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 STEM Education

From From InnovATE:

Teacher’s Toolbox

This Teacher's Toolbox website is provided by Palm Beach Community College and includes activities that are intended to demonstrate "real-world" math and science applications in the classroom. Activities include Projectile Motion Activity using Straw-rocket Launcher, Projectile Motion Activity using a Simulator, Hybrid Car Cost/Benefits Analysis Activity, and Learning Labs - Contextualized Intermediate Algebra. Three of the activities include a student version and an instructor version with activity answers. In addition to activity questions, the activities may include information on mathematical standards, mathematical practice standards, science standards, learning outcomes, and terminology. Each activity is available free for download as a PDF.

From From Bio-Link: Educating the BioTechnology Workforce:

Course in a Box: Laboratory Math for Biotechnology

Program Description -- Bio-Link offers a number of Course-in-a-Box resources intended for instructors to adapt and introduce into new courses. These collections of resources have been compiled and contributed by instructors of Bio-Link programs. Resources can include course descriptions, student outcomes, schedules, reading assignments, laboratory exercise, lecture materials, homework, classroom activities, exams, and videos.

Course Description -- The Laboratory Math for Biotechnology course "is designed to help students construct calculations for various laboratory scenarios and solve them with confidence." Topics covered in this course include exponents and scientific notation, logarithms, units of measurement, ratios and proportions, unit conversions, density, concentration expressions, preparing single solute solutions, dilutions, and more.

This Course-in-a-Box resource is a 22-page class schedule that includes a course description; course topics; student competencies; a weekly schedule that includes topics, reading assignments, activities and lectures, and learning objectives; and additional notes about the order of units in the course, additional topics, and textbooks.

Additional related instructional materials are available from Bio-Link and include a syllabus, classroom activities, instructor notes, PowerPoint presentations, problem sets and answer keys, a sample final exam, and sample quizzes.

From AgrowKnowledge: The National Center for Agriscience & Technology Education:

Using Photography in an Environmental Science Lab

These lab activities were developed by Rick Parker and are provided by AgrowKnowledge and focus on using photography in environmental science classes. The lab activities include Examples of Using Digital Photography in the Classroom and Environmental Science Laboratory: Photographing the Environment. Each lab includes an introduction, instructions, supplies, instructor notes, and other lab related information. The Using Digital Photography to Enhance Learning lab includes an additional activity, Postcards from a Field Trip or Activity. This postcard activity involves students creating postcards and includes instructor notes.

Community Connection

Mechatronics Educators Use Monthly Calls and Microsite to Build Community of Practice

For years, Virginia Western Community College Automated Manufacturing Instructor Dan Horine has been searching for more affordable equipment to teach mechatronics in high schools. By the end of the Mechatronics Community Exchange (MEC) call on Friday, October 27, he was persuaded that the Low Cost Mechatronics Trainer built by Anne Arundel Community College Associate Professor Tim Callinan could be what he's been seeking. "It's amazing," Horine said.

The trainer Callinan built for Team CollaborATE—an ATE project that involves Anne Arundel, College of Lake County, and Florida State College at Jacksonville—costs about $1,500 and can be used simultaneously by two students in a lab. The $7,000 cost of comparable commercial equipment has inhibited expansion of mechatronics programs at high schools and colleges. Team CollaborATE provides detailed instructions to build the trainer, which uses mechatronics' key electrical, mechanical and computer technologies.

Watch the video that Callinan narrates at Listen to the recording of the Skype group discussion about the trainer at, the Mechatronics Community Exchange microsite that ATE Central hosts for this group of ATE educators.

ATE Central's Microsite Service is free to all ATE centers and projects. Its drop-and-drag interface is easy to use and accommodates photos and multi-page documents. To begin the process of creating a microsite send an email to

View our ATE@20 Blog for the article in its entirety.

ATE Success Tips: Websites

For ATE projects and centers that maintain their own websites, blogs, or like to add updated content to their web presence, consider adding an RSS feed to make it easier for readers to follow you. RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary (but is also often known as Really Simple Syndication), is a commonly used format for publishing a “feed of content” from a website. RSS-enabled browsers will then see the link and allow readers to subscribe to your feed automatically. This means that readers will be able to get updates from your site automatically instead of always needing to visit your page to check if anything is new or updated.

