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

Featured Resources in Space Technology

From From Collaborative Research: Neutron Monitor Observations of Cosmic Rays from Jang Bogo and McMurdo:

Tracking Sunspots

This lesson plan, adapted from NASA's Solar and Heliocentric Observatory website, teaches students how to examine and track sunspots at different latitudes on the sun. This activity "can be used as an introduction to the solar cycle to explore the relationship between sunspots and other solar activity." This webpage includes PDF downloads of both the lesson plan and the associated activity worksheet and the associated standards that it fulfills. The lesson plan is intended for students in middle school and higher. It takes one class period to complete the lesson.

From National Aerospace Technical Education Center (SpaceTEC):

From Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC):

NASA Digital Learning Network

This site offers interactive programs that provide teachers and students with opportunities to learn more about earth and to take a journey into space using video-conferencing and Web casts. Students of all ages are able to speak directly with NASA personnel including scientists, engineers, astronauts, and education specialists. Placing an emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the DLN offers a wide variety of distance learning events designed to educate through demonstrations and real time interactions with experts. All programs are aligned to national standards with pre and post-activities to enhance your video conference and Web cast experiences.

Community Connection

Preparing for the ATE PI Conference: October 23-25, 2017
Hands-On, Minds-On: Pathways to a Highly Skilled U.S. Workforce

As summer winds down and we begin the fall semester, it's time to start thinking about the ATE Principal Investigators Conference this October in Washington, D.C. For projects and centers old and new, the annual PI conference offers a chance to share experiences, collaborate, learn, and meet other members of the ATE community. Now is a great time to make sure your project or center is prepared for the big event.

To help in your preparation efforts, here is some information that you may find useful:

  • Showcase Sessions. The showcase sessions are a highlight of the PI conference, with opportunities for projects and centers to share and display their work and learn about what others in the community are doing. It's also a great opportunity to connect with NSF program officers. A complete showcase schedule can be found on the AACC website. And remember: all projects and centers are required to have a display at the showcase sessions - so don't forget to fill out your showcase submission before the September 19th deadline!
  • ATE Central Centers and Projects Map. The ATE Central Centers and Projects map, located on the ATE Central home page, is a great way to help you learn about possible collaborators in your field, as well as identify just who may be at the PI conference. With the map, you can search through projects and centers by area of the country or by general subject area. While you are browsing the map, now is also a good time to make sure that your project or center's record is up to date. Let us know if you have new resource URLs, a new project description, other social media outlets, or a website we should know about. We can best support and amplify your efforts when we have up-to-date information about your project or center and its deliverables.
  • ATE Outreach Kit. The ATE Outreach Kit can help projects and centers come up with an outreach plan or some specific outreach ideas. Leading up to the PI meeting, the Communication section of the Outreach Kit might be particularly helpful: it includes tips on creating a mission statement and designing key messages so you can get the word out about your project or center.
  • ATE@20 Book + Blog. The ATE@20 book and corresponding blog continue to be a great resource for getting the word out about ATE and the wonderful work being done throughout our community. But the blog and book are also a great way for you to learn more about the ATE community before heading to the PI meeting. Take a read through the book online to get a good overview of the history of the ATE program and stop by the ATE Central booth to look at the print copy - we'll be happy to mail copies to you for use in your own outreach efforts. And of course, if you have an idea for a blog post before or after the PI Conference don't hesitate to get in touch at - we'd love to help you get the word out about the impact of your project or center!
  • PI Meeting App. Plan which sessions to attend and track your PI meeting experiences with the annual PI meeting app. This year's app will be available in October, so keep an eye out for it on the ATE Central PI Conference page.
  • Getting Started Workshop. New community members, especially, should make sure to attend the "Getting Started" workshop at this year's PI conference. This workshop is recommended for all principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and other team members looking for a smooth transition to ATE. The workshop will cover ATE program issues, financial management and grant management, and evaluation. ATE Central along with others from the ATE community and NSF will be presenting at the session, so it's a great place to connect with others and ask any questions you might have.
  • ATE Community Resources. There are a number of free tools and resources available throughout the ATE community that can also help you prepare your project or center for the PI conference. Make sure to check out EvaluATE, MentorConnect, and AACC among others.

Please contact us at and let us know how we can support your ongoing efforts. Don't forget that the registration deadline is Wednesday, September 26th. We look forward to seeing you in DC!

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

What's the Difference Between Outreach and Dissemination?

Many of us in the ATE community dedicate part (or lots!) of our time figuring out how to tell our project or center's story - connecting with audiences and stakeholders about our work and the impact it's having on students, faculty, institutions, and industry. When it comes to passing along that information and engaging with your audience - what's the difference between outreach and dissemination?

