Advanced Technological Education .

Welcome to the ATE Central Connection! Published the first Tuesday 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: Bio and Chemical Technology

From Austin Community College Bio-Link Regional Advanced Technological Education Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences:

Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs for the Biosciences

This 125-page course textbook entitled Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs for the Biosciences, was created by Jack O'Grady, M.S., professor at Austin Community College. This textbook accompanies the course BITC 1340: Quality Assurance for the Biosciences. Individual chapter titles are:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Biotechnology & Quality Assurance
  • Chapter 2: Introduction to Quality Principles
  • Chapter 3: Quality Management Systems
  • Chapter 4: The Food & Drug Administration
  • Chapter 5: Good Guidance Practices (GXPs)
  • Chapter 6: The Drug Approval Process
  • Chapter 7: The Regulation of Biologics
  • Chapter 8: Medical Device & Combination Products
  • Chapter 9: Regulation of Food & Other Products
  • Chapter 10: FDA Enforcement

This textbook includes explanatory text, definitions, diagrams, case studies, and links to additional resources. Each chapter opens with a list of stated learning objectives.

From Development of a Biotechnology Microscopy Training Center:

Cell Taxonomy: How are Organisms Grouped?

This activity, from the Development of a Biotechnology Microscopy Training Center at Hagerstown Community College, has students explore biological taxonomies by examining samples under a compound microscope. Slides of bacteria, protists, fungi, animals, and plants are compared for those differences that allow for their groupings into kingdoms and domains. The lesson includes student instructions and a worksheet for recording and interpreting their observations.

From ATE TV:

ATETV 101 Series: On the Path to a Career in the Lab

ATETV provides web-based videos that spotlight advanced technical careers and educational programs. This video shows a "Research Methods in Molecular Biology class where students learn that a 'library' can contain something other than just books." The video runs 3:29 minutes in length and related videos can be found on the ATETV's page to explore more information.

Community Connection

Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work Podcast Series

This new podcast series explores the intersection of STEM-related occupations and community college education through a forward-thinking lens. Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work, which is hosted by Mike Lesiecki, devotes each episode to an aspect of "the workforce of the future" through interviews with industry professionals, educators, and NSF ATE leaders. The series has currently published three episodes, which explore topics such as challenges in recruiting employees with varied skill sets, efficiency in the workplace in an age of automation, and the skills gap among employees.

In the first episode, entitled "The Challenges," Lesiecki interviews three professionals who work in fields that have drastically evolved in the recent past due to technological innovation: a technician, a manager who struggles with finding qualified employees, and an educator who struggles to recruit students based on industry demand. One of the interviewees, Rita, is a line manager at a company that produces refrigeration systems. She expresses frustration in interviewing potential employees who do not interview well. "It's interesting because I'm not sure if the people I'm interviewing actually have the skills, but are just struggling to communicate those skills to me. So, I think it goes back to our education systems and having our educators really prepare people entering the workforce to know how to present their skills, human to human…"

The second episode, "Who Owns the Skills Gap?" is a conversation between Lesiecki and Al Carlson, Director of the University of Florida's Innovation Station, about how the skills gap is often a misnomer in recruiting new employees. "When looking for new hires, rather than look at skills, I think you're much better off looking for attributes like problem-solving capability, curiosity, people who ask good questions, lifelong learners, ability to collaborate, communication skills, and diversity," says Carlson. "Focus on the attributes and the skills will come." This seems to be a common idea shared among managers in many kinds of industries, which was the focus of the March 25, 2019 Impacts Blog post about the importance of soft skills in the technological workforce.

In the third episode "One of the Key Things to Measure: OEE," Lesiecki explains what OEE is (overall equipment effectiveness) and how OEE can be and is implemented in workplaces around the world. Reasons for why OEE is so important to automation are discussed with Mariano Carreras, the Director of SMC International Training. Carreras is based in Spain but travels to companies across the globe for SMC to evaluate how automated equipment has been implemented. He discusses a manufacturing facility that was able to achieve a 98.2% OEE by prioritizing employees' skills in varying shifts at the facility, which involved workers on one shift doing maintenance with the workers on two other shifts focusing only on production. This structure seems to work well for the company and drastically reduces wasted time.

For those interested in listening to the full episodes of the podcast, which are in between 15-20 minutes in length, they are available via the Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work website and via Apple Podcasts and Google Play. The website also contains full transcripts of each episode for those who prefer to read rather than listen.

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is temporary, fleeting media that is only accessible for a brief period. Why include ephemeral content in your social media strategies? If using ephemeral content, you have a good chance of increasing audience engagement on social media platforms. Video marketing has been on the rise for a while now, and short-lived content has been shown to appeal to many, especially younger, audiences.

