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: Micro and Nanotechnologies

From Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME):

MEMS History

This learning module, from Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME), is an overview of the history of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). This resource provides "a timeline of the progression of microtechnology through a series of innovations that starts with the first Point Contact Transistor built in 1947 and ends with the optical network switch in 1999. Activities provide the opportunity to build on this timeline and to identify innovations of the 21st century that have contributed to current advancements in both micro and nanotechnology."

This module includes six instructor guides, five participant guides, and a presentation. PDF and DOC versions are provided for each resource. The included instructor and participant guides are History of MEMS Primary Knowledge, Knowledge Probe (Pre-Quiz), Final Assessment, History of MEMS Activity, and New Innovations in MEMs Activity. Instructor guides include additional content such as instructor notes and questions and answers. A Learning Module Map (LM) Instructor Guide is also included.

The LM map provides information about the module including module contents, target audience, and a map that is divided into the following sections: Important Steps, Key Points, and Reasons.

History of MEMS Primary Knowledge is an instructional unit and covers the following topics:

  • A timeline of the history of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
  • Brief descriptions of the major milestones in MEMS history

The following sections are included in this unit guide: Introduction, Objectives, Key Terms, Major MEMS Milestones, Glossary of Terms, and more.

The History of MEMS Activity includes a crossword puzzle that tests students' knowledge and research activity questions that provide students with the opportunity to delve deeper in MEMS history.

The New Innovations in MEMS Activity "asks students to continue the history of MEMS timeline into the 21st century." Students are required to "identify and explain at least five (5) innovations of the 21st century that have led to advancements in MEMS and NEMS (NanoEMS).

The History of MEMS Knowledge Probe (Pre-Quiz) includes 15 assessment questions that assess the student's current knowledge of MEMS history before completing the History of MEMS Learning Module. The instructor guide includes answers to the questions.

The Final Assessment includes 15 questions that assess the student's knowledge of MEMS history. The instructor guide includes answers to the questions.

A PowerPoint presentation is also provided and includes a unit overview, objectives, a summary, a list of MEMS milestones, and more.

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

Capturing Movies of Molecules Using Ultrafast X-rays

This webinar, made available by the NACK Center, describes how movies of molecules are captured using ultrafast X-rays at Arizona State University (ASU). The presentation begins with a brief history of the X-ray and an explanation of how X-rays were used in 2019. The presentation then discusses the Biodesign Institute at ASU, how movies of molecules in motion are created there, and what these movies can be used for. The video runs 51:25 minutes in length.

From Nano-Link Center for Nanotechnology Education:

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.

Community Connection

I Am ATE: Thomas C. Tubon, Jr.

Name: Thomas C. Tubon, Jr.
Title: Faculty, Biotechnology Program / PI, NSF ATE Cell & Tissue Manufacturing Coordination Network / Co-PI, NSF ATE InnovATEBIO National Center
Institution: Madison Area Technical College
Center Name: NSF ATE InnovATEBIO Center

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Tubon: In 2009, I started my position at Madison College as a faculty member in the Biotechnology Program. Under the mentorship of emeritus faculty and seasoned NSF ATE Grant PIs Dr. Lisa Seidman and Dr. Jeanette Mowery, I was given the opportunity to learn about NSF and the ATE programs by way of the NSF Bio-Link National Center for Biotechnology. My first experience with the NSF ATE came shortly after I was on-boarded at Madison College, with an opportunity to work on an NSF-funded project to support workforce education for post-baccalaureate students in Biotechnology. The following year, we were awarded funding from NSF ATE to develop a related program in Stem Cell Technologies, which I served as a Co-PI and subsequently transitioned to PI during the course of the grant term (DUE 1104210). This success of this project was followed by a second funded proposal in 2015 to disseminate our education and workforce development curriculum in Stem Cell Technologies nationwide (DUE 1501553). I currently serve as the Principal Investigator for the NSF ATE Coordination Network Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue-based Products, which was funded in 2018 (DUE 1801123). This October, our team was awarded funding for the NSF ATE InnovATEBIO National Center for Biotechnology, headed by Dr. Linnea Fletcher at Austin Community College.

