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.

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: Nanotechnology

From Nano-Link: Center for Nanotechnology Education Center:

Nano-Link Competencies

This webpage, published by the Nano-Link Center for Nanotechnology Education, provides competencies for educators and learners alike to better serve the nanotechnology industry. Nano-Link Competencies are skills and knowledge that nanotechnicians need to know or be able to do. The website features various competencies including Technical, Non-Technical, Equipment Savvy, Critical Thinking, Analysis, and more. Links to source material and websites with additional information are also included.

From Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Support Center (NACK Center):

Protein Engineered Nano Materials

This webinar from NCI Southwest and NACK Network discusses how protein engineered nanomaterials are processed in labs as well as their biomedical applications. The presentation is divided into the following sections: Proteins As Building Blocks, Engineered Protein Fibers, and Engineered Protein Nanoparticles. The video runs 52:30 minutes in length.

From Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Support Center (NACK Center):

World of Nanotechnology: Introduction to Nanotechnology

This World of nanotechnology: Introduction to Nanotechnology webinar was held on September 30, 2011. The webinar was presented by Dr. Stephen J. Fonash of the National Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK). This presentation provides an overview of nanotechnology and an explanation of why the nano-scale is so unique. The presentation also outlines the many applications of nanotechnology today, including the use of nanotechnology in creating plastics and polymers, studying cancer cells, drug delivery, and creating better imaging tools for biological research. The webinar runs 01:26:50 minutes in length and is accompanied by a slide deck and a 1-page handout. The accompanying handout provides a list of resources related to nanotechnology that may be downloaded for free. 

Community Connection

I Am ATE Interview with Ann Beheler, PhD

In this feature ATE Central continues our "I Am ATE" series, which showcases an ATE PI, staff member, industry partner, or other ATE stakeholder. We are excited to help spread the word about the wonderful people who are at the core of the ATE community and the innovative work everyone is doing.

Name: Ann Beheler
Title: Executive Director of Emerging Technology Grants
Institution: Collin College
Center Name: National Convergence Technology Center

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Beheler: In 2001 I became a Dean at Collin College, and my department had a very small ATE project. The rest is history. We first proposed and received a regional center in Convergence Technology, awarded in 2004, and then proposed and received a National Convergence Technology Center, awarded in 2012.

ATE Central: Tell us about the goals of the National Convergence Technology Center.

Beheler: "Convergence" is the term our business team uses for Information Technology and Communications. Originally, the focus was on the changing need for technicians when IP data networking and telephony first began to merge. Now, it often refers to the converged data center. Our Center focuses on four major missions to equip colleges nationally to ensure their students are extremely "workforce ready" for the many high-paying jobs in the Information Technology area. First, we work with our national employer team to predict what "workforce ready" students must know and be able to do 12-36 months in the future; second, we work with over 70 colleges and universities to ensure curriculum is aligned with workforce needs; third, we provide free, employer-driven professional development for IT and Cybersecurity faculty nationally, so they can implement cutting-edge curriculum; fourth, we disseminate our work via webinars, conference presentations, and mentoring other individuals and colleges in a variety of ways.

ATE Central: What makes the work of your project or center unique?

Beheler: We are 100 percent employer driven by our national Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) that co-leads all our work. We meet with them four times a year: One meeting is to update our understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities they want "right-skilled" graduates to have. The other three discussions are via web meeting and focus primarily on industry trends, so that our colleges can get a head start on upcoming changes. We also collaborate with over 70 colleges and universities in a community of practice whereby all of us share the good work we all do, so that we capitalize on each other's efforts.

To read the rest of the interview in full, visit the ATE Impacts blog.

ATE Success Tips: Websites

How to Find and Fix Broken Links

The internet is constantly evolving, with new and updated content replacing older iterations. Even if you have a lot of time to devote to website maintenance broken links, or links that no longer lead to the desired location, are easy to miss. While getting users to click through to your site is half the battle, it is arguably more important to get them to stay. If visitors find that links on your website don't work, they're far more likely to leave without truly exploring the content you offer.

Identifying and fixing broken links is a vital part of website upkeep, but it doesn't need to take up all your time. With a few tips and tools, you can easily integrate checking for dead links into your routine.

To begin with, it's important to understand the difference between internal and external links. Internal links move users from one page to another within your website. These links are the easiest to monitor and fix if anything goes wrong, because they are all under your team's purview. External links, on the other hand, link users from your website out to other locations on the internet. Unless you are vigilant about checking external links, it is easy to miss when the page you had linked to changes or gets taken down.