  • Outreach involves two-way communication in an effort to connect with your audience
  • Dissemination describes one-way communication that would involve circulation or spread of information extending to a wider population

Get to know ATE Central's Outreach Kit, which can serve as a useful resource for a plethora of outreach topics. The ATE Central Outreach kit is an asset your project or center can draw upon for new ideas for planning social media strategies, developing a mission statement, and even creating your own media kit.

Did You Know?

Nearly 95 percent of U.S. inmates have attained only a high school diploma or less.

ATE Events

Upcoming Events
Eng TU's Connected Car Insurance USA 2017 Chicago, Illinois
Info InterDrone 2017 Las Vegas, NV
Gen Promoting Student Success in Math Milwaukee, WI
Info Cyber Intelligence Workshop: Bridging the Gap with Soft Skills for Cybersecurity Careers Session 5 Online
Gen Science Diplomacy & Leadership Workshop 2017 Washington, DC
Eng The Battery Show North America 2017 Novi, Michigan
Gen EC-TEL 2017: Data Driven Approaches in Digital Education Tallinn,
Gen CareerTech Teacher Academy Session 1 Oklahoma City, OK
Gen WomenTech Educators Online Bootcamp Part 2 Online
Ag/Env Adapting to the Changing Nature of Work Fort Pierce, Florida
Info The Close it Summit Chicago, Illinois
Eng Connected Fleets USA 2017 Atlanta, Georgia
Gen BPA/DECA Fall Leadership Conference Norman, Oklahoma
Eng 2017 AAPA Convention Long Beach, California
Info Drone World Expo 2017 San Jose Convention Center, CA
Info TAG Fall Tech Conference Bellingham, WA
Gen CAE Virtual Career Fair Online
Eng SPIE Optifab Rochester, NY
Eng The SPIE Optifab 2017 Exhibition Rochester, New York
Eng National Coalition of Advanced Technology Center (NCATC) Fall Conference 2017 Portland, Oregon
Mfg 2017 ATE Conference Washington, DC
Info Commercial UAV Expo 2017 Las Vegas, NV
Eng National Career Pathways Network Conference 2017 St. Louis, Missouri
Gen Writing in the Disciplines Workshop in Florida Daytona Beach Shores, FL
Eng M-STEM 2017 Hampton, VA
Mfg FABTECH Show 2017 Chicago, Illinois
Info Challenging the Status Quo: Building a Robust and Sustainable Cybersecurity Ecosystem Dayton, OH
Info NICE Conference & Expo 2017 Dayton, OH
Gen National Association of Biology Teachers 2017 Conference St. Louis, MO
Info GeoFest 2017 - Celebrating The Empire State Rochester, NY
Gen National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) State Leadership Conference Owasso, OK

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

Mentor-Connect Seeks Nominations for a New Mentor Fellows program

Beginning in 2018, a few qualified members of the ATE Community will serve each year as Mentor Fellows. The individuals selected as Mentor Fellows will receive financial support and guidance as they engage in activities that prepare them to be Mentor-Connect mentors for potential ATE grantees.

The fellowship program is one facet of Mentor-Connect's regenerative leadership development effort. The main thrust of Mentor-Connect, an ATE project of the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center, is diversifying the two-year colleges and educators who obtain ATE grants. Mentor-Connect mentees are faculty from two-year, associate-degree-granting institutions that are eligible for Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE.

Mentor-Connect leaders plan to offer three fellowships during 2018 to individuals who are interested in eventually serving as Mentor-Connect mentors. Those selected as fellows will shadow experienced Mentor-Connect mentors as they guide two-year college educators through Mentor-Connect's nine-month process for preparing competitive proposals to the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program.

Nominees must have three to five years of involvement in the ATE program, and recommendations from two current ATE principal investigators or co-principal investigators in addition to the nomination from another member of the ATE community.

Experience developing projects and writing grant proposals for the ATE program is a key qualification. Fellows receive a stipend of $1,750 plus travel support to attend two Mentor-Connect workshops.

The application and details about the fellowship opportunity are at Mentor Fellow applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST, September 30, 2017.

Staffing Change

A quick note about a changing of the guard here at ATE Central: Catherine Dixon-Reigel, whom many of you know, is moving on to the next phase of her career. She has been a wonderful colleague and we wish her all the best. Happily we are welcoming a new member to the team, Jessica Behrman, who will be our new Outreach Coordinator, as well as the editor of the ATE Central Connection newsletter. Jessica will be joining us at the PI Conference in October, so please stop by the ATE Central booth to meet her when you have a moment!

Would you like more copies of the ATE@20 book?

We are sending out one more round of ATE@20: Two Decades of Advancing Technological Education. Book orders and general inquiries can be emailed to

Archiving your deliverables with ATE Central is now easier than ever!

Upload your curriculum, professional development materials, or other deliverables created with ATE funding directly to the ATE Central resource portal via the new archive submission form.

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 4.0.0) 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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