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 Mechatronics

From CollaborATE:

Mechatronics AAS Degree Course: Programmable Automation Technologies

This collection is provided by the College of Lake County (CLC) and includes three documents that relate to the college's engineering curriculum. The 3-page ARM 226 syllabus provides an overview of the Programmable Automations Technologies class. Students take this 3-credit class in their second year of the Automation, Robotics, and Mechatronics (ARM) AAS degree. The syllabus includes a course description, a list of learning outcomes, and a week-by-week topical outline. This collection also includes the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Lesson PowerPoint. The CNC lesson is the final lesson of the Programmable Automation Technologies course. Finally, the collection includes ordering information for a lab manual for Rockwell Automation Ferris Wheel Trainer.

From Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT):

Major Concepts of Hybrid Electric Powertrain Systems

This presentation is a general overview of the concepts and technologies incorporated into hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). These materials are used in the course, "Intro to Mechatronics" at Lawrence Technological University and were developed through seed funding from the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT). The following topics are discussed: hybrid powertrain configurations (series, parallel, and series-parallel), hybrid types (mild, medium, and full), components (mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic), and operating modes (start-stop and regenerative).

From ATE Central:

Community Connection

The Pew Research Center: STEM Workforce Facts

The Pew Research Center published an analysis of Americans employed in STEM-related positions based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and the analysis provides an interesting overview of the current state of the STEM workforce. Pew looked at data from 1990 to 2016 and included adults over age 25 working within 74 STEM-related occupations.

This research revealed that in general, STEM workers tend to earn more than similarly educated non-STEM workers and that while STEM workers tend to be highly educated, about a third have not completed a bachelor's or higher degree. Overall, three-in-ten STEM workers have completed an associate degree or have some college education. This is a statistic that may be echoed in the ATE community, with many ATE programs aimed at students entering STEM-related occupations while pursuing a vocational certificate or associate degree.

This analysis also revealed that STEM training in college is associated with higher earnings on average whether working in a STEM occupation or not. Pew found that among college educated workers employed full-time year-round, a STEM college major earned about $11,000 a year more than a non-STEM major.

Gender statistics were also examined in the Pew analysis. Women are underrepresented in some STEM job clusters, but in others they match or exceed their share in the overall U.S. workforce. Three-quarters of health care practitioners and technicians in the U.S. are comprised of women, yet women remain underrepresented in engineering, computer, and physical science occupations. In fact, women's representation in computer jobs has declined since 1990.

ATE projects and centers may be interested in examining this data if wanting to evaluate any current recruitment and outreach strategies. For those interested in reading further, visitors can read the analysis in full on the Pew Research Center website.

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Tips for Growing Your Social Media Engagement with Images

Adding images to your social media posts are a great way to attract more attention to what your project or center is posting. When it comes to social media posts, Tweets with photos receive 35% more Retweets and Facebook posts have 37% more engagement if they have an image. What types of images should you include to get more engagement with your posts?

Choice of images can always be tailored to what you're posting about. Are you posting about an upcoming event, such as a conference, workshop, or webinar? Include an image of the event (possibly from the past) or from the event's website. This can also be a logo or an icon produced to market the event.

Are you posting about a student or staff member's achievements within your project or center? Get their permission to share their photo, and include it with your post. Not only will more people engage with your post, but it's is a great way to conduct outreach about the achievements of your project or center.

Finally, you can always consider adding a free stock photo to your post from a site like Pexels or Canva. Most stock photo sites can be searched by keyword, which may make finding an image for a workshop or event related to recruitment, for example, a bit easier.

Check out ATE Central's Outreach Kit for some more ideas on social media strategies.

Did You Know?

Current and former military personnel are more likely to enroll at community college than in other higher education sectors. Check out the informative pdf here.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Botany Depot

Science educators looking for ways to inspire interest in their students about plants may want to check out Botany Depot. Launched in early 2018, this resource describes itself as "a global website for creative ideas and materials for teaching botany in the 21st century for all ages and levels." Botany Depot is created and run by Lena Struwe, Professor of Plant Biology and Director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University. Here, visitors will find a wide variety of botanical teaching ideas and resources, ranging from engaging videos to interactive lesson plans, all freely available. Examples include a teacher's guide for a botanical role-playing game centered on "toxic plants in the emergency room," which includes downloadable classroom worksheets and information on 55 different toxic plants. The teacher's guide also serves as an introductory manual of plant nomenclature created for beginning and intermediate botany learners, which covers wild, agricultural, and horticultural species and also includes PowerPoint slides of the figures in the manual for classroom use. Most of the resources shared by Botany Depot at this point were developed with college students in mind, but they could also be helpful for other educational levels or for naturalists and general plant enthusiasts.

