our community for many years. In that vein, we keep trying new things, such as an email series with the top five myths about women in STEM. Another example was a Witty Women Wonders monthly quiz, as a fun way of engaging our community and inspiring more women in technology.

ATE Central: What have been your biggest successes?

Milgram: Recently we did a series of emails with the 10 Women in STEM Recruitment Mistakes and the 10 Women in STEM Retention Mistakes. As I spoke and trained around the country, educators told me how much they loved them, and I even got emails from educators who had missed a mistake and asked me to send it to them.

ATE Central: Can anyone subscribe?

Milgram: Yes! Anyone can subscribe at We often have free tools, training, and resources for ATE educators that we publicize through the newsletter thanks to the support of the National Science Foundation. By the way, if you’d like to sign up, just to see what we do in our newsletter so you can emulate this in your field, we’d be flattered.


ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Timing is Everything

Knowing the best and worst times to post social media updates is an important component of effective social networking and outreach. While it depends on your audience, the best time to reach most readers is generally Monday through Friday around 10am or 3pm. This may vary for your ATE project or center, and likewise may vary by social networking type. Be sure to do your research and take advantage of any usage metrics you can get your hands on, and when all else fails, a “trial and error” approach can also be used to determine when audiences may be the most receptive. A wonderful infographic on the best and worst times and days to publish social media updates can be found here.

Did You Know?

According to the 2012 Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit report, “more than half of students who intend to major in a science or engineering field switch to a different major in college, and this percentage is even higher for community college students.”

More on student retention in STEM:

Barriers and Opportunities in Completing Two- and Four-Year STEM Degrees

Keeping College Women in STEM Fields

Webinar Slides: Minority Male Initiative: Keys to Success

Additional resources on student retention can be found on ATE Central.

ATE Events

Ongoing Events
Info BATEC Summer Institute 2014: Computational Thinking via SBL Hammond, IN
Bio/Chem STEM Faculty Workshop: Genomic Approaches in BioSciences - Preparing Students for Rewarding Careers Madison, WI
Mfg Summer Engineering and Manufacturing Camp Staples, MN
Info Summer Working Connections 2014 Frisco, TX
Info Linux 1 (LXO-101) Online
Upcoming Events
Eng Face the Next Generation Science Standards Without Flinching Mansfield, CT
Mfg I Am the Future: Biomedical Camp (Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs) Anoka, MN
Info NETLABS+ User Community Workshop Online
Gen WomenTech Educators National Institute: More Female Students in Your STEM Classes Emeryville, CA
Ag/Env Beginning & Advanced IPM Practices for Vineyards New Lisbon, WI
Gen SCUP’s 49th Annual, International Conference Pittsburgh, PA
Info Cyber Girlz Summit 2014 Pomona, CA
Mfg Dream !t Do !t Vex Robotics Camp Bemidji, MN
Eng TriggerFish ROV Workshop: Intermediate Level Monterey, CA
Mfg Bridges to Manufacturing: Welding a Thingamajig Brainerd, MN
Eng STEM Guitar Building Institute New Britain, CT
Gen 2014 Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Annual Conference St. Charles, Illinois
Bio/Chem 9th Annual NBC2 BIOMAN Conference Salt Lake City, UT
Info Linux II (LX0-102) Online
Info Esri International User Conference 2014 San Diego, CA
Mfg Bridges to Manufacturing: Welding a Thingamajig Brainerd, MN
Eng Fiber Optics Fundamentals Fort Pierce, FL
Gen AACC Presidents Academy Summer Institute (PASI) Napa, CA
Gen High Impact Technology Exchange Conference Chicago, IL
Info EMC Information Storage Management v2 (ISM) Online
Info Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) Palos Hills, IL
Mfg Welding Exploration Minneapolis, MN
Gen Promoting Student Success in Math San Antonio, TX
Info Best Practices in Implementing a Supply Chain Technology Program: Designing, Teaching, & Recruiting Chicago, IL
Gen Writing in the Disciplines San Antonio, TX
Mfg Welding Education, Skills, and Certification Conference Carmel, IN
Mfg Advanced Manufacturing Problem Based Learning (AM PBL) Summer Institute Boston, MA
Eng PufferFish ROV Workshop: Introductory Level Monterey, CA
Mfg Plug-In 2014 San Jose, CA
Mfg 48th Annual FACTE Conference & Trade Show Wesley Chapel, FL
Info Midwest Cisco Networking Academy and Partners Conference Palos Hills, IL
Gen Techbridge Summer Institute 2014 Oakland, CA
Gen 2014 WASHINGTON ACTE Summer Conference Yakima, WA
Info Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections: Summer Institute 2014: Boston Boston, MA
Info EMC Cloud Infrastructure and Services (CIS) Online
Eng STEM Guitar Building Institute Plant City, FL
Mfg CAR Management Briefing Seminars Acme, MI
Gen Math Machines Workshop-South Central Ohio Dayton, OH
Info 47th Annual Oklahoma Career and Technology Education Summer Conference Tulsa, OK
Info Continuous School Improvement Workshop Tulsa, OK
Nano Nanotechnology Course Resources II: Patterning, Characterization, and Applications State College, Pennsylvania
Gen The Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning Madison, WI
Eng American Welding Society (AWS) Heat Treatment Conference Arlington, TX
Bio/Chem Genomics in Education Workshop Huntsville, AL
Eng SPIE Optics + Photonics Meeting San Diego, CA
Eng Executive Session Alpena, MI
Gen Your ATE Proposal: Got Evaluation? Online
Info National CyberWatch Center: National Cyber League (NCL) for the College Classroom Online
Mfg 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems Detroit, MI
Info GIS-Pro Annual Conference New Orleans, LA
Eng Concrete Masonry Technology Alpena, MI
Info FOSS4G Conference Portland, OR
Eng Vibrapac® Alpena, MI
Nano Nanotechnology Course Resources I: Safety, Processing, and Materials State College, Pennsylvania
Mfg Rural Community College Alliance Conference Newry, Maine
Eng Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher Workshop Madison, CT
Info National CyberWatch Center: Security Clearances Online
Gen Presidents Fundraising Academy Newport Beach, CA

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

Is your project/center on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media site?

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

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. The latest version (CWIS 3.0.2) was released on and is available for download on the Scout site. Please email if you have any questions or would like a quick tour of its features!

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