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: Bio and Chemical Technologies - Biotechnology

From Austin Community College Bio-Link Regional Advanced Technological Education Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences:

Introduction to Biotechnology I: Exercise Workbook & Lab Guide

This workbook, provided by Austin Community College, prepares students for a job working in a biotechnology lab. An overview of biotechnology is provided along with general lab safety and preparation, and a variety of biotechnology laboratory practical experiences. Topics covered include: essential tools in the biotechnology laboratory, preparing solutions, DNA barcoding, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, recombinant DNA technology, and more.

From Increasing the Student Biotech Pipeline:

Increasing the Student Biotech Pipeline Spring Speaker Presentation

This video from Increasing the Student Biotech Pipeline is from a speaker series focused on internships in laboratories. The featured speaker, Adel Villalobos is the CEO and founder of Lief Organics, a manufacturer of dietary supplements. In the video, Villalobos discusses how he came about starting a company and what types of professions the company hires. He also discusses internships and the importance of establishing professional connections. The video runs 1:04:55 minutes in length.

From Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative (NBC2):

Protein is Cash Resources

The Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative (NBC2) provides this resource, entitled Protein is Cash (PIC), which includes materials from their hands-on, interactive workshop by the same name. The workshop and accompanying resources are aimed at high school teachers looking to incorporate information about biotechnology and biomanufacturing into their curriculum. The Protein is Cash 2017 manual, agenda, and workshop presentations are included in this resource.

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

Protein is Cash (18 files 35.2 MB)

  • Protein is Cash: Global Biomanufacturing Curriculum (863248198204264908-updatedpress-ready-pic-manual-2017.pdf 4.4 MB)
  • Protein is Cash Workshop Agenda (939972390351217151-agenda.pdf 131 KB)
  • Presentations
    • Transformation (10960678880025650-6-sop-transformation (2).doc 327 KB)
    • Downstream Processing (206158169666416599-downstream-processing (1).ppt 11.3 MB)
    • Clinical Trials and the Food and Drug Administration (265937177828828993-clinicaltrials.pdf 3.7 MB)
    • Metrology: Instrumentation and Its Limits (514551360883820018-metrology (1).ppt 1.5 MB)
    • So, what is Biomanufacturing? (529744115322613170-what-is-biomanufacturing (2).ppt 3.2 MB)
    • Quality Control of Product: Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (584196536339562919-page-electrophoresis (1).pptx 1.7 MB)
    • Common Process Compounds and Methods of Removal or Purification (634484618906540373-quality-control-biochemistry (1).ppt 1.3 MB)
    • Transformation and Upstream Processing (713854601656692322-transformation-and-upstream-processing (1).ppt 2.6 MB)
    • Discovery Research and Cell Culture (763961228765998083-discovery-research-and-cell-culture (2).ppt 4.8 MB)
    • Pipette Calibration (803086318558774629-pipette-calibration (1).ppt 145 KB)

Community Connection

HI-TEC 2020 Transformed Remote Conference

A favorite event for many of us in the ATE community, the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) is a national meeting centered on advanced technological education where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills. The event focuses on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation's economy. HI-TEC explores the convergence of scientific disciplines and technologies in a variety of fields and subjects – including areas like nanotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and agricultural technologies.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, HI-TEC 2020 will be held remotely as "a virtual event combining livestreaming and asynchronous presentations." The event will be free to attend (courtesy of the National Science Foundation), but registration is required for attendees. Visit the HI-TEC Transformed Registration Site to sign up to attend.

HI-TEC 2020 Transformed will feature three panel presentations over the two days with a variety of speakers and expert commentary on the opportunities and challenges STEM educators and other stakeholders are facing, including the future of work, hiring trends, and other timely and vital topics that are key to the core mission of the conference and the ATE community itself: preparing America's skilled technical workforce. There will also be two keynote presentations, one for each day of the conference. Laura Chappell, founder of Chappell University will address "how to successfully plan and implement a fully-virtual series of workshops or a full conference in the current 'no-travel' environment," in her July 29 keynote. The following day, Richard Bliss of BlissPoint Consulting will speak on using LinkedIn to build your career and "tools to track and evaluate your students and their performance on LinkedIn." A brief awards recognition ceremony on day two of the event will recognize the innovative and excellent work done by educators and industry members in the community.