When it comes to planning when and how to post ephemeral content, consider the below checklist:

  • Decide whether to share more videos or more images. This tactic may change depending on what you're marketing, but having an idea of which kind of media to push more will support your project or center's "brand."
  • Post regularly to get the most engagement from your audience. Not only is it a good idea to do this to interact with your audience more, but it will give you a estimate of when people are likely to engage more.
  • Have fun! Ephemeral content is meant to be a more informal way of connecting to your audience.

NSF's Facebook page is a good example of how to use ephemeral content within the scope of STEM and ATE. For more ideas on how to market your project or center with social media, check out ATE Central's Outreach Kit.

Did You Know?

Nearly 60 percent of public two-year college students who earn an associate degree are not saddled with student loan debt. Read the informative PDF in full.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Flipping Physics

Physics teachers and students may want to check out Flipping Physics, a project focused on teaching instructors how to flip their physics classrooms. A flipped classroom is a learning structure in which students watch recorded lectures at home and then work through problems interactively in the classroom with their instructor's guidance. Launched in 2013, Flipping Physics is the brainchild of Jonathan Thomas-Palmer (a.k.a. Mr. P.), an educator with over 13 years of experience teaching AP and college prep physics and who has a degree in mechanical engineering. Visitors to Flipping Physics will find an extensive library of lecture videos that are organized broadly into algebra-based and calculus-based physics with each subsequently grouped into topics and accompanied by PDF lecture notes. Those new to using a flipped classroom methodology may want to start by watching the video "Showing the Differences Between a Traditional and Flipped Classroom," found on the main page. This seven-minute video shows two of Mr. P.'s classes (filmed one year apart and teaching similar content) side by side simultaneously, with one using a traditional lecture and the other being a flipped classroom, where there is noticeably more engagement and interaction. Flipping Physics also has a plethora of resources on making videos for flipped classrooms and on teaching students how to learn in a flipped environment.

Hidden Figures Curriculum & Discussion Guides

The acclaimed 2016 film Hidden Figures, loosely based on Margot Lee Shetterly's non-fiction book by the same name, tells an inspiring story about three African-American women who performed vital work for NASA during the Space Race. Readers interested in using this film as a jumping-off point for discussion, whether in classrooms or with peers, may appreciate these guides provided by Journeys in Film. For educators, the 156-page curriculum guide features eight fully developed, standards-aligned lesson plans that approach different aspects of the film from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. For example, social studies classes can learn about the Cold War, the Space Race, and the history of legal segregation, while STEM-oriented lesson plans address the mathematics of space travel, the development of computer programming, and diversity and career preparation in STEM fields. For those needing less structure, the accompanying 14-page discussion guide is designed to "support dialogue with families, educators, middle and high school students to understand the historical context of these remarkable women and inspire academic and creative ambition in their own futures." Both guides can be downloaded for free as PDFs by entering an email address to subscribe to Journeys in Films' newsletter.

Plus Magazine: Maths in a Minute

Readers who appreciate the beauty of mathematics but who are also short on time may want to check out Maths in a Minute. This article series from Plus Magazine "explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words." Here, visitors will find dozens of fairly short pieces explaining a wide variety of mathematical concepts in approachable ways. Recent topics include the math behind Sydney's famous opera house, an exploration of the best method for sorting a stack of pancakes by size using only a spatula, and an introduction to the concept of higher dimensions. Articles are typically accompanied by images and links to additional information for those who would like to explore further. Many of the Maths in a Minute pieces are written by the magazine's editors, Marianne Freiberger and Rachel Thomas, and the series also occasionally features contributions from guest mathematicians.

