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: General Advanced Technological Education

From Mentor-Connect:

ATE Community Support – Addressing Questions on ATE Grants Management During COVID-19

This webinar, made available by Florence-Darlington Technical College, provides information on managing Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include: Changes in Project, Annual Reports, No-Cost Extensions, Budget Adjustments, Supplemental Funding Requests, and more. PowerPoint and .pdf files of the presentation slides are included and the recording runs 1:00:19 minutes in length.

From PathTech LISTEN: Mixed Methods Longitudinal Investigations of Students in Technician Education:

A Longitudinal Analysis of Young Adult Pathways to STEMH Occupations

This 21-page paper, from the Association for Career and Technical Education Research, discusses the findings of a study on educational pathways and key life course transitions of young adults who enter STEMH (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health) technician and professional jobs. Study "findings underscored gender, ethnic and racial background, high school achievement and career and technical education (CTE) participation, earning high school industry certifications, postsecondary enrollment (2 year and 4 year), and degree attainment as factors contributing to the attainment of STEMH technician and professional careers."

The paper includes the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Purpose and Research Questions, Theoretical Framework Status Attainment, The Impact of Participation in Career and Technical Education, Post-Secondary Technician Education and Life Course Transitions, Methods, Results, and more.

From ATE 2.0: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work:

Podcast Series: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work

This website, made available by the Center for Occupational Research and Development (U.S.), features a podcast series created by the ATE 2.0: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work project. The mission of the project is to "enable the ATE Community to collaborate regionally with industry partners, within and across disciplines, on the transformation of associate degree programs to prepare US technicians for the work of the future."

Titles of episodes in the podcast series include: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work - The Challenges, Who Owns the Skills Gap, One of the Key Things to Measure - OEE, Design Thinking for Gender Equity, Taking a Journey to the Future, and more. Each episode includes a brief description as well as links to show notes and full episode transcripts.

Community Connection

ATE Impacts Book

We are excited to let you know about the release of easily-shareable electronic flipbook and PDF versions of the new ATE Impacts 2020-2021 book! The flipbook is viewable across all devices via any web browser, and attempts to provide a virtual experience akin to interacting with a physical copy of the book. The PDF and flipbook can be found on the ATE Impacts Site.

Due to COVID-19, printing and sending out physical copies of this new edition has been delayed, as many institutions are still closed and unable to receive shipments. We are keeping an eye on the situation and will print and ship as soon as possible. Meanwhile we hope that these electronic versions of the book will inform and delight your various audiences, and help you showcase the impacts of the innovative and critical work of the ATE community. Feel free to distribute copies of the virtual ATE Impacts book to campus colleagues, to your industry partners, or to other stakeholders.

The ATE Impacts 2020-2021 book showcases the work of the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Community. This edition includes a forward from National Science Foundation Board Member Victor R. McCrary, Jr. and features the work of 28 projects and 30 centers across the seven ATE areas, as well as targeted research.

We hope you find the electronic versions of the book useful – here are some ideas for how you or your colleagues might use the publication:

  • Promote the ATE program to deans, department chairs, and other colleagues on community college campuses or other educational institutions.
  • Give students a sense of the depth and breadth of the ATE program and the range of STEM fields it covers.
  • Share the successes of the ATE program or a particular project or center with visiting committees or advisory panels.
  • Emphasize the long-term benefits of ATE/industry collaboration by sharing the book with industry partners.
  • Distribute among new faculty and staff members to help them better understand the outcomes and opportunities offered by NSF and the ATE program as a whole.
  • Showcase the impact of ATE by sharing the publication with local journalists, government officials, or others who might be interested in the impacts of the ATE program locally and nationally.

We also encourage you to visit the ATE Impacts blog for more stories, statistics, and other ATE-related content. If you have any questions or feedback, please email us at, or visit the ATE Impacts contact page.

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Understanding Social Media Analytics

Many in the ATE community understand the importance of using social media to promote their project’s or center’s work. Tracking content performance and other metrics with social media analytics is a vital part of making the most of your outreach efforts. However, the amount of available data can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help your outreach team navigate social media analytics efficiently and effectively:

  • Know your key areas of insight. The knowledge gained from analyzing social media content can be applied to a variety of purposes. While there are many areas of insights these data offer, those engaged primarily in outreach activities will want to focus on the following areas: content performance, audience information, and scheduling insights.
    • Content Performance. To ensure your social strategy is effective, check in on how your content is performing with regard to post reach and impressions (how many people see your content) and audience engagement (how many people interact with your content).
    • Audience Information. Getting to know your audience is almost as important as having a key target audience in mind. Analytics can help you assess whether your organization is reaching the key audience who want to be reading your content. The first step is collecting demographic information about who you are reaching and who engages positively with your social media content. It may also be useful to note how audience members are routed to your posts and what kind of device they’re using to read the content, to aid in effective content.
    • Insights on Scheduling. Finally, consider how the data you collect may help you schedule your content in the most effective way. Some metrics helpful to accomplish this include: the days and times of your most successful posts, how post performance compares across different social media platforms, and the design elements such as images or use of hashtags in those successful posts.
  • Make the most of free social media analytics tools. Most social media platforms offer analytics information that users can access for free. For example, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and LinkedIn Pages all offer useful information. In addition to platform-specific analytics, content scheduling platforms such as Hootsuite and Buffer give users insights about the content published from their platforms, and Google Analytics is another rich resource. There are also many data analytics software options (which typically require paid subscriptions). For more