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 Recycling and Sustainability


From Sustaining a Green Collar Workforce: An Interdisciplinary Approach:

Exploring Waste and Recycling

This resource, created by Eleanor Camann of Red Rocks Community College, will introduce students to the concept of sustainability in terms of waste products and recycling practices. The overall premise of the project is to "get students to think critically about which earth materials are used to make things, and where all the waste from both mining and consumption ends up." The activity employs skills in basic mathematics, reasoning and writing. It also crosses disciplines by implementing skills in environmental geology and science. The learning activity only takes about two hours of in-class time and an additional three outside of the classroom. It uses simple materials such as a calculator, periodic table, household scale and digital camera. Lessons plans such as these are supported by a grant under the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.

From Secure Logistics Curriculum Enhancement:

Case Study: “Trash to Cash” – Recycling in the Grocery Industry

"Trash to Cash" looks at a recycling effort at a distribution center that resulted in a positive cashflow for the company. Safeway, Inc. implemented a comprehensive program to divert solid waste from landfills into recycled products. Students will read a detailed background of this case and answer several discussion questions. Useful instructor notes are provided as well. This document may be downloaded in Microsoft Word Doc file format.

2015 PI Meeting

Community Connection

Accessing Content from the 2015 ATE PI Conference

This year’s ATE PI Conference in Washington, DC brought together hundreds of representatives from projects, centers, NSF, AACC, and industry partners as well as students to share successes, learn from each other, and celebrate the impacts and innovations delivered by the ATE community.

The conference theme, Preparing the Technical Workforce through Innovation, Creativity, and Practice, highlighted numerous pathways to advance technological education. Plenary sessions featured keynote speakers Ainissa G. Ramirez, Andre W. Thornton, and Donald L. McCoy. Additionally, roundtable discussions, workshops, and demonstration sessions focused on diverse topics from understanding big data to getting students hired to strengthening indigenous environmental technology education. If you didn’t manage to make it to all of the sessions, the conference agenda and a downloadable 2015 ATE Conference Program are available on the AACC website.

As usual, the showcases this year were extremely collaborative and lively offering a welcoming space to connect and share information and outcomes with others in the community. Projects, centers, and students provided materials about their work and initiatives during these informal sessions, and NSF staff were readily available to answer questions and connect with ATE grantees.

For those hoping to follow up after attending the sessions as well as those unable to make it this year, conference presentations, videos, and photographs will be available on the conference website, so check back soon!

Email Inbox

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

How to Write a Great Email Subject Line

When contacting prospective partners or colleagues, email subject lines may be more important than you think. Among the billions of emails sent out every day, some stand out at first glance making them more likely to get opened. So, how can you make a great first impression and increase the likelihood that your email doesn't get lost or deleted right away? Here are a few of our favorite tips for writing excellent email subject lines:

  • Personalize it. If you use the recipient's name or company name in the subject line, they are much more likely to open your email.
  • Keep it short and simple. Remember that a mobile phone might only display about 25-30 characters of an email's subject line.
  • Be clear/specific. The subject line should communicate exactly what the email is about, so the recipient can prioritize its importance without having to open it.
  • Eliminate filler words. Words like "Hello" and "Thank you" can be included in the email's body, so don't waste space by placing them in the subject line.
  • Don't put words in all caps or use multiple exclamation marks. Doing so may make it more likely that your email ends up being dumped into your recipient’s junk folder as spam, plus, let’s face it, it’s just annoying. If your email makes it into the inbox despite your use of these techniques your recipient may think it’s spam anyway and delete it.
  • Never settle for "No Subject"- always write a subject line! The subject line often determines if your email will be opened and how the recipient will respond. It's too important a detail to forget!

Did You Know?

For students, the majority of Americans would recommend community college over a four-year degree to high school students borrowing money for college, according to a survey from WGBH News.

