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

Water Bridge

Featured Resources in Engineering Technologies

From SnoCAMP:

Bridge to Somewhere Project

This project from SnoCAMP provides materials for introducing bridge engineering to students. "Students will compete in groups to build a bridge/span out of cement with their choice of additional materials to enhance the strength of the span. They will use inquiry skills to make the connection between material science and physics." This detailed project contains information on lesson objectives, the manufacturing processes utilized, background knowledge and prerequisites, as well as connections to math, science, and 21st century skills. It also includes curriculum sequencing, student materials and handouts, assessment materials and where it meets the Manufacturing Industrial Council (MIC) standards, such as "Time Management" and "Math for Manufacturing."

From the National Center for Manufacturing Education (NCME):

Engineering for Change: Providing Engineers and Problem Solvers a Way to Contribute Technical Skills and Know-How to Communities That Need It Most

Engineering for Change was conceived as an online community dedicated to providing solutions to fundamental quality-of-life challenges in underserved communities throughout the world. Our vision is to enable information-sharing, collaboration and interaction among organizations working "in the field," and problem solvers registered on the site. The curricula are aligned with public education standards, so teachers can easily include them in their lesson plans. They've been used in more than 100 schools around the country over the past year. The idea for the curricula sprung from the powerful testimonies of engineers returning from their work in under-served communities. Issues in water treatment is one of three curricula. The others are alternative fuel, based on a project with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in upstate New York, and bridge construction in Nicaragua. In each, the students try to solve problems on their own and compare their ideas to the actual solutions used.

From Teachers’ Domain: Advanced Technological Education:

Careers in Engineering Technologies

In this interactive activity produced for Teachers' Domain, investigate three possible career paths in engineering technologies: research and development; manufacturing and construction; and inspection, testing, and repair. Explore each path to learn more about the education and experience required for particular jobs such as drafter, materials testing technician, chemical engineering technician, civil engineering technician, robotics technician, manufacturing engineering technologist, aerospace engineering technician, electronic engineering technician, and non-destructive testing technician. The interactive is accompanied by a background essay, standards alignment, and discussion questions.


Community Connection

10 Community College Resources to Help You Stay In the Know

At ATE Central, part of our goal is to help community members stay current with educational news, facts, and figures. Below are brief overviews of ten such resources, ranging from national research centers, such as the Brookings Institute, to ATE specific news and information resources, like the Evalu-ATE Annual Survey. Whether you are looking for material to help as you write up a report, create an informative presentation, or to just stay in the know about news, events, and opportunities central to community and technical college education, we hope you find this list helpful. If you know of other resources you would like to share with the rest of the ATE community, please let us know! We will be happy to cover them in a blog post or promote them on social media or here in the ATE Central Connection newsletter. Comments and suggestions can be sent to

The Brookings Institute and the Pew Research Center are perhaps the most well-known and visited sites covered on this list. Nevertheless, they are worth mentioning and future exploration. The Brookings Institute is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions; the Pew Research Center identifies as a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about important issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Together, they are both engaged in social science research that is informative and helpful for members of the ATE community. Readers need look no further to find everything from articles on the economic situation across the nation to infographics on changing student demographics.

AACC News and Events
This section of the American Association of Community Colleges’ website is the one-stop shop for news and events related to community college education. Resources include the latest headline news as well as links to Community College Daily and Community College Journal. The AACC Letter also shouldn’t be missed. This monthly newsletter thematically discusses new policy and advocacy, program initiatives, news and social networking, events and services, and opportunities from other organizations.

Inside Higher Ed: Community Colleges
Inside Higher Ed is an informative periodical dedicated to all things post-secondary education. Here, readers will find a page focused on articles published by Inside Higher Ed that are specifically about two-year colleges. From blog posts to surveys to recent articles, this collection of material is a great place to visit when looking for a variety of topics.

PRI Community College Challenge Series
Public Radio International (PRI) has recently crafted this series of articles, studies, and graphics set to curtail negative impressions about community college education. The topics of the Community College Challenge series, while not specifically targeted toward STEM education, are relevant for projects and centers in the ATE community who are looking at student retention, student diversity, or other hot topics in public conversation.

Community College Research Center
Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC) is the leading independent authority on two-year colleges in the United States. Scholars and staff research important issues affecting community colleges and work with both academic institutions and state governments and agencies to improve student success and institutional performance. Readers will not only find the latest CCRC research here, but also articles and abstracts on popular topics related to higher education research, policy, and practice.

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
Members of the ATE community who are interested particularly in higher education and industry partnerships will find much research of interest from this independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between education, career qualifications, and workforce demands. Affiliated with the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy, the Center conducts research with the goal of better aligning education and training with workforce and labor market demand.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
While members of the ATE community use the National Science Foundation’s website predominantly for accessing Fastlane, there are many other helpful features that may be of interest. Users should be sure to check out the News, Publications, and Statistics tabs for new and exciting information related to STEM education in community and technical colleges.

ATE@20 Blog
The ATE@20 blog began as a way to commemorate the first twenty years of NSF’s Advanced Technological Education program. Now in its third year, ATE@20 continues to focus on the many accomplishments of the ATE community while highlighting research findings of note, important opportunities, and helpful tips. Entries are posted bi-monthly, so be sure to check in regularly to find tidbits of helpful information.