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

Tubon: 1. InnovATEBIO National Center

The InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center (DUE 1901984) — named for the connectivity between Advanced Technological Education (ATE) and Biotechnology Education (BIO) — will consolidate several biotech education projects into a national network to share best practices and expand research opportunities for students at two-year institutions and in secondary schools nationwide.

The InnovATEBIO Center will build a national network of educators, students, alumni, and industry partners including incubators, trade organizations, and professional societies to develop and share best practices in biotechnology workforce development. Our partners include: Madison College (Madison, Wisconsin), Austin Community College (Austin, Texas), Finger Lakes Community College (Canandaigua, New York), Forsyth Technical Community College (Salem, North Carolina), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (DNA Learning Center) (Cold Spring Harbor, New York), New York City College of Technology (New York, New York), Digital World Biology (Seattle, Washington), The Biopharmaceutical Technical Center (BTC) Institute (Madison, Wisconsin), Bay Area Bioscience Center (CSBIGroup) (San Francisco, California), Bay Area Bioscience Education Community (San Francisco, California), Baltimore City Community College (Baltimore, Maryland), and Washington State University (Pullman, Washington).

The InnovATEBIO Center is focused on biotechnology technician education across the country, with a specific focus on building partnerships, leveraging the existing NSF ATE biotech project portfolio, and strengthening connections between high school and community college programs to increase the student opportunities to enter into the workforce. The center also will support research experiences and hands-on learning opportunities based in the community college. As part of the National Center, Madison College will serve as the National Hub for Emerging Technologies in the Biosciences and focus on public-private partnerships to advance the Skilled Technical Workforce.

2. NSF ATE Cell and Tissue Manufacturing Coordination Network

The goal of our NSF ATE Coordination Network (CN) is to formalize a network that promotes bio-economic growth through workforce development in the area of Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue-based Products (AMCTP). By AMCTP we refer to the use of cells (particularly but not exclusively stem cells) in applications that can involve complex tissues and organs and genome engineering. AMCTP requires a new kind of manufacturing that constructs biological systems in combination with natural or synthetic materials using robotics, microfluidics, 3-D printing, computational modeling, and novel types of engineering that we are only beginning to imagine. The products of AMCTP promise to deepen our understanding of the root causes of disorders and may provide effective methods for treating conditions such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, and heart disease. There are ever-expanding career opportunities in this important field and there is an unmet need to develop a workforce with appropriate skills. Finding strategies to develop a skilled workforce in this complex area is a task best addressed by a network of stakeholders from education, government, and industry. On the front end, it is an imperative to include community representatives to help build a diverse workforce and inform the public about AMCTP.

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

ATE Success Tips: Websites

ATE Central's Microsite Service

Websites are an essential part of outreach, but assembling one from scratch and keeping up with maintenance can be time consuming. Current ATE grantees searching for an easier way to maintain their web presence may want to check out ATE Central's Microsite Service, which provides ATE projects and centers with a free tool for quick, easy website construction.

This service allows ATE grant-recipient projects and centers to share documents, publish curriculum materials, announce events and publications, and disseminate the innovative products of your grant. Microsites can be customized with photos, graphics, and by adding multiple pages, to give your project or center's site a unique, dynamic feel. Plus, microsites help with the archiving process by making your materials readily available to the ATE Central team when the time comes to submit your work.

If you have questions about microsites, or would like a microsite for your project or center, just drop us a note at

Did You Know?

A January 2020 report from the Pew Research Center reveals that "employment in jobs most in need of analytical skills," increased 92 percent between 1980 and 2018, compared with an overall increase in employment of 58 percent. The number of women employed in occupations relying on analytical skills has also risen "from 27 percent in 1980 to 42 percent in 2018."

For the purposes of the report, analytical skills are defined as "science, mathematics, programming, complex problem solving, systems analysis, systems evaluation, operations analysis, technology design," or skillsets commonly developed in STEM education for careers in fields such as biomedical engineering and computer and information research.