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
Mfg Summer 2019 Electric Guitar Institutes Gainesville, FL
Eng 2019 CAAT Conference Warren, MI
Bio/Chem Health Care & Biological Sciences Mini-Symposium: From Education to Employment Sylmar, CA
Eng AutoSens – The Automotive Sensor and Perception Conference Detroit, MI
Info ODI Pre-Conference Workshop: Developing Data Analytics Pathways with NSF Tools Honolulu, HI
Gen 2019 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence Austin, TX
Bio/Chem BIO International Convention 2019 Philadelphia, PA
Gen AACC Advocates in Action Washington, DC
Eng Laser Material Processing Workshop Ottumwa, IA
Info 12th Annual GeoEd Conference Louisville, KY
Mfg 2019 STEM Guitar Building Institute Phoenix, AZ
Eng Laser Materials Processing Workshop Ottumwa, IA
Info Professional Development Hands-on Seminars - Getting Started with Spatial Data Batesville, AR
Bio/Chem NBC2 miniBIOMAN Conferences - Design of Experiments for Biomanufacturing Oceanside, CA
Info Professional Development Hands-on Seminars - Advanced Spatial Data and Analysis Batesville, AR
Gen AACC John E. Roueche Future Leaders Institute Washington, DC
Info Professional Development Hands-on Seminars - Getting Started with Spatial Data Morrilton, AR
Eng RCNET Meeting in Conjunction with Decommissioning Strategy Forum Nashville, TN
Info Hands-on Seminar Offerings for EAST Facilitators - EAST Training Facility (Little Rock, AR) Little Rock, AR
Mfg 2019 STEM Guitar Building Institute Houston, TX
Mfg Summer 2019 Electric Guitar Institutes Fort Wayne, IN
Ag/Env Summer Energy Educator Series (SEES) Eugene, Oregon
Info Professional Development Hands-on Seminars - Advanced Spatial Data and Analysis Morrilton, AR
Info NGTC Workshops: Introduction to ArcGIS Pro Newark, DE
Ag/Env Wisconsin STEM Educator Solar Institute Madison, WI
Eng Underwater Robotics & Engineering Design Arizona Project WET and MATE Tucson, Tucson
Gen WomenTech Educators Online Bootcamp Online
Gen WomenTech Educators Online Bootcamp: Boost Female Enrollment in STEM & CTE Online
Mfg Summer 2019 Electric Guitar Institutes New York, NY
Info NGTC Workshops: ArcGIS with Anita Palmer, Roger Palmer, gisetc. San Diego, CA
Bio/Chem NBC2 miniBIOMAN Conferences - Quality in Biomanufacturing Blue Bell, PA
Info Professional Development Hands-on Seminars - Getting Started with Spatial Data Stuttgart, AR
Gen HI-TEC: A National Conference on Advanced Technological Education St. Louis, MO
Eng Intermediate Underwater Robotics: The TriggerFish ROV Tucson, AZ
Info Hands-on Seminar: Introduction to Facilitating GIS (Stuttgart, AR) Stuttgart, AR
Eng Technology in Marine Science: ROV Building Tucson, AZ
Eng Automated and Connected Vehicles Summer Conference Dayton, OH
Info Professional Development Hands-on Seminars - Getting Started with Spatial Data De Queen, AR
Info Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) Bossier City, LA
Info NGTC Workshops: Getting Started with UAVs and FAA Part 107 Certification Champaign, IL
Mfg AWS SENSE High School Teacher Welding Workshop Monroe, MI

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

MentorLinks is accepting proposals for colleges and applications for mentors! Please read below for details about each.

Request for Proposals: MentorLinks Colleges
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is pleased to announce a national grant competition for the MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education program, developed with the support of the National Science Foundation. MentorLinks is designed for community colleges seeking to improve technician education programs in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields. Colleges should be interested in working with an experienced community college mentor who has successfully planned and implemented a major change in a high-technology program. MentorLinks colleges will receive $20,000 for the 2-year grant period and travel support for the project director to attend three project meetings. The grant's primary emphasis is on valuable networking, and rich opportunities for technical assistance and professional development. The grant period runs October 1, 2019–November 30, 2021. For complete information and to apply by the deadline of June 7, 2019, please go to

Request for Applications: MentorLinks Mentors
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is pleased to announce a national call for applications for the MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education program, developed with the support of the National Science Foundation. AACC seeks applications from 2-year college professionals who are interested in serving as mentors to work with a college whose faculty and administration want to develop or strengthen a certificate or degree program for technicians in a science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics field. MentorLinks colleges will be selected in a separate request for proposal process and assigned to a mentor. Up to ten institutions will be selected as MentorLinks colleges and up to ten individual mentors will be named to the MentorLinks Mentor Team for a 2-year grant period beginning October 1, 2019, and ending November 30, 2021. Mentors will receive an honorarium and travel support to attend a mentor training and orientation meeting, three national project meetings, and to conduct college site visits. For complete information and to apply by the deadline of June 7, 2019, please go to

At HI-TEC 2019: Entrepreneurial Approaches to Sustaining and Scaling Educational Innovations Workshop

This workshop, which will be held at HI-TEC this July, kicks off a two-week course that guides participants through the process of exploring innovative ways to solve problems that address the needs of your intended audience and/or market in the education sector.

This course is especially relevant to ATE PIs who are interested in learning how to sustain and scale educational innovations and network with education industry professionals. The kick-off workshop will be held at HI-TEC on July 22 with all subsequent courses held online throughout August 2019.

Those who participate in the course will learn how to explore project opportunities beyond federal funding, work through ideas while receiving direct feedback from instructors, and learn how to effectively network with the ATE community, among many other benefits.

For more information about the workshop and to register, check out the workshop's informational flier and visit the HI-TEC registration site.

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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