EvaluATE Annual Survey
The ATE Annual Survey collects basic information about ATE projects and centers, their organizational practices, and collaborative efforts, as well as their activities and impacts in a wide range of areas, including curriculum materials development, professional development for technician educators, and technician education program development and improvement. Here, current and prospective ATE grantees will find the results of the annual survey, which can be used to learn about program wide activities or project/center evaluation-specific work.

Social Media

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Tips for Growing Your Social Media Audience

For many members of the ATE community, social media functions as a core component of outreach efforts aimed at increasing the reach and impact of project or center work. But fine-tuning these efforts and growing social media audiences are not always easy tasks. Below, is a brief list of tips sharing ways to grow and engage your social media audience:

  • Link it. If you have a website, make sure it provides links to your various social media platforms. If you don’t have a central site, let ATE Central help – we will post links to your accounts on the ATE Social Media Directory.
  • #Usehashtags. When possible, use a trending hashtag to reach a new audience or create your own hashtag to generate interest. Just remember to refrain from ending every post with multiple irrelevant tags.
  • Add images. Links with images get a much higher engagement rate than those without. Try adding a picture to your post for some visual stimulation – this can be your logo, a free-to-use NSF icon, or other images that showcase the work being done in your community.
  • Reply to responses. Show that you care by responding to questions and comments. This will show that your project/center is accessible and engaged.

and remember...

Take advantage of the fact that each social media platform is unique. If you want to send out instant news or a short reminder about key events and activities your project or center is participating in or hosting, use Twitter. On the other hand, if you want to showcase your students’ creativity or successes via photography, try Instagram. Although Facebook is the most popular social media platform, it isn't your only option!


Did You Know?

According to the AACC, Science and engineering credentials earned at community colleges increased by 120 percent from 2000 to 2012.

ATE Events

Ongoing Events
Gen HICE 2016 Honolulu, HI
Upcoming Events
Gen HICSS 2016 Koloa, Hawaii
Eng Student Visit, Treasure Coast Engineering for Kids Fort Pierce, FL
Eng BEST Center Annual Institute Oakland, CA
Info 2016 Winter ICT Educator Conference San Jose, CA
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Northwest Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Eng NEW! Intellectual Property Moat Building 1: Patents Online
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Southern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament Austin, Minnesota
Eng American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Workforce Development Institute (WDI) 2016 Online
Eng NEW! - Intellectual Property Moat Building 2: Trade Secrets Online
Info Leveraging Grants to Achieve Mutual Goals Online
Ag/Env WI Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference Wisconsin Dells, WI
Gen Cyberlearning 2016 Arlington, VA
Info Open Web Association Security Project AppSec California Santa Barbara, CA
Gen Science & Human Rights Coalition Meeting: A Scientific Approach to Human Rights Washington, DC
Info CareerTech Women in Leadership Norman, OK
Eng ETEC 213.50 Power System Technology Missoula, MT
Eng ETEC 214 Renewable Energy Storage and Distribution Missoula, MT
Eng NRGY 102: Introduction to Sustainable Energy Systems II Missoula, MT
Eng NRGY 235 / CSTN 283: Building Energy Efficiency Missoula, MT
Eng NRGY 243: Fundamentals of Photovoltaic Design and Installation Missoula, MT
Eng NRGY 244: Biorenewable Resources Missoula, MT
Mfg Florida Career Pathways Network 2016 Annual Symposium Jupiter, FL
Info Fusion of Geodesy and GIS at NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey Webinar Online
Mfg Dream It. Do It. Minnesota State VEX Robotics Tournament St. Cloud, Minnesota
Gen Project Access Workshop Miami, FL
Gen Writing in the Disciplines Workshop Miami, FL
Bio/Chem Genomics in Education Workshop Newark, DE
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - Missouri St. Charles, MO
Mfg ASEE Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration Austin, TX
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - OK El Reno, OK
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - North Carolina Asheville, NC
Mfg AAAS Community College Forum Washington, DC
Gen 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting Washington, DC
Eng BiOS Expo 2016 San Francisco, CA
Eng SPIE Photonics West San Francisco, CA
Eng South Carolina Technical Education Association Annual Conference Myrtle Beach, SC
Gen Preparing a Budget and Budget Justification for your NSF ATE Proposal: Live Webinar Online
Gen Project Access Workshop Pensacola Beach, FL
Gen Writing in the Disciplines Workshop Pensacola Beach, FL
Info GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference Savannah, GA
Info ESRI Federal GIS Conference Washington, DC
Info Communities of Practice Part I Online
Info RSA Conference San Francisco, CA
Gen SREE Spring 2016 Conference Washington, DC
Info SIGCSE 2016 Memphis, TN
Gen Change Agents Workshop Williamsburg, VA
Info Good Geographic Practices for the New Framework (7-12) Newark, NY
Mfg HTEC – CNC Machining Educators Conference Sarasota, FL
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - PA Lancaster, PA
Mfg Guitar Building Workshop for Educators, Students and Hobbyists Mesa, AZ
Eng 2016 Innovations Conference Chicago, IL
Gen Evaluation for Small Projects: Live Webinar 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 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

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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