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 Recruitment

From Building Social Media Capacity of ATE Centers and Programs :

Guide for Planning a Best Practice Social Media Campaign

This 23-page document offers a step-by-step guide for the creation of a social media campaign. This guide is specifically designed for "colleges looking to incorporate social media into their student recruitment strategies" and is built around ten actions that experts consider to be essential to creating an effective social media strategy. The guide consists of three sections. First, the Social Media Planning Template is designed to help colleges work through the ten action steps. Next, the Social Media Recording Template provides a graphic organizer for recording social media goals and strategy. Finally, the Social Media Resources section features a variety of additional resources that may be of interest, including a list of related articles.

From Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC):

Webinar: Drops, Failures and Withdrawals: Increasing Online Retention

This Drops, Failures and Withdrawals: Increasing Online Retention webinar was presented on April 15, 2011 by Raymond Rose, who is a pioneer in online education and an expert in creating online learning communities. Online education has the reputation of having an ongoing problem with a high DFW (drop, failure, withdrawal) rate. The objective of this webinar is to address the reasons of DFW. Several main reasons for the high DFW rate are highlighted, including wrong expectations, technology problems, prerequisite problems, and pedagogy conflicts. In addition, the webinar provides guidance and strategies for course designers and instructors to help reduce DFW rates and make online learning more effective. With more than 15 years of experience in online education, Rose engages the audience in an interactive discussion that outlines the steps to reduce DFWs and engage online students to help them become successful learners. This webinar is accompanied by corresponding presentation slides.

The recorded webinar is 1:33:13 in length.

From The Supply Chain for Middle-Skill Jobs: Education, Training, and Certification Pathways:

Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy: Building the Skills Bridge to Post Military Success

These are slides from a presentation given by Ryan McDermott at The Military as a Pathway to Skilled Technical Jobs meeting. This presentation focuses on attracting and retaining talent in the national security workforce.

Slide topics include:

  • How do we attract and retain talent in the national security workforce?
  • SkillBridge Authority
  • Case Study: Solar Ready Vets
  • Manufacturing USA Institutes
  • DoD Institute: America Makes

These presentation slides are available free for download.

Community Connection


AccessATE is a newly funded project designed to support the work of Advanced Technological Education (ATE) projects and centers in making the materials and activities they develop - with funding from the National Science Foundation - more accessible for all students and faculty, including those with disabilities. The project aims to increase awareness and understanding of accessibility requirements and provide guidance, tools, and support that presents solutions and ensures compliance. Key deliverables of the project include:

  • Accessibility Tool Directory - An annotated online catalog of resources and tools that projects and centers can use to help ensure their deliverables are compliant with accessibility standards.
  • Hands-On Accessibility Sessions - Held at the annual ATE Principal Investigators Conference and other appropriate events, these sessions will give ATE project and center PIs and staff the opportunity to hear from (and ask questions of) accessibility experts and try accessibility tools.
  • Accessibility Webinars - These annual webinars will provide advice from project partners, along with community and outside experts, to help grantees tackle accessibility issues, understand legal requirements, and connect with others to find solutions.
  • UDL Case Studies - ATE grantees and others will work with AccessATE partner CAST to create accessible curriculum with hands-on assistance. Follow-up case studies will extend the impact of this work to a wider STEM education audience.
  • Accessibility Checklists - These checklists will provide ATE project and center PIs and staff with straightforward lists of points to consider and tasks to perform in assessing their existing activities, curriculum, websites, and other deliverables.

The project is being led by the Internet Scout Research Group (home to ATE Central), in collaboration with the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), the Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students (DeafTEC), and the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL). Other partners include the American Association of Community Colleges, EvaluATE, Luka Partners, NISOD, HI-TEC, and Pellet Media.

Want to learn more about AccessATE? Want to share your own expertise or let the project team know about a specific accessibility challenge you’re facing? Contact the project at

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Posting on Social Media

After networking with your colleagues in the ATE community at the recent PI Conference, it may be a good idea to evaluate your strategies for scheduling social media posts. Scheduling allows you to reach your target audience at the times when they are online and also increases the relevance and timeliness of your posts, tweets, and networking. When is the best time to post on social media and is it the same across all platforms? Below are some guidelines.

Twitter users are most active between 8am and 7pm. Tweets posted during these hours will generate the most interaction, but there are several smaller time slots that see a significantly higher engagement rate. To get the most out of your tweets, consider posting between 8am and 10am, 11am and 1pm, or 4pm and 7pm.

Facebook usage tends to be a little more constant than Twitter, but some times are still better than others to reach your audience. The best time to post is between 1-4 pm, when click-through rates tend to be at their highest. There is also significant usage over the weekend, so consider scheduling posts to be released between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Instagram was designed exclusively for mobile access, so users tend to use the network all the time, any time. However, peak times for posting to Instagram have shown to have the most interactions in the evening between 8pm-9pm.

