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: Learning Research

From Expanding STEM Talent Through Upward Transfer: Factors Influencing Transfer in STEM Fields of Study from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions:

Measuring Sources and Influences of Social Capital Among Community College Students: Does Age Matter?

These presentation slides discuss the measurement of social capital among community college students. Given at the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) conference in 2016, this presentation explores a three-step approach that addresses the following questions: What are the major sources of social capital? How do sources of social capital vary based on age? How do different sources of social capital influence success?

From Expanding STEM Talent Through Upward Transfer: Factors Influencing Transfer in STEM Fields of Study from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions:

A Nuanced Look at Women in STEM Fields at Two-Year Colleges: Factors That Shape Female Students' Transfer Intent

This 15-page article, published by Frontiers in Psychology, discusses a study on women STEM college students. This study "explored the relationship between the intent to transfer upward and a set of motivational, contextual, and socio-demographic background factors among 696 female students beginning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs or courses at two-year colleges in a Midwestern state." The article includes the following sections: Background of the Study, Review of the Literature and Conceptual Framework, Conceptual Framework, Methods, Measures, Results, Discussion, and more.

From National Convergence Technology Center (CTC):

Webinar: How Innovative Programs Can Allow Students Opportunities to Continue Past the AAS

This slide deck, provided by the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC), was part of a special webinar presentation by Ann Beheler of CTC, David Keathly of the University of North Texas (UNT), and Suzanne Ames of Lake Washington Institute of Technology. These slides explain how UNT and Lake Washington work with community college students to further their education past the two-year Associate of Applied Science by way of special technical Bachelor's degrees. This presentation was first delivered at the WASTC Winter ICT Educators conference in San Jose, California.

Community Connection

Preparing for the ATE PI Conference: October 23-25, 2019
Innovation and Impact: ATE for the Future

Now that the fall semester in underway, it's time to start thinking about the ATE Principal Investigators Conference this month in Washington, D.C. For projects and centers old and new, the annual PI conference offers a chance to share experiences, collaborate, learn, and meet other members of the ATE community. Now is a great time to make sure your project or center is prepared for the big event.

To help in your preparation efforts, here is some information that you may find useful:

  • ATE Central Centers and Projects Map. The Centers and Projects map is a great way to help you learn about possible collaborators in your field or region, as well as identify just who may be at the PI conference. With the map, you can search through projects and centers by area of the country or by general subject area. While you are browsing the map, now is also a good time to make sure that your project or center's record is up to date. Let us know if you have new resources, a new project description, other social media outlets, or a website we should know about. We can best support and amplify your efforts when we have up-to-date information about your project or center and its deliverables.
  • ATE Outreach Kit. The ATE Outreach Kit can help projects and centers come up with an outreach plan or some specific outreach ideas. Leading up to the PI meeting, the Communication section of the Outreach Kit might be particularly helpful: it includes tips on creating a mission statement and designing key messages so you can get the word out about your project or center.
  • ATE Impacts Book + Blog. The ATE Impacts book and corresponding blog continue to be a great resource for getting the word out about ATE and the wonderful work being done throughout our community. But the blog and book are also a great way for you to learn more about the ATE community before heading to the PI meeting. Take a read through the book online to get a good overview of the history of the ATE program and stop by the ATE Central booth to look at the print copy - we'll be happy to mail copies to you for use in your own outreach efforts. And of course, if you have an idea for a blog post before or after the PI Conference don't hesitate to get in touch at - we'd love to help you get the word out about the impact of your project or center!
  • PI Meeting App. Plan which sessions to attend and track your PI meeting experiences with the annual PI meeting app. This year's app will be available in October, so keep an eye out for it on the ATE Central PI Conference page.
  • Getting Started Workshop. New community members, especially, should make sure to attend the "Getting Started" workshop at this year's PI conference. This workshop is recommended for all principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and other team members looking for a smooth transition to ATE. The workshop will cover ATE program issues, financial management and grant management, and evaluation. ATE Central along with others from the ATE community and NSF will be presenting at the session, so it's a great place to connect with others and ask any questions you might have.
  • ATE Community Resources. There are a number of free tools and resources available throughout the ATE community that can also help you prepare your project or center for the PI conference. Make sure to check out EvaluATE, MentorConnect, and AACC among others.

Please contact us at and let us know how we can support your ongoing efforts. We look forward to seeing you in DC!

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

While it's unlikely that you'll actually do the bulk of your networking with potential collaborators in an elevator during the ATE Central PI Conference, it doesn't hurt to have a brief pitch for your project or center ready to go. The idea of distilling your work into a 30-second speech may sound overwhelming. However, with these tips you'll be ready to give your pitch before you know it!

  1. Keep it short.
    Some experts argue that 30 seconds is actually way too long. You don't want to alienate your listener by monologuing forever.

    To ensure that you still capture the essentials, it may be helpful to begin by writing out everything you would like your elevator pitch to include. Some good points to focus on include: What do you and your project/center do? Why is your work important? Why do you do that work? And, what's next for your organization?

    After you draft your main points, try physically confining the space you have to write these key ideas; this will help you winnow.

  2. Move away from speech and toward dialogue.
    Monologues are great in Shakespearian plays, but in the bustle of a conference you want to keep your listeners' attention by actually engaging them in what you are discussing. Try hooking your listener with a question that gets at the problem or challenge for which your work offers a solution. Find a way to make it relatable to what they do and don't be afraid to ask questions and draw connections between their endeavors and your own.

    Ideally, the portion of your elevator pitch actually comprised of pitching will be limited to an engaging question and a one- to two-sentence blurb about how your project or center's efforts offer productive contributions. It's good to be flexible and incorporate what you learn about the listeners' work when selling the work you and your organization are doing.

  3. Practice out loud.
    The easiest way to catch repetitions or awkward phrasing is to hear your words aloud. Once you have a strong draft, practice reading it aloud, then speaking it aloud. You may want to do this in front of a mirror or enlist an audience to help you practice inflection, eye contact, and other key public speaking techniques. Remember, you want your rehearsed portion to feel as natural as possible.

When you have the mechanics down it's possible to apply them to various types of elevator pitches, such as for job interviews and career fairs. In addition, the brief, engaging mission statement you develop for your organization will work for your digital networking and outreach endeavors too. The ATE Central Outreach Kit is a great place to get started when developing your project or center's online presence.

Did You Know?

The percentage of students earning STEM certificates and two-year degrees who are from a Hispanic background rose to 17 percent in the 2016-17 academic year, up from 13 percent in 2008-09. Read more here.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

CIDRAP: Antimicrobial Stewardship Project

The discovery and development of antibiotics were revolutionary for modern medicine. However, with their increased use concerns about antimicrobial resistance and "superbugs" also emerged. The Antimicrobial Stewardship Project (ASP) aims to help society navigate this by "offer[ing] freely available, high-quality information and educational resources on antimicrobial stewardship practice, research, and policy." This initiative from the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), which was featured in the 4-12-2019 Scout Report, offers a wide range of approachable online content designed for policymakers, health professionals, and the general public alike. Here, visitors will find recent news articles and policy updates, as well as a podcast and webinars. Instructors may want to check out the Educational Multimedia section, which features an extensive collection of citizen science projects, online games, videos, infographics, and more. In addition, this section includes many workbooks and toolkits for medical professionals, who may also be interested in ASP's Clinical Tools and Bibliography sections. CIDRAP was founded in 2001 and is directed by Dr. Michael T. Osterholm.

Bugs 101: Insect-Human Interactions

From the University of Alberta comes Bugs 101, a free online course that introduces learners to "the diverse (and sometimes alien) world of arthropods to learn how they work, what they do, and how insects and humans interact every day." Launched in August 2019 on Coursera, the course is taught by Dr. Maya Evenden, a professor of biological sciences specializing in entomology at the University of Alberta. Some of the topics covered in the course include how insect bodies work, the vital roles arthropods play in ecosystems, the importance of insect conservation, and how insects influence human culture. The course is self-paced and is designed to take approximately 26 hours total over 14 modules, with a suggested pace of 2-3 hours per week. Those interested can enroll at the above link for free, and there is also the option to purchase a certificate to access graded assignments in addition to the course readings and videos. For anyone curious to learn about insect biology and how insects and arthropods affect human society, this course offers an excellent starting point.


Instructors and learners of statistics may be interested in the independent nonprofit OpenIntro, whose mission is to make educational products that are free, transparent, and lower barriers to education. Here, readers will find three introductory statistics textbooks that are well-suited for courses at the high school or college level. Two of them, OpenIntro Statistics and Advanced High School Statistics, were updated with new editions in 2019, while the third textbook, Introductory Statistics with Randomization and Simulation, was published in 2014. All three can be downloaded for free as PDF files, and each textbook also has a variety of supplementary content available, such as data sets, R packages, LaTeX files, online apps, and more. OpenIntro also offers practice labs for several statistical programs: R (and RStudio), SAS, and Stata, as well as numerous videos aligned to different sections of each textbook. Additionally, instructors can register with OpenIntro for free to gain access to extra resources like solutions to even-numbered exercises and sample exams. For anyone interested in learning statistical skills, OpenIntro is a valuable resource.

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 CVTA Future of the Connected Vehicle Novi, MI
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
Gen AACC Future Presidents Institute Washington, DC
Gen National Career Pathways Network Orlando, FL
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
Mfg Minnesota Manufacturing Conference Brooklyn Park, MN
Info GeoFest 2019 Rochester, NY
Eng Automotive Testing Expo Novi, MI
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
Ag/Env 2019 Wine Chemistry Workshop Springfield, MO
Eng M-STEM 2019 Golden, CO
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Dobson, NC
Ag/Env Wine and Must Analysis Workshop Dobson, NC
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Springfield, MO

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

Webinar: Making Your Media More Accessible
Tuesday, October 8, 1:00:00 EDT – 2:00:00 EDT

Media plays a huge role in most educational and training settings so it's important to make sure that everyone, including students, staff and faculty with disabilities, can easily access and use the media you create. Whether you are posting informative photos and diagrams or creating a short video, there are tools and techniques that can help support making accessible media for use in a variety of settings.

Join partners from the NSF funded AccessATE project for a free one-hour webinar on Tuesday October 8 at 1:00 pm Eastern to learn more about captioning tools, image description, and audio description. Presenters Madeleine Rothberg from WGBH's National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) and Rachael Bower from AccessATE will focus on practical tips and techniques with plenty of time for questions and comments from participants.

Click here to sign up for the Making Your Media More Accessible webinar!

Call for Applicants: Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education Conference

Many in the ATE Community are well-versed in the importance of accessibility when it comes to higher education, but even the most experienced among us may benefit from new perspectives. Those looking to further develop their resources and skills in this area should take note of this unique professional development opportunity provided by the DeafTEC Resource Center in partnership with the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD).

The Equity & Excellence in Higher Education Conference will give participants the chance to discuss "challenges that they face in working with students with disabilities and how they can collaborate to overcome these challenges." Participation and sharing are encouraged, with a focus on teaching and supporting "students with disabilities, particularly deaf or hard of hearing students and student veterans with hearing loss."

Teams from up to 20 community colleges will be selected to participate in the conference. Each team will consist of a STEM faculty member and a staff/faculty from disability services. All team member will receive a $1,650 travel stipend to attend the conference.

The conference will take place in Palm Springs, California from July 20-24, 2020. Those interested in submitting a team application should do so by the November 15, 2019 deadline.

Webinar Recording: Evaluation: The Secret Sauce in Your ATE Proposal

Planning to submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program? Then this is a webinar you don't want to miss! The talk covers the essential elements of an effective evaluation plan and shows you how to integrate them into an ATE proposal. In addition, the webinar provides guidance on how to budget for an evaluation, locate a qualified evaluator, and use evaluative evidence to describe the results from prior NSF funding. Viewers receive the Evaluation Planning Checklist for ATE Proposals and other resources to help integrate evaluation into their ATE proposals. The webinar concludes with an extended 30-minute Question and Answer session.

View the webinar slides or watch the recording to learn more about planning for evaluation.

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.

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.

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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