Some platforms, like WordPress, offer automatic link checking plugins, but there are other options to make link testing easy. A great alternative is Google Analytics, which helps outreach teams track the impact and performance of web content. This tool can also be used to detect broken links.

Once you have identified links that cause 404 errors, it is important to update them. For internal links, simply find the correct page and adjust the hyperlinked text to join to the proper URL within your site. For external links, determine why the link no longer works. If the site to which you had linked is no longer active, you can either find an alternative site to link to, or link to the web archive version of the page. Sites may also be temporarily unavailable, so it is useful to monitor the situation if you're unsure why a link isn't working. If the issue persists long-term, you can either substitute the link as discussed previously, or remove it altogether.

Did You Know?

Of the 78.1 million adults in the U.S. who do not hold postsecondary degrees, first-generation immigrants make up 17.2 million and second-generation immigrants account for 6.6. million. To learn more, read the full PDF here.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Tornadoes: A Severe Weather and Natural Disasters Activity

Teachers and parents may want to check out this activity guide by Scholastic about tornadoes, which helps students "get a comprehensive look at one of the scariest weather conditions." The activity, which is computer-based and is part of the Weather Watch: Severe Weather and Natural Disasters series, includes explanations for what tornadoes are and how they form, how they're measured, safety tips, experiments, witness accounts, and lessons from meteorologists, in addition to other materials. The Experts Say section includes a discussion by a lead meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma that covers "how he 'storm chases' and shares the biggest tornado he's ever seen, the closest he's ever been to one, how many he sees in a year, and why it seems like there's more tornadoes today than in past years." The Experiments section include a slide show and instructions for how students can create their own 'tornado' in a jar. The activity guide is geared toward students from grades three through eight.

"Should We Engineer the Mosquito?" Forum

Science educators in both classroom and informal settings may be interested in this resource from the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network. This particular resource is designed as a public forum that "encourages in-depth discussion about ways mosquitoes could be engineered to reduce malaria transmission." All the information needed for this forum discussion is included, such as how to plan and host a public forum and instructions for discussion groups, as well as promotional fliers and supplemental handouts. The forum's estimated duration is approximately 90 minutes, and its suggested audiences are people ages 15 and up, as well as scientists and informal science educators. Those interested can choose to download the materials for this forum as individual files, or all at once as a zip file, and a link to an 11-minute training video is also provided. This forum is part of a larger NISE Network project entitled Building with Biology, which was "developed to create conversations among publics and scientists about synthetic biology" with support by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Encyclopedia of Life: Learning + Education

Science teachers at both the elementary and secondary levels may appreciate this collection of learning and education resources from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). This project offers a variety of resources geared toward learning about wildlife, plants, and biodiversity. For example, biodiversity cards offer visitors "a fun way to share and learn about the traits or characteristics of organisms," and EOL provides pre-made cards as well as tutorials and tools to make your own as a classroom project. Biodiversity cards can also be incorporated into EOL's numerous lesson plans, which are aligned with NGSS standards and organized by grade level for students from grades 2-12. These lessons are built around themes such as classification, science skills, and energy flow. Teachers may also be interested in EOL's educational podcasts, each episode of which is about five minutes long and features an interview with a scientist about one species. Finally, to help situate biodiversity in its geographical context, EOL also provides several Google Earth video tours (accompanied by downloadable KMZ files) on topics such as Arctic tern migrations and invasive marine algae.

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
Gen How to Manage Student Behavior Without Really Trying Freeport, IL
Gen 2019 Orientation to the ATE Conference for First-Time Attendees Online
Eng The Battery Show Novi, MI
Info Governance, Risk Management, & Compliance Pensacola, FL
Gen NSF ATE Grant Funding: Opportunities Abound and Mentor-Connect Provides Proposal Development Help Online
Info Governance, Risk Management, & Compliance Bellingham, WA
Gen Plan, Organize, Submit: A Look at the ATE Central Archiving Process Online
Gen AACC: 2019 Student Orientation to the ATE Conference Online
Info Governance, Risk Management, & Compliance San Antonio, TX
Gen AACC Regional Pathways Workshops: Pathways 101 - Western Region – Denver Denver, CO
Gen Ignite, Inspire, and Innovate: Integrating Innovation Into Today’s College Courses Carlsbad, NM
Gen Utah STEM Fest Sandy, UT
Bio/Chem Opening the Pathway to Technician Careers: A Conference for Biology Teachers of Deaf Students Rochester, NY
Gen Digital Library Federation Forum 2019 Tampa, FL
Info GeoFest 2019 Rochester, NY
Gen 26th National ATE Principal Investigators’ Conference Washington, DC
Eng The Future State of the Automotive Industry Auburn Hills, MI
Gen Teaching Critical Thinking Fairmont, WV
Eng M-STEM 2019 Golden, CO

