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: Agriculture and Environmental Technologies

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

Creating a Solar Roadmap for Your School

This presentation, provided by Madison Area Technical College, was given at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair on June 21, 2019. This presentation provides a brief overview of historical clean energy efforts at Madison College, the Solar Photovoltaic Roadmap, Madison College's rooftop solar project, and steps to a solar roadmap for educational institutions. The steps include: Assemble Roadmap Team, Motivating Objectives, Identifying Stakeholders, Energy Usage and Costs, Document Energy Management Practices, Assess Site for Solar, Economic Modeling, Prioritize Projects, Disseminate the Plan, and Implement Projects.

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

Solar PV: Battery Storage and Charge Control Webinar

This webinar, provided by Madison Area Technical College, was presented by Joel Shoemaker and Scott Liddicoat on January 10, 2020. The webinar includes a brief overview of the CREATE Energy Storage Project and the resulting Solar PV: Battery Storage and Charge Control activity. This project took 16 faculty members and industry experts to Germany to see how battery storage was being implemented and to meet with industry representatives, German faculty, and government officials. The Solar PV lab activity was created as a result of this trip.

This webinar includes the following objectives:

  • Understand the function of the charge controller in governing current flow in a renewable energy battery storage system.
  • Predict, measure, and explain electric potential (volts) and current (amps) in a variety of dynamic settings.
  • Understand how to access this lesson (and others) on the CREATE website.
  • Understand the features available within this lesson for ease of teacher and student classroom use.

The webinar recording runs 48:25 minutes in length. Supplemental materials include PDF webinar slides, a webinar audio file, and a transcript.

For orientation purposes the 'battery-charge-controller-ppt-for-webinar' PDF is included as a separate attachment and offers a sample of the type of material included in this collection.

Below is a list of files included in the .zip attachment. The size of each file is included in parenthesis.

  • Solar PV: Battery Storage and Charge Control (6 files, 197.1 MB)
  • Solar PV: Battery Storage and Charge Control Presentation Slides (battery-charge-controller-ppt-for-webinar.pdf 11.5 MB)
  • Solar PV: Battery Storage and Charge Control Video (GMT20200110-210957_CREATE-Bat_1920x1080.mp4 165.7 MB)
  • Solar PV: Battery Storage and Charge Control Audio (GMT20200110-210957_CREATE-Bat.m4a 19.8 MB)
  • Transcript (GMT20200110-210957_CREATE-Bat.transcript.vtt 59 KB)
  • Webinar Chat Messages (GMT20200110-210957_CREATE-Bat.txt 427 B)

From Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC):

Regional Water Conversations Chart (2014)

This chart is part of the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) Regional Water Conversations report and provides a snapshot of the fastest-growing jobs in the regions of the Midwest, Mountain West, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Some of the fastest-growing jobs include water treatment operator, wastewater treatment operator, maintenance technician, drinking water operator, collection system operator, distribution operator, and many more. The report is available to view separately.

Community Connection

Tools for Remote Work

All of us at ATE Central hope that you are doing well with the changes in our world – whether that’s working from home, social distancing, or teaching online instead of in person. The ATE community is filled with support and help so we need to lean on, and learn from each other through this very difficult time. As we adjust to this new reality – teaching our students, administering educational programs, and/or running grant-funded projects with most (if not all) of our staff at home and in separate spaces we thought it might be helpful to share some tools that encourage and support online collaboration.


Wire is a secure collaboration platform that supports instant messaging, file sharing, voice calls, and video conferences. Users can switch among Wire's different communication modes (IM to video conference, for example) with a single click, without needing to change programs. Wire supports "encrypted guest rooms" for communication with external clients and partners. Guests are sent an invitation link which they can click to join the chat from their browser with no requirement to register or download anything. The Wire site shows an example where this feature is used for an electronic interview. Source code for both the Wire server and clients are available on GitHub. Wire's open approach to security has enabled a number of independent third-party audits of their code, with improvements resulting from those audits integrated into the software. Wire can be accessed over the web using any modern browser, with a desktop application for Windows, macOS, or Linux, and with mobile clients for iOS and Android. Wire is free for personal use and available for business use for a monthly fee, with discounts available for non-profit and educational institutions.