Read Pew's full report Women Make Gains in the Workplace Amid a Rising Demand for Skilled Workers to learn more.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Lesson Plan: Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese Nuclear Physicist

Looking for timely history or physics curriculum highlighting key contributions by women to STEM fields? This Common Core Standards-aligned lesson plan from the American Institute of Physics, titled Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese Nuclear Physicist may be of interest. The curriculum focuses on the work of Chien-Shiung Wu, a prominent nuclear physicist who is well-regarded for groundbreaking contributions as a senior scientist and professor while simultaneously advocating for women to have a place in scientific communities. Her major accomplishments include serving as Princeton University's first female instructor and being elected into the National Academy of Science. The lesson plan includes a link to an introductory YouTube video, reading materials, discussion questions and answers, and supplementary resources. The materials also provide an in-depth breakdown of what teachers should be doing during each point in the lesson, including how much time to spend on each activity and how to frame each point of discussion. The lesson plan is designed for grades 9-12 and is estimated to take about an hour to complete. All learning materials are free to download in PDF form.

The Argumentation Toolkit

Scientific argumentation is described as "a social process in which students build, question, and critique claims using evidence about the natural world." The Argumentation Toolkit curates resources meant to assist middle-school educators in understanding and applying this method. Readers may want to begin on the Intro page, which includes a few short videos and printable informational sheets detailing the basic premise and elements of scientific argumentation. From there, explore the Argument Elements page, which is broken into four sections based on four elements of scientific argumentation: evidence, reasoning, student interaction, and competing claims. Each section includes videos that describe suggested activities and strategies to implement these elements. On the Resources page, readers will find additional tools and guides, including videos with classroom scenarios (ranging in length from 2 to 20 minutes). The Teacher Learning page features four sessions with agendas (totaling three hours) meant as teacher in-service programming. Those looking for additional resources on scientific argumentation may want to browse the About page for a list of journal articles and conference presentations on the topic. The Toolkit is a collaboration between the National Science Foundation, Group 5 Media, Boston College, and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley.

Real World Physics Problems

Founded on the belief that "the physics of everyday things is all around us," Real World Physics Problems offers a fun way for educators and to introduce students and kids to the world of physics. Through a variety of games and activities, the site brings physics concepts to life in engaging ways. The website is categorized by level, making it easy for visitors to navigate to appropriate activities based on age and skill. The Real World Applications - For High School Level and Above section (on the left-side menu) uses interest areas as a platform to introduce key physics concepts. For example, the Sports tab offers a collection of physics activities focused on athletics ranging from basketball to bungee jumping, including practice formulas for calculating free fall, hang time, and potential energy. Similarly, activities under the Amusement Park tab explore the physics incorporated in popular park rides. The Education & Theory section is also meant for those in high school and beyond. It features a collection of diagrams, videos, and other learning tools. The Kids Section houses activities for younger physics enthusiasts, including games, quizzes, science fair suggestions, and resources for educators. The site was created by Franco Normani, a mechanical engineer with a passion for making physics fun and accessible.

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
Ag/Env Wine Chemistry Workshop - FIU Miami, FL Miami, FL
Gen Innovations Conference Seattle, WA
Eng Advanced Manufacturing & Repair for Gas Turbines Charlotte, NC
Gen Accessibility Requirements in Internships and Externships Online
Mfg Annual National Symposium for Supply Chain Automation Atlanta, GA
Ag/Env Eastern Winery Exposition Lancaster, PA
Gen Expanding Accessible / Assistive Technology (AT) Options at Your Institution Online
Nano Small Modular and Micro Reactor Summit Silver Spring, MD
Eng ITEEA 2020 Conference Baltimore, MD
Gen Walking the NSF Budgeting Walk: NSF ATE Proposal Budget and Budget Justification Online
Mfg AeroDef Manufacturing 2020 Fort Worth, TX
Eng AEROTECH Pasadena, CA
Gen Brain-Based Teaching and Learning Largo, MD
Gen American Association of Community Colleges Convention National Harbor, MD
Ag/Env Wine Chemistry Workshop Springfield, MO
Gen A Disabled American in Paris Online
Gen Searching for Tangible Evidence of Critical Thinking Skills Tyler, TX
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Geneva, OH
Info IEEE 6th World Forum on Internet of Things New Orleans, LA
Gen Methods and Strategies for Implementing Assistive Technology with Students Online
Eng ASME International Mechanical Engineering Education Leadership Summit San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mfg RAPID + TCT 2020 Anaheim, CA
Gen The Legal Year in Review Online
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop Springfield, MO
Gen Assistive Technology for Students with Mental Health Conditions Online
Gen Tips and Tricks: Step by Step NSF ATE Proposal Forms Preparation Online
Eng 2020 CAAT Conference Clinton Twp, MI
Gen International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence Austin, TX
Ag/Env Annual VESTA National Summit Stevenson, WA