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 Voluntary Framework Accountability Participation Now Open

Community colleges in search of a method to assess student progress and outcomes, as well as the effectiveness of institutional procedures may be interested in participating the Voluntary Framework Accountability (VFA). This accountability framework, developed by community college leaders, "gauges student progress and outcomes including pre-collegiate participation (such as developmental education and Adult Basic Education), academic progress and momentum, completion and transfer measures, and workforce outcomes for career and technical education."

Those interested in contributing to the on-going development of the VFA framework can select from two tiers of participation. The first tier is free with 2019 AACC membership. A second tier, providing additional data and reports, is also available for $1,000.

Institutions that would like to register to participate can do so here.

Opening the Pathway to Technician Careers: A Conference for Biology Teachers of Deaf Students

Instructors of deaf students teaching biology curriculum may benefit from attending the October 13-15, 2019 Opening the Pathways to Technician Careers conference offered by DeafTEC and BioQUEST. This event is aimed at secondary and postsecondary instructors, as well as interpreters, and will center on "using case studies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, and teaching in ASL to enhance student success in biology."

Registrants can attend the conference for free and can get travel expenses covered by the NSF ATE grant money. To receive these benefits, participants must apply by the September 6, 2019 deadline and receive an offer to attend.

More information about the conference and a link to the application are available here.

ATE Talent Development Opportunity

Mentor-Connect is looking for a few experienced ATE program participants who want to give back to the ATE community by serving as mentors to faculty teams while they prepare ATE grant proposals.

The Mentor Fellows internship program prepares individuals who have worked within the ATE community to become Mentor-Connect mentors. With guidance from Mentor-Connect staff members and experienced Mentor-Connect mentors, Mentor Fellows develop the skills they need to guide new-to-ATE college faculty in the preparation of competitive ATE grant proposals.

The Mentor Fellows internship program is part of the far-reaching effort of the Mentor-Connect: Leadership Development and Outreach for ATE-2 project (DUE #1501183) to involve more members of the ATE community in the development of new talent to carry on the important work of preparing technicians for advanced technology workplaces.

Applicants to the Mentor Fellows program should have experience writing or significantly contributing to a minimum of two successful ATE proposals and at least three-to-five years of involvement with an ATE center and/or project(s). Internships last approximately one year, and include a stipend and reimbursement of travel expenses.

More information and the Mentor Fellows application are here.

ATE PI Conference Deadline: Showcase Displays

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.

This year, showcases will take place in two sessions, the first on Wednesday, October 23, and the second on Thursday October 24. When reserving their slot, participants can select their preferred session. Showcase booths will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

First-time ATE grantees will share a booth with other new grantees and are asked to prepare a poster and/or one-page handout for display and sharing purposes. Other ATE projects and centers, whose funding is not new as of the FY19, will each be assigned their own booth. Booths will have electrical access and non-new grantees can also request a flat screen monitor.

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!

New Student Success Story Videos in the Works

As part of ATE Central's most recent funding we are looking to create a second round of our Student Success Story videos. There will be fifteen new videos in this series and we are actively looking for a diverse set of ATE students with engaging stories and successes to feature.

Do you have a student who you think might fit the bill? Fill out this short survey to tell us about them! Vox Television will be producing these new videos for the community; production will begin in late fall and continue over the next two years.

We look forward to working with you on this exciting project and featuring these and other videos from the whole community on the ATE Central portal. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions about the video series or our other tools and services.

Webinar Recording: Designing for Accessibility with POUR

Hone your accessibility expertise with this webinar designed to assist in developing classroom materials that meet the core principles accessibility.

The hour-and-a-half program presented by the NSF- ATE-funded AccessATE project and the National AEM Center at CAST uses revision of a course syllabus as a context to explore how accessibility guidelines can be "distilled into four core principles, as captured by the acronym POUR (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust), that define four qualities of an accessible user experience." Then the webinar offers practical, applied techniques educators can implement right away. Instructors can build upon their higher-level understanding of the POUR core qualities to ensure their classroom materials "are accessible and work for all learners from the start, by design."

For more insight into making your classroom documents accessible, view the webinar slides or watch the recording.

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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