Jami is a decentralized, peer-to-peer communication platform designed to preserve user privacy. To the end-user, it is similar in functionality to Skype, providing text chat, voice calls, and video calls. However, unlike Skype, Jami uses no central servers and all communications are end-to-end encrypted. Jami is developed and maintained by Savoir-faire Linux, a Canadian company, with contributions from a global community of developers. Jami is free software, with source code available from Savoir-faire Linux's gitlab site. In addition to using its own eponymous peer-to-peer network, Jami can also act as a standard SIP client to make voice-over-IP calls. Jami is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.


Email shines as a tool for person-to-person correspondence, but it can often be less effective as a collaborative space for teams. It can be difficult to share old messages in a thread with a new team member to bring them up to speed. Furthermore, the process of fleshing out new ideas often works better as a conversation rather than a correspondence. A number of collaboration platforms have arisen in recent years that provide both a global history and a more conversational interface. Twist is one such platform. Unlike similar platforms, Twist maintains the concept of threads with their own distinct topics. It also features an inbox where users can see all threads with recent activity. The "Twist vs Email" and "Twist vs Slack" sections on Twist's website present an argument for why this organization is a sweet spot for team collaboration. Twist is available on the web, as an application for Windows and Macs, and in the iOS and Android app stores.


Teams that use online tools for collaboration often need to stitch together several different tools to handle sharing files, managing documentation, and task tracking. Notion provides a unified platform for all three of these. File sharing works with a user-friendly drag and drop interface that supports over 30 common content types. Notion's documentation editor uses a unique "nested pages" system to keep all documents organized and discoverable. And for task management, Notion provides a drag and drop editor similar to the "task board" provided by trello. Additionally, Notion supports integration with the Slack chat service to notify team members as Notion content is updated. Notion can be accessed online or offline using desktop clients for macOS and Windows. Notion's free tier includes 300 content blocks for individuals and 600 content blocks for teams, both with a 5 MB maximum file size.

We also wanted to make you aware of an upcoming opportunity which may be helpful as you consider how to best serve your various audiences and stakeholders while working remotely. ATE Central’s free Putting Universal Design for Learning into Practice webinar, April 14 at 1:00 pm EDT, can help you make your educational materials and activities usable by a wider audience. Featuring experts from CAST, this live event covers material on accessibility and universal design for learning and will help anyone in education understand more about how to make classroom materials and environments accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. Sign up to participate here!

We look forward to connecting with you on a zoom call, during a webinar, or via email in the upcoming weeks.

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

Blogging as an Outreach Tool

The ATE Community creates so many innovative, useful materials that STEM educators and administrators across the country may enjoy. But how do you get the word out about the great work your project or center is doing? One excellent outreach tool is blogging.

A blog generates easily-shareable content that helps tell your organization’s story. This provides readers with a window into the world of your work, following your successes and familiarizing themselves with your team. It doesn’t hurt that this content makes great social media fodder as well!

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you create a blog:

  • Find a blogging platform that works for you. There are many options when it comes to selecting a platform for your blog. However, with a careful comparison you can find one that will suit your organization’s needs. Some important factors to consider include: Cost, ease of use, desired features, and required maintenance.
  • Let your project or center’s individuality shine through. If you have not yet, take the time to craft a communications strategy that connects your organization’s mission statement to your outreach content. For some helpful hints on crafting such a strategy, check out ATE Central’s Communications Overview.
  • Set a schedule and stick to it. ATE Community members are a busy bunch, but creating an outreach schedule that sets time aside for activities like blogging will help your project or center meet the NSF’s broader impacts requirements. Posting regularly and being sure to circulate new blog content on social media will also help grow your following and ensure that your readers come back for more.

For inspiration as you set up your own outreach and blogging efforts, check out the ATE Impacts Blog.

Did You Know?