Please see the HI-TEC website for more information and to view the HI-TEC Transformed schedule.

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

How to Network Remotely

Many of us in the ATE community are working remotely due to COVID-19. As conferences many conferences are canceled or reworked as online and asynchronous events, including the upcoming HI-TEC event discussed above, networking may prove more difficult than under ordinary circumstances. Here are some tips for making the most of remote networking opportunities:

  • Set aside time to actively network. We all have a lot on our plates right now, but it is important not to let networking get lost in the shuffle of responsibilities. One way to guarantee you continue to make progress on your professional outreach goals is to set aside a little time each week to work on your networking materials and build new connections. Join and remain active in LinkedIn groups relevant to your work, attend remote conferences, develop a list of new contacts to whom you want to reach out, and follow up with colleagues who you have not heard from in a while.
  • Revamp your online presence to optimize networking opportunities. The shift online means that, more than ever, your digital social platforms are a great way to connect. Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date and fully filled out. LinkedIn offers some great examples of strong summary statements that can serve as a guide. Twitter is another great platform for professional social networking.
  • Move beyond asynchronous communication to build relationships. When building relationships online it can be tempting to rely mostly on methods like email, LinkedIn messaging, and other asynchronous forms of communication. However, it is important to build on these avenues toward more direct connections, so that you do not lose touch. After corresponding a few times, try to schedule phone calls and video conference meetings with collaborators.
  • Show colleagues what you can offer. People will want to connect with individuals whose work is relevant and useful to their own professional development. Demonstrate your expertise through LinkedIn endorsements, writing articles on your area of expertise, and making examples of your work available on your professional social profiles. Make it clear that you have done your homework on potential connections when you reach out, to show that you understand how your work relates to their own. It is also helpful to ask colleagues about their projects and initiatives and suggest practical, achievable opportunities to collaborate.
  • Make a human connection. There are many avenues to form professional connections, but the ones that stick often have a personal touch. When keeping in touch with individuals in your network, remember to also ask about families and interests outside work. Taking notes on your connections' professional goals and initiatives can help remind you to check in on their progress, needs, and achievements. Practicing active listening is another great way to make sure colleagues feel heard. Finally, you can form professional connections through volunteer work and while pursuing hobbies.

Did You Know?

According to a December 2019 report from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC), the overall national completion rate for students graduating within six and eight years of beginning college for the first time are now 60% and 62%, respectively. Notably, public two-year and four-year institution students "reached their highest levels [of degree or certificate completion] in eight years (66.7% and 40.8%, respectively)," representing 1.0% and 1.5% increases, respectively, compared to the 2012 cohort.

Findings also suggest that initial enrollment for the 2013 cohort represents growth in four-year enrollment (45.5% of the cohort, or a 0.7% increase), while two-year enrollment shrank (32.8% of the cohort, a 0.4% decrease).

This report captures information through June 2019 for students in the 2011 through 2013 cohorts across public four-year, public two-year, private non-profit four-year, and private for-profit four-year institutions.

To learn more about enrollment and completion trends read the full Completing College 2019 National Report, available to download in PDF form on the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center website.

Given the current climate, it will be interesting to see how these numbers shift and change over the coming year. For more information on spring 2020 enrollment rates, see this report from NSCRC. If you are interested in this topic, keep your eye out for more information soon, as the organization promises a June special report designed to highlight "within-term enrollment status changes, such as withdrawals, new enrollments, and shifts in enrollment intensity, that may be attributable to the pandemic."