View this helpful YouTube tutorial on RSS feeds for more information.

Did You Know?

Nearly 90 percent of certificates and half of associate degrees awarded are in career and technical education.

Select STEM Education Resources

A few online STEM resources from outside of ATE, that you may find of interest:

Nanotechnology 101

From the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) comes Nanotechnology 101, a helpful introduction to nanotechnology and its many uses. This website may be of interest to science instructors as well as other members of the general public looking for an accessible, yet detailed, overview of this rapidly growing field. In the “what it is and how it works section,” visitors will find a twelve-page pamphlet that illustrates the many uses of nanotechnology, from water filtration to medicine. Meanwhile, the Nanotechnology Timeline traces historical uses of nanotechnology all the way back to the 4th Century (when early nanotechnology was employed to create the dichroic glass in the Roman Lycurgus Cup). To learn about more contemporary uses of nanotechnology, visitors can check out the NNI Accomplishments Archive that highlights reports from agencies participating in NNI, including the National Institute of Health and the Department of Energy. As the site notes, these reports date from 2009 and earlier; readers will need to browse external sites for more recent materials.

Sing About Science & Math: Lesson Plan

If you have ever wanted to sing out loud and proud about oceanography, physics, or the natural world, this site is for you. This site is part of the larger Sing About Science & Math website which encourages students to make a joyous noise about the world of science. This particular section of the site brings together lesson plans designed to encourage participation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Visitors can scan through twenty or so lesson plans, including explorations of an "Ode to the Gaseous State" and a song that students can listen to in reflection on Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” as part of a unit on the solar system. Visitors can scan the items here by subject and learn about the people responsible for their creation. Also, one can elect to submit a musical exploration of science for possible inclusion on the site.

The Dirt on Soil

The latest from (last mentioned in the February 22, 2002 NSDL Life Science Report) is the extensive and very well done web lesson -- the Dirt on Soil. The Down and Dirty portion of the site describes the different layers of soil, how they are formed, what they usually consist of, soil particle size comparisons, and more. The field guide link contains photographs and descriptions of a creature from each major group of soil organisms, such as the creepy looking Beetle Mite. The last link on the main page is for the unbelievably cool Soil Safari interactive flash activity. After getting into the Earthship, you navigate through different layers of soil to discover what organisms and soils are within. This really is an excellent activity for kids and adults wanting to learn about soil or just have fun. One additional feature of the site is the very helpful teachers tip link that gives summarized descriptions of the site and advice on how best to utilize it.

ATE Events

Upcoming Events
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
Eng Autonomous Vehicle Standards: A Comprehensive Discussion Online
Gen National Association of Biology Teachers 2017 Conference St. Louis, MO
Eng Lightweighting with Composites and Plastics Online
Info GeoFest 2017 - Celebrating The Empire State Rochester, NY
Gen National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) State Leadership Conference Owasso, OK
Eng Pacific Marine Expo Seattle, WA
Info How Government and Industry Are Responding to New IoT Tech & Emerging Threats Online
Eng International Workboat Show New Orleans, LA
Mfg Auto STEAM Days Warren, MI
Gen ACTE'S Career Tech Vision 2017 Nashville, TN
Gen Winter Working Connections 2017 Online
Gen The Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2018 (HICSS) Big Island, HI
Info WASTC 2018 Winter ICT Educators Conference San Jose, CA
Gen CareerTech Teacher Academy Session 2 Oklahoma City, OK
Eng AACC Workforce Development Institute (WDI) Conference New Orleans, LA

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

Save the Dates! STEM for All Video Showcase: Transforming the Educational Landscape

Interactive Event: May 14 - 21, 2018
Register to be a Presenter: Jan. 15th - Feb. 15th
Video Submission Deadline: Apr. 25th

If you are engaged in a federally-funded project to improve Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and computer science education, we invite you to submit a video to the showcase and discuss it with researchers, practitioners, policy makers and the general public during an interactive week-long event.

We invite videos that address any of the following:

  • Partnerships that advance education
  • Broadening participation & access to high quality STEM experiences
  • Innovative practices transforming education
  • Research informing STEM learning and teaching

If you are not intending to present a video this year, please also save the dates anyway! We invite your participation viewing the videos, discussing them with presenters and voting for your favorites.

For more information:

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 4.0.1) 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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