ATE Events

Ongoing Events
Ag/Env NRGY 241 - Alternative Fuels Missoula, MT
Eng Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning - Training Course Online
Eng Intermediate Environmental Social Marketing Strategy Online
Info STEMtech Conference Phoenix, Arizona
Mfg Materials in STEM (M-STEM) Cocoa Beach, Florida
Eng American Association of Port Authorities Annual Convention Miami, Florida
Upcoming Events
Info National Initiative for CyberSecurity Education Conference and Expo San Diego, CA
Eng 5th World Maritime Technology Conference Providence, RI
Bio/Chem Barcode Long Island Educator Workshop Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Info Continuing Teacher Academy Session Owasso, OK
Gen NSF Cyberlearning Solicitation Webinar Online
Gen I Think: Human Experimentation - The Tuskegee Syphilis Study Cleveland, OH
Mfg MAF 12th Annual Manufacturers Summit and Marketplace West Palm Beach, FL
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - KS Olathe, Kansas
Eng STEM Educators Workshop Fort Pierce, FL
Eng Materials Science - The Chemistry of Everyday Stuff Grayslake, IL
Eng Introduction to Geographic Information Systems Santa Cruz, CA
Gen Creative Inquiry in the Arts and Humanities Institute Greensboro, NC
Info Getting the Info You Need: Designing Targeted Surveys & Questionnaires Online
Ag/Env Wine Chemistry Workshop - AR Ozark, AR
Eng STEM Speaker Series Chemistry Workshop Grayslake, IL
Nano 2015 SNO Conference Portland, OR
Eng Get SMART! Impact Workshop Norfolk, VA
Gen Leading with Goals Workshop Cleveland, OH
Mfg FABTECH Show Chicago, IL
Info Massachusetts STEM Summit 2015 Worcester, MA
Mfg STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative Community of Practice (CoP) Summit Washington, DC
Nano 2015 ATMAE Conference: Building Bridges Pittsburgh, PA
Nano Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers Fort Worth, TX
Info MApping and Geospatial Workshop - B-WET Upper Susquehanna Project Ithaca, NY
Info Mapping and Geospatial Workshop - B-WET Upper Susquehanna Project Ithaca, NY
Eng Get SMART! Impact Workshop Norfolk, VA
Gen AAAS Leadership Seminar in Science and Technology Policy Washington, D.C.
Info CareerTech Women in Leadership Lawson, OK
Nano Hands-on Introduction to Nanotechnology for Educators University Park, PA
Info NTHS State Leadership Conference Norman, OK
Eng SMART Maritime Technologies Consortium Meeting Virginia Beach, VA
Mfg Do You Know What's Made in Florida? Tampa, FL
Eng NCTIETA 2015 T&I Fall Professional Development Workshop Atlantic Beach, NC
Ag/Env RCNET’s Curriculum Alignment Professional Development for Nuclear Trainers & Educators Atlanta, GA
Eng ACTE CareerTech VISION 2015 New Orleans, LA
Eng Spatial Analysis and Modeling, Part 1 Santa Cruz, CA
Ag/Env Wine Chemistry Workshop - PA Harrisburg, PA
Info Stop.Think.Connect Program Online
Gen Symposium: The Science for Seminaries Project Atlanta, GA
Eng International Workboat Show/ WorkBoat Annual Conference New Orleans, LA
Eng Robotics, Engineering, & Technology Days Warren, Michigan
Gen Holiday Lecture: The Art of Science and Spirit Washington, DC
Mfg ITSEC (Orlando) Student Robotics Workshop Orlando, FL
Nano NSTA Area Conference on Science Education Kansas City, MO
Info Joint Special Populations Advisory Committee Annual Conference Sacramento, CA
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Northern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament Bemidji, Minnesota
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - California Forestville, CA
Info CareerTech Women in Leadership Broken Arrow, OK
Gen Documentary Film Screening: "The Living Disappeared" Washington, DC
Eng VCCS Hire Education Annual Conference Roanoke, VA
Gen 2 for 1: Retrospective Pre-Post Self-Assessment Online
Info Winter Working Connection Frisco, TX
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Metro Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament Osseo, Minnesota
Gen HICE 2016 Honolulu, HI
Gen HICSS 2016 Koloa, Hawaii
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Northwest Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Southern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament Austin, Minnesota
Ag/Env WI Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference Wisconsin Dells, WI
Gen Cyberlearning 2016 Arlington, VA
Info CareerTech Women in Leadership Norman, OK
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Minnesota State VEX Robotics Tournament St. Cloud, Minnesota

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

We enjoyed meeting you at the PI Conference!

Thank you to all attendees for making this year's PI Conference such a great event. Watch for a quick survey about the PI Conference app, designed to help us make the app even better for 2016. Please let us know if there are any events you'd like us to add to the ATE events calendar, any upcoming publications we can help you feature, or anything else we can do for you. We're here to help by answering your questions about the ATE community and connecting you with other grantees and resources, so please feel free to use us as an ongoing support system. We look forward to continuing to work with you throughout the coming year!

Share your STEM-based solutions with NSF’s Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC).

The National Science Foundation invites teams of community college students to propose innovative STEM-based solutions for real-world problems identified within the theme of “Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems” in the 2016 Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC). All entries must be received during the competition submission window, from October 15, 2015 to February 15, 2016. More information can be found on the challenge website.

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.

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 3.2.0) 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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