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Science Sparks

Created by educator Emma Vanstone and blogger Kerry Farrow, Science Sparks! is a blog that lives up to its motto of "making science fun for kids." The site curates a variety of at-home activities that are both delightful and informative. Activities are categorized by age level (Early Years Science and Primary Science), as well as some more general themes (Science Projects, STEM Challenges, and Holiday Science). Each broader topic is further divided into subtopics, helping readers find just what they are looking for. For example, those feeling festive may want to venture to the Holiday Science section. Here, readers will discover spooky potion and slime recipes to celebrate Halloween and science-themed crafts that make for great Christmas gifts. LEGO enthusiasts will want to pay a visit to the LEGO Science Experiments section, a subtopic of Primary Science with more than a dozen posts suggesting ways to combine LEGOS and learning. At the very top of the website, readers will find a variety of other resources: science fair project ideas, experiments, and much more. Educators may be particularly interested in the Worksheets page, also linked at the top of the site.

California Community Colleges: Online Student Readiness Tutorials

Online learning is a growing field, providing unique opportunities and requiring unique preparation. Set yourself up for success in an online learning environment with these Online Student Readiness Tutorials. Under Interactive Tutorials, users will find a collection of lessons and tips (all under 15 minutes in length) that cover a range of topics relevant to online learners, from "Getting Tech Ready" to "Financial Planning." These tutorials can be accessed in three formats: multimedia presentations, text scripts, or audio recordings. Under Interactive Tools, readers will find four personalized tools that demonstrate the benefits of online learning and further prepare students for this unique educational environment. For example, the Computer Readiness Test ensures that your computer is up-to-date with the proper technology and plug-ins to make your online learning experience go smoothly. The Daily Schedule Calculator helps students devise a schedule that makes time for various commitments (such as class, studying, sleep, exercise, and working). The tool updates in real time, allowing individuals to adjust, plan, and prioritize their time. These resources are curated by California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative, dedicated to providing "interactive, helpful, and easily accessible," tools for online students. Readers should note that their user experience will be best when the resources are accessed on a computer or tablet, rather than a phone.

Science Friday: Make Your Own Sauropod Poop!

For those working from home while simultaneously caring for children, this free lab activity is great to have on hand (especially for those caring for middle school-aged children). Lab participants take on the role of experimental paleontologist, hypothesizing and testing theories by using examples of fossils and modern animals to better understand the ancient sauropod's digestive system. Readers may recognize sauropods, a plant-eating dinosaur most distinguished by their long necks, due to references in popular culture such as the film Jurassic Park. Provided for free in this activity are excellent diagrams, graphics, and materials that students use as their "artifacts." Through the activity, participants gain an appreciation of something as seemingly menial as fossilized dinosaur poop, while also gaining a better understanding of the digestive system functions in different animals we find on Earth today. The lab uses materials that can all be purchased at your local grocery store (or that you may already have on hand in your home) to actually observe the chemical processes that may have been taking place in the sauropod's stomach thousands of years ago. This resource was created by Nick VanAcker, a museum educator at the Michigan State University Museum, and is featured on the popular science site Science Friday (featured in the 10-13-2017 Scout Report).

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
Mfg Engineering Technology Camp (High School ONLY) Tampa, FL
Gen 2020 Virtual Conference: Equity and Excellence Online
Ag/Env Wisconsin STEM Educator Solar Institute [CANCELLED] Madison, WI
Gen Presidents Academy Summer Institute [CANCELLED] Dana Point, CA
Eng Underwater Robotics and Engineering Design: Intermediate Level A Monterey, CA
Eng Underwater Robotics and Engineering Design: Intermediate Level B Monterey, CA
Eng Underwater Robotics and Engineering Design: Intro Level Monterey, CA
Info 2020 CSTA Annual Conference Online
Gen Top Ten Tips for Teaching Student Veterans from the Classroom to Online Online
Mfg Summer 2020 Acoustic Institutes [CANCELLED] San Diego, CA
Mfg Summer 2020 Electric Guitar Institutes [CANCELLED] Enfield, CT
Ag/Env Illinois STEM Educator Wind Energy Institute [CANCELLED] Normal, IL
Eng Next Generation Workforce Certification Online
Mfg Summer 2020 Electric Guitar Institutes [CANCELLED] Perkasie, PA
Gen High Impact Technology Exchange Conference 2020 Online
Gen 2020 ESA Annual Meeting Online
Mfg Summer 2020 CNC Institutes [CANCELLED] Grants Pass, OR
Mfg Summer Teacher Workshop Online
Gen Working with Remote Sensing Imagery in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro Online
Info DroneTECH Educator's Workshop - Taking Your Drone to School Online
Info DroneTECH Summer Camp Thief River Falls, MN
Ag/Env Washington STEM Educator Solar Institute [CANCELLED] Shoreline, WA
Mfg Career Success Skills Online
Info Impact Conference Chantilly, VA