A study from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and MDRC reveals that institutions using multiple measures assessment (MMA) for incoming student course placement made those students approximately 15% more likely to be “referred to college-level gatekeeper courses,” compared to their control group counterparts placed with standardized testing alone. The students placed with MMA were also 4.7% more likely to enroll in college-level English courses and 3.9% more likely to enroll in college-level math, compared to the control group.

Students were ultimately tracked to gatekeeper courses, a “bump up” zone where students who placed into college-level courses based only on MMA (and not a standardized test) also enrolled in co-requisite courses, and developmental courses. Students in the “bump up” zone were ultimately 12% more likely to have completed the college-level math course and 28% more likely to have completed the English gatekeeper course by the end of their first semester of college, in comparison to the control group.

To learn more about the potential benefits of implementing MMA placement read the full CCRC report.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

North American Mycological Association

From the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz to the Maine Mycological Association, coast to coast, people are keen on the study of mycology. The North American Mycological Association helps connect these enthusiasts. Launched in 1967, NAMA is a "non-profit organization of professional and amateur mycologists with over 80 affiliated mycological societies in the United States, Canada and Mexico," on a mission to advocate for sustainable studies of mushrooms and to encourage educational and scientific pursuits of mycology. Through NAMA's website, users can browse a list of affiliated clubs (alphabetized by state), as well as access a wealth of resources to further their knowledge and understanding of mycology. Teachers will want to check out the Education page, which contains both basic and complex lesson plans and resources. On the Publications page, users will find the latest editions of The Mycophile (NAMA's bimonthly newsletter) and McIlvainea (NAMA's annual journal), as well as archives of past issues. The Photography page houses images from NAMA's annual photography contest, showcasing captivating and artistic captures of fungi. For information on conferences and workshops related to mycology, see the Events section. The website also features Cultivation, Poisoning, and Art Registry pages, each with resources related to these subsections of mycology.

Weather Wiz Kids

Monsoons, microbursts, mesocyclones, oh my! Immerse yourself in the world of meteorology with Weather Wiz Kids. Launched by meteorologist Crystal Wicker, the site is on a mission to introduce children, teachers, and parents to "the fascinating world of weather." To do so, the website divides its resources into four main sections. Under Weather, visitors can learn science and safety facts relating to over a dozen subtopics (such as "Clouds" and "Thunderstorms"). This section also features a Weather Words glossary of relevant vocabulary. Next, under Disasters, users will find resources on major events such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Teachers may want to pay special attention to the Activities subsections (accessible from the left-hand side panels on each natural disaster and weather topic page), as they often include lesson plans. The Experiments page hosts over three dozen activities, each with directions, materials, and a brief description of their purposes. Finally, as the name alludes, the Kid's Zone section is a great place for kids and kids-at-heart, with weather-themed jokes, stories, games, and additional resources. Wondering "What's the difference between el nino and la nina?" or "Why do leaves change color?" You can find those answers (and more) on this page, too, under Kid's Questions.

Science Learning Hub

Launched as a part of the New Zealand Government's Science in Society Plan, Science Learning Hub bridges the gap between students, teachers, and scientists by curating thousands of resources that "demonstrate how the stories of science can be used to enrich school teaching and learning, making it more relevant, engaging, and meaningful." The website's landing page highlights trending topics and events, as well as featured articles and activities. The remainder of the site offers resources of interest to a variety of audiences. Educators may want to explore the Teacher PLD (professional learning and development) section, which features webinars, planning, and pedagogy to assist science teachers both in their professional advancement and their classrooms. The Citizen Science section collects resources for those interested in volunteering to "contribute to scientific projects, usually by collecting or analysing data." On the Explore Topics and Explore Concepts pages, readers will find information covering subjects from "reptiles and amphibians" to "science and society." These subjects can be sorted alphabetically or by popularity. After clicking on a topic or concept of interest, users will be led to a collection of related materials, which may include articles, videos, and activities. In the top right corner of each sub-page, visitors will find an "Explore+" button, which highlights similar topics and concepts. Readers with a particular subject in mind can also search by clicking the magnifying glass in the top right corner to open a query bar.