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

Walking the NSF Budgeting Walk: NSF ATE Proposal Budget and Budget Justification

Writing an NSF ATE program track proposal and need budget assistance? The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program grant proposal writing process can seem daunting to those new to the ATE program. Each year, Mentor-Connect offers a detailed cost-free technical assistance webinar highlighting all aspects of the budget and budget justification for those building competitive grant proposals for ATE.

The purpose of this webinar is to help those who have not been funded by NSF to develop fundable proposals. Webinar Participants will learn: how to prepare a budget for their NSF ATE grant, what to include in each budget category, how to prepare a budget justification, how to align the budget and project description, and how to avoid common errors.

Presented by Mentor Connect, this webinar will take place on March 12, 1:00-2:30 pm EDT. Register to participate here.

Workshop Series: NPDP Nano Curriculum Materials I & II

The Nanotechnology Professional Development Partnership (NPDP) Nano Curriculum Materials Workshops are designed to provide post-secondary faculty and administrators with the resources needed to effectively teach undergraduate nanotechnology courses based on the CNEU suite of six nanotechnology courses.

The first workshop, Nano Curriculum Materials I (NCM I), will focus on materials, safety, and equipment overview; bottom-up manufacturing and bio-nanotechnology; and deposition. This workshop consists of a series of four Friday sessions from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm EST (3/20, 3/27, 4/3, and 4/10). To participate in the NCM I workshop, submit an application by the March 6 deadline.

The second workshop, Nano Curriculum Materials II (NCM II), will focus on etching; patterning and lithography; and nano-characterization. This workshop consists of a series of four Friday sessions from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm EST (4/24, 5/1, 5/8, and 5/15). To participate in the NCM II workshop, submit an application by the April 10 deadline.

Please note that each workshop has a separate application and deadline.

Conducted remotely, the NCM I & II workshops will be facilitated using free video conferencing through Meetings will include breakout sessions, polls, discussion groups, etc. Participants will be given opportunities to interact with both the lecturers, other participants, and remotely accessible nanotechnology equipment. Tech Requirements: webcam, microphone, internet access.

This workshop series is presented by the Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Network.

Tips and Tricks: Step-by-Step NSF ATE Proposal Forms Preparation

This webinar focuses on the various forms associated with NSF ATE grant proposals. Forms can make up 2/3 of a final proposal submission and impact the quality and accuracy of a proposal. The webinar will cover the purpose of various forms associated with NSF ATE proposals, what data to enter into each form associated with NSF ATE proposal, the importance of providing consistent information on forms and other components of a proposal, and common errors that can be avoided.

Presented by Mentor Connect, this webinar will take place on May 7, 1:00-2:30 pm EDT. Register to participate here.

Call for Applications: Community College Innovation Challenge

For the fifth year, AACC in partnership with the National Science Foundation, is inviting community college students to participate in the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC).

The CCIC is a prestigious competition where community college student teams, working with a faculty or administrator team mentor, use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems; earn travel support to attend an Innovation Boot Camp in Washington, DC; and compete for cash awards.

The Boot Camp provides hands-on learning opportunities and coaching designed to build strategic communication and entrepreneurial skills—and includes a student poster session on Capitol Hill, and a formal pitch presentation at the Boot Camp in front of a panel of industry professionals, to determine the first and second place winning teams.

Diverse and interdisciplinary teams that include students in STEM, business, humanities, and other fields are encouraged to register for the challenge and apply by the March 31, 2020 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.

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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