LinkedIn is the largest business network and is great for connecting with industry partners, educators, administrators, and students. On average, users check their accounts twice per day, allowing for two time slots to attract and touch base with others in your network. The social rush hours on LinkedIn are between 8am and 10am and between 4pm and 6pm with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays being the most active days of the week.

To read more about how to optimize social media engagement, check out this blog by HubSpot.

Did You Know?

Of the 20 percent of students at community colleges who identify as having a disability, more than one-quarter report that they suffer from ADD or ADHD and almost 20 percent suffer from depression. Read the full pdf from AACC.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

PLoS Blogs: Sci-Ed

For post-secondary science educators, the Public Library of Science (PLOS) offers this blog dedicated to "scientific ideas, observations, methods, and speculations, both old and new." This blog is currently headed (and primarily authored) by Mike Klymkowsky, a biology professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. In one recent post, Klymkowsky reflects on the history of the concept of genes and considers how to best teach students about genes. In another post, Klymkowsky explores the question "Is the popularization of science encouraging a growing disrespect for scientific expertise?" Each blog post contains links to a number of related articles that may also be of interest. While aimed specifically at science educators, some of these blog posts may also appeal to science journalists and others who work in the field of science communication. Blog posts are tagged by topic (e.g., "public understanding of science") to facilitate easy browsing.

STEM educators and readers interested in robotics may appreciate, an open-access educational resource created "to facilitate the implementation of new robotics courses or the improvement of existing courses." Here, visitors will find a large collection of free teaching resources intended for use at the university level. As of this writing, these include downloadable compressed files for nine full courses, such as "Introduction to Robotics" courses contributed by Harvard University electrical engineering professor Robert Wood. The materials for this course include PowerPoint lectures, handouts, assignments with solutions, labs, MatLab files, a final project, and a final exam. also has several shorter offerings comprised of PowerPoints for individual lectures, such as "Robot Architectures," contributed by Josep Amat and Alicia Casals of the Technical University of Catalonia. Readers interested in additional resources may want to check out the links section for a number of other robotics sites and materials. was founded and developed in 2007 by Professors Aaron M. Dollar of Yale University, Daniela Rus of MIT, and Paolo Fiorini of the University of Verona.

Digital Library for Earth System Education

Educators at all levels may be interested in the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE), a repository of teaching resources covering a range of earth-related subjects. Here, readers will find over 15,000 educational resources which can be searched by keyword and browsed by education level (beginning at elementary through graduate/professional and includes informal education), subject (such as atmospheric science, oceanography, and policy issues), and resource type (including activities, lesson plans, datasets, and audio/visual materials). DLESE also offers a variety of Earth Science Literacy Maps, which it describes as teaching and learning tools that "illustrate connections between concepts and how they build upon one another across grade levels." For developers, DLESE makes available information on its metadata, collection building, and cataloging documentation; its search server and API; and its OAI data provider. The development of DLESE was funded by the National Science Foundation, and it is operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the NCAR Library.

Do you have some great STEM resources you'd like to share with ATE Central? Email us with your ideas at

ATE Events

Upcoming Events
Ag/Env 2018 Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Dobson, NC
Mfg Materials in STEM 2018 Birmingham, AL
Gen 2018 Leadership Seminar in Science & Technology Policy Washington, DC
Eng ESC Region 2 Technology Conference 2018 Corpus Christi, Texas
Mfg FABTECH 2018 Atlanta, GA
Bio/Chem National Association of Biology Teachers 2018 Conference San Diego, CA
Eng Revamping Robotics Education to Meet 21st Century Workforce Needs Houghton, MI
Gen Project Access Workshop at FSCJ Jacksonville, FL
Bio/Chem NIH Community College Day Bethesda, MD
Gen CCURI Fall 2018 Colloquium Glendale, AZ
Eng Auto STEAM Days Warren, MI
Eng Explore Careers in Manufacturing and Technology Warren, MI
Gen Promoting Student Success in Math at FSCJ Jacksonville, FL
Info Winter Working Connections 2018 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

Laser Material Processing Hybrid Online Course

10/8/18 - 6/28/19 in Ottumwa, IA

This laser material processing hybrid online course includes a combination of online theory and an onsite laboratory activity week. The online portion of this course will take 20+ hours to complete and will include unit quizzes. The theory comprises the nature & properties of light & lasers, laser design & types, optics & optical systems, and CNC programming. Laser safety in laser material processing is emphasized. Various applications of lasers in material processing will also be explored.

"Hands-on" laser materials processing activities such as cutting, welding, piercing, surface-treatment, additive manufacturing plus others will be included in this course. Course participants will also visit regional companies for field experiences involving applications of laser material processing. Registration is free and some travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Would you like copies of the ATE Impacts book?

Book orders and general inquiries about ATE Impacts 2018-2019: Twenty-Five Years of Advancing Technician Education 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 4.1.1) 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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