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
Info IEEE 6th World Forum on Internet of Things [POSTPONED] New Orleans, LA
Gen Methods and Strategies for Implementing Assistive Technology with Students Online
Gen Putting Universal Design for Learning into Practice Online
Eng ASME International Mechanical Engineering Education Leadership Summit [CANCELLED] San Juan, Puerto Rico
Info Cybersecurity Skills Journal Virtual Paper Development Workshop Online
Nano Nanoengineering Cellulose for Environmental & Biomedical Applications Online
Eng Simulations in Medical Device Design Online
Info GenCyberCoin - Development Journey of a Gamified Cybersecurity Web Platform Online
Mfg RAPID + TCT 2020 [POSTPONED] Anaheim, CA
Mfg Intro to Desktop 3D Printing: Compare FDM, DLP, SLS, and SLA Technology Online
Gen The Legal Year in Review Online
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop [CANCELLED] Springfield, MO
Gen Assistive Technology for Students with Mental Health Conditions Online
Info How We Start Narrowing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap Now for the Post-COVID19 Future Online
Gen Tips and Tricks: Step by Step NSF ATE Proposal Forms Preparation Online
Gen Finding Value in Prior Learning Assessment as a Faculty Member Online
Eng 2020 CAAT Conference [CANCELLED] Clinton Twp, MI
Gen International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence [CANCELLED] Austin, TX
Ag/Env Annual VESTA National Summit [CANCELLED] Stevenson, WA
Gen AACC John E. Roueche Future Leaders Institute [CANCELLED] Washington, DC
Info The National Cyber Summit Huntsville, AL
Bio/Chem BIO International Convention 2020 San Diego, CA
Mfg All Girls Intro EV3 Robotics Camp (Middle School) Tampa, FL
Info GeoEd 20 Conference Louisville, KY
Mfg Summer 2020 Acoustic Institutes Dayton, OH
Info NSF Grant Writing Workshop Santa Clarita, CA
Gen Grant Writing Workshop for Two-Year College Faculty Santa Clarita, CA
Gen NSF ATE Grant Writing and Mentoring Workshop Santa Clarita, CA
Mfg Intro EV3 Robotics Camp (Middle School) Tampa, FL
Mfg Summer 2020 Electric Guitar Institutes San Antonio, TX
Info DroneTECH Educators Workshop: Drones and Geospatial Applications Saint Cloud, MN
Mfg Intermediate EV3 Robotics Camp (All) Tampa, FL
Mfg Summer 2020 CNC Institutes Kankakee, IL

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

Workshop: NPDP Nano Curriculum Materials 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.

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.

Conducted remotely, the NCM II workshop 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 is presented by the Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Network.

Deadline Extended: Mentor-Connect ATE Proposal Assistance Service

Due to the COVID 19 threat, Mentor-Connect has decided to extend the deadline for their Second Chance Mentoring and Moving-Up Mentoring services to May 1, 2020.

The Second-Chance Mentoring service is for colleges who have had a proposal declined (not funded). Second-Chance supports the revision of proposals that were declined the first time a proposal was submitted in the following tracts: Small Grants for Institutions New-to-ATE and ATE Projects (Colleges seeking mentoring support in this track must have successfully completed a New-to-ATE project).

To apply for Part 1 of the Second-Chance opportunity, submit an online application by May 1, 2020. Applications for Part 2 may be emailed to at any time within two years after the date on which a proposal was declined.

The Moving-Up Mentoring service is for colleges that received funding in the Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE. Mentor-Connect is encouraging those who have received funding to apply for grants in the ATE project category. These “moving-up” proposals may advance the work of the previous project or pursue new goals for improving STEM technician education.

To apply for Part 1 of the Moving-Up opportunity, submit an online application by May 1, 2020. Applications for Part 2 may be emailed to any time between six months before the completion of a New-to-ATE project and two years after its completion.

Webinar Recording: 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.

Click here to view recording.

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.

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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