Crash Course Engineering

Crash Course Engineering is one of the most recent additions to the popular Crash Course YouTube channel founded by vlogging brothers Hank and John Green in 2011. Hosted by engineer, science communicator, and Crash Course veteran Shini Somara and produced in association with PBS Digital Studios, Crash Course Engineering launched in May 2018. Here, learners of all ages will find energetic, fast-paced videos on a wide variety of engineering subjects. Episodes range from introductions to and histories of subfields like mechanical and chemical engineering to explorations of topics such as thermodynamics, nanomaterials, and renewable energy. Each episode is approximately ten minutes long, making them short enough for classroom use and snappy enough for anyone to learn a little in their spare time. The series currently contains 32 episodes with new episodes uploaded on Thursdays and a total of 42 planned.

School Gardening 101

For educators interested in establishing a teaching garden at their school, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) offers a wonderful online resource to help get started. School Gardening 101 is a free online teaching resource organized into six sessions. These sessions include short videos, lesson plans, exercises for teachers to learn the necessary background material, tip sheets, and other resources. Lesson plans are available for students from kindergarten to eighth grade, and lesson topics range from persuasive writing to plant biology to nutrition. The tip sheets cover a variety of logistical aspects, such as how to manage groups of children in a garden setting, best practices and troubleshooting tips for seed propagation, and how to prepare the garden for the winter. School Gardening 101 was created to complement the NYBG's six-day professional development institute for teachers. As the NYBG states, "School gardens are a wonderful way to connect children to plants, gardening, food, nutrition, and the outdoors," and School Gardening 101 helps provide educators new to gardening with the knowledge they'll need to inspire their students.

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
Eng Photonics West 2019 San Francisco, CA
Gen What’s the Secret to Creating Classroom Discussions That Work? Henderson, NC
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Springfield, MO
Gen Teaching Critical Thinking Webinar Brownsville, TX
Gen Promoting Student Success in Math at Florida State College Jacksonville, FL
Gen Capture My Heart, Educate My Soul Winterville, NC
Gen Emotional Intelligence, Efficacy, and Success Webinar Lynnwood, WA
Gen Teaching Critical Thinking Webinar Bossier City,, LA
Gen Innovations Conference Chandler, AZ
Info GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference Portland, OR
Gen So many choices, so little time: Setting strategies to guide your tactics Online
Gen Project Access/Universal Design in Learning Workshop at Florida State College Jacksonville, FL
Ag/Env 2019 Wine Chemistry Workshop Miami, FL
Gen Flipped Learning: Pathway to Student Success Sioux City, IA
Gen What’s the Secret to Creating Classroom Discussions That Work? Lexington, KY
Gen Strategies for Student Learning and Success: Relational Teaching and Classroom Community Building Pittsburgh, PA
Eng Engineering Technology Forum Sarasota, FL
Info Women in Cybersecurity Conference 2019 Pittsburgh, PA
Gen Teaching Critical Thinking Workshop Clinton Township, MI
Info Second Annual Symposium for Supply Chain Automation Chicago, IL
Gen Writing in the Disciplines Workshop at Florida State College Jacksonville, FL

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

2019 STEM For All Video Showcase: Innovations in STEM Education

Registration for the 2019 showcase has opened! Registration to present will end on February 19 (or earlier if the showcase receives more than 250 registrations). Once approved, presenters can submit their videos between March 13 and April 23.

The STEM For All Video Showcase is an interactive, online event that is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and features federally funded projects aimed at improving STEM or CS learning and teaching in formal or informal environments. The Showcase takes place online from May 13 - 20 and during the event, thousands of participants will view the videos, have discussions, and vote for their favorites.

To read more about the 2019 Showcase, visit the event's website and check out last year's video submissions.

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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