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

Electronic Versions of the ATE Impacts 2020-2021 Book Now Available

Interactive flipbook and electronic (PDF) versions of the ATE Impacts book are available for viewing and download on the ATE Impacts website.

Feel free to distribute copies of the virtual ATE Impacts book to campus colleagues, to your industry partners, or to other stakeholders.

Printing and distribution of the physical book have been delayed because of COVID-19, but as soon as most ATE institutions are able to receive shipments again, printing will move ahead.

HI-TEC 2020 Transformed Registration

HI-TEC 2020 Transformed is a virtual event combining livestreaming and asynchronous presentations. This event offers two exciting speakers and expert community panels on new opportunities and challenges, the future of work, hiring trends, and other timely topics that are vital to our core mission—preparing America's skilled technical workforce.

The event will run July 29 and July 30, 2020, commencing both days at 12:00 pm EDT. Registration is free (courtesy of the National Science Foundation), but required. Register by filling out a brief digital registration form on the HI-TEC site.

Upon registering, you will receive a link to the virtual event on Wednesday, July 29, from noon to 3:30 and Thursday, July 30, from noon to 2:30. You will also be sent a link to access conference presentations on July 28. These will include PowerPoints, PowerPoints with voice over, and video links provided by our presenters. These presentations will be available for six months.

Idea Competition for the Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is holding an idea competition to generate contributions to the Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education, which will take place in a virtual format on November 12-13, 2020. The event will bring innovators from a diverse range of colleges and universities together with policy makers, funders, and representatives from associations and industry.

Winning submissions will be highlighted at the symposium and featured on the National Academies website. Winners will also be eligible for stipends to attend the symposium. Ideas generated at the symposium will be published and shared broadly after the event, with the intention of driving change in postsecondary STEM education and influencing funding priorities for the National Science Foundation and other organizations.

To enter, submit a statement or video addressing some aspect of the symposium’s focus: What should undergraduate STEM education look like in 2040 and beyond to meet the needs of students, science, and society? What should we do now to prepare? The deadline to submit is July 15, 2020.

Survey: Project Vision Seeks Respondents with Two-Year College Grant Funding Expertise

Project Vision, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, is seeking input to better understand how faculty and administrators are encouraged and incentivized to pursue grant funding opportunities, as seen from the perspectives of faculty, administrators, presidents, and boards of trustees at community colleges. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes. Please complete the Project Vision survey if you are interested in contributing to the knowledge base in this area.

Project Vision is a collaborative initiative with community colleges that enables the nation's two-year institutions to grow National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) funded STEM grant capabilities.

Webinar: Top Ten Tips for Teaching Student Veterans from the Classroom to Online

Military veterans transitioning from service to community college bring experiences that can be incredible assets to a classroom along with others that can be barriers to success. Hearing loss, a commonly overlooked disability in the veteran population, is often one of these barriers. This panel will discuss findings of focus groups conducted with student veterans with hearing loss that provide insight to the unique educational needs of these students and best practices for their success in the STEM classroom and how they can be applied in the online setting.

Panelists include: Saddleback College Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Program Coordinator Terence Nelson, PhD candidate at Northern Illinois University and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Hira Byrne Paulin, and Alternative Media Specialist Mike Sauter.

Real-time captioning will be provided during the webinar. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Hira Paulin at At least a one week advance notice of need for accommodations is requested.

This event will run July 16, 2020 3:00-4:30 pm EDT. Those interested can register to attend using this form.

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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