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: Energy Efficiency

From Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center:

ENRG 62: Energy Audit Report Writing

This model course from BEST Center focuses on energy audit reporting, and asks students to consider elements, formats, templates, structure, and graphics involved in writing a compelling and accurate technical report of audit findings for a non-technical audience. In completing this lesson, students will: 1) Assess the purpose of the audit report, scope of work, and level of detail required for the report, 2) Organize information and create a plan for report writing, 3) Manage time effectively to meet client and employer needs, 4) Summarize audit findings and recommendations clearly and concisely, 5) Utilize tables, charts, and graphics to illustrate information and improve client understanding of findings, and 6) Formulate prioritized recommendations that evaluate energy efficiency measure (EEM) recommendations in terms of energy savings and financial costs/ benefits to the client.

The completion of the lesson in full takes 36 lecture hours. Resources available as part of this course include a course outline, three PowerPoint presentations, an auditing template, three separate sample audit reports, two generic integrated audit reports, and an editing exercise.

For orientation purposes, viewers should begin with the ‘ENRG 62_Course Outline’ PDF document, which offers a description of the course as well as an overview of topics covered through a course outline.

From Florida Advanced Technological Education Center for Manufacturing (FLATE):

Introduction to Alternative and Renewable Energy: Energy Efficiency: Buildings

These presentation slides are intended for use in a college-level introductory course in alternative and renewable energy. These slides cover energy efficient buildings and their technologies. A breakdown of energy consumption by sector is included as well as the major concerns for residential and commercial building energy use. Heat transfer, Energy Star qualifications, building envelopes, insulation, high performance windows, and tight construction and ducts are covered. Technologies covered are passive solar design, geothermal heat pumps, and lighting. Useful graphics are included to illustrate the material. This presentation may be downloaded in PDF file format.

From Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Support Center (CREATE-SC):

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

This webinar, provided by the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Support Center (CREATE-SC), was presented on May 12, 2017 in consultation with the Miester Consulting Firm. This webinar highlights the state of employment trends and the potential future developments in renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors, and summarizes major advances in other sectors. The webinar includes an introduction on the growth of sustainability jobs and then provides information on the following five sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, public sector, private sector, and advanced vehicles.

The recorded webinar and PDF webinar slides are available free for download. The recorded webinar runs 1:04:54 minutes in length.

Community Connection

I Am ATE: Lyssa Wilson Becho

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: Lyssa Wilson Becho
Title: Training and ATE Survey Coordinator
Institution: Western Michigan University
Center Name: EvaluATE

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Becho: I started working with the ATE Survey in 2015 while working at The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University. At first, I mainly analyzed data and created data visualizations. I continued to work with the survey and increased my role with EvaluATE to other training aspects, such as giving conference presentations, creating resources, and designing webinars.

ATE Central: Tell us about the goals of your center.

Becho: EvaluATE is the evaluation hub for the ATE program. We aim to advance evaluation in the ATE program through workshops, webinars, resource materials, research on evaluation, networking, and technical assistance. Through these activities, EvaluATE strives to support improvements in the conduct and use of evaluation, increase professional exchange, strengthen connections among ATE evaluation stakeholders, and expand the evidence base for effective STEM education evaluation practices.

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

Becho: Part of EvaluATE’s body of work includes the annual survey of all ATE PIs. EvaluATE has run the ATE annual survey for 20 years. We are excited to release this year’s survey report with the data from the revised survey questions. We hope that the data from this survey helps the ATE community understand the activities of their colleagues, as well as the showcase the achievements of the ATE program as a whole. EvaluATE has archived survey reports dating back to 2003.

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

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Building Your Network

Want to grow your network but not sure where to begin? The ATE Central Social Media Directory offers a great place to start. This resource compiles the social platform information for ATE centers and projects, along with some ATE partners and collaborators so that you can easily find them for best practices, professional development, and staying in touch with the ATE community.

Build relationships with followers.
It is important not only to gain followers, but to retain them. One great strategy for retaining your follower base is relationship building. When someone new follows your project or center’s social page, send them a concise, polite direct message to thank them for following the account. It can also help to follow someone back, particularly if their profile or page seems relevant to your work.

Engage with others’ content on social media.
While consistently posting great content is the best way to build and maintain a follower base, the value of engaging actively on social media should not be underestimated. When others share your posts, be sure to like and comment to show appreciation.

It also helps to identify conversations related to your work. This can be accomplished by checking on relevant hashtags, keeping an eye on your social media account timelines, and following individuals and organizations whose professional interests are related to your own project or center on the social platforms your organization uses. Once you find these conversations, weigh in. This will help new followers find you and build credibility with the follower base your organization already has.

Incorporate social media into your other outreach efforts.
Social media may seem distant from the physical social spaces we occupy on a day-to-day basis, but it’s helpful to think of it as merely an extension. Many of us in the ATE Community are incredibly busy, so making networking events do double the work for your outreach efforts can go a long way.

This can be as simple as adding your project or center’s social media account information to handouts and business cards, so that new connections and event participants can post about and follow your work. Other strategies include: live-tweeting conference events and posting images of your project or center’s presence at an outreach event. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have a little fun!

For more social media pointers, check out the ATE Central Social Media Planning Guide.

Did You Know?

The 2011-12 academic year marked the highest percentage of students at community colleges receiving federal financial aid.

For more details about financial aid trends at community colleges, check out this PDF bulletin from AACC.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Community for Advancing Discovery Research In Education (CADRE)

STEM educators, administrators, and others with an interest in STEM education research may want to check out the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, or CADRE for short. Describing itself as "a network for STEM education researchers," CADRE is a project led by the nonprofit Education Development Center to support researchers funded through the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) program. Here, CADRE shares the findings, publications, and output materials created by hundreds of DRK-12 research projects on various aspects of STEM education, as well as resources for early career researchers and prospective grantees, creating a wealth of valuable content. Visitors may like to begin by looking through the Projects, which can be filtered and browsed by target audience (e.g. informal educators, preservice teachers), products (e.g. curriculum, database), project focus (e.g. mathematics, accessibility), and project type (e.g. qualitative, case study). Additionally, the Early Career section provides a collection of resources on topics like writing for publication and building professional networks, while the Resources section offers helpful toolkits on writing NSF proposals, project management, and disseminating research, as well as a large collection of spotlights on various STEM topics.

Science Comics: A Creative Gateway into Literacy and STEM

Elementary-level science teachers who would like to incorporate art as a means of engaging their students in STEM topics may want to check out this lesson plan published in June 2019 by Science Friday. Created with students in grades 3-5 in mind, this standards-aligned lesson uses science comics as the foundation for "a multi-day series of activities which can be used to build science illustration and reading skills around any topic." In the first activity, students analyze a science comic series or graphic novel in small groups and discuss a series of provided questions. In the second activity, students work on developing their own comic styles by designing elements such as a color scheme and lettering style, and for the third activity, students apply their chosen comic style as part of the learning assessment for their instructor's STEM topic of choice. Links to numerous resources are provided, including "examples of science comics as well as empirical evidence of the positive impact that comics can have on science learning." This flexible lesson plan was created by Joshua Kettle and Ashley Mills, who are science teachers at Oakham Primary School in England, and by science illustrator Karen Romano Young.

John Muir Laws: Nature Journaling Curriculum

Educators looking to foster engagement with the outdoors and the natural world may be interested in these two free nature journaling curricula offered by John Muir Laws, a California-based artist, naturalist, and educator. The first curriculum, Opening the World Through Nature Journaling, was created with support from the California Native Plant Society and is appropriate for audiences ages eight and up. This 96-page, standards-aligned curriculum aims to "help adults and children discover (and rediscover!) the natural world through a combination of art, writing, and science." Currently, the second edition is available to download for free (with registration), and an updated third edition is due in the coming months. Visitors will also find a link to teaching resources on field journaling with students. These resources were created by the Lawrence Hall of Science's BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing) Project, for which Laws is an advisor. This curriculum was created with outdoor science schools in mind and aims to help program leaders learn how to use nature journaling more effectively to support their science education programs.

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 DeafTEC Math Conference Austin, TX
Ag/Env Wine and Must Analysis Workshop Dobson, NC
Info TAG Summit 2019 Bellingham, WA
Info VBBL: Comic-BEE Online
Eng XR Symposium 2019 Fairhope, AL
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Springfield, MO
Gen AACC John E. Roueche Future Leaders Institute Fernandina Beach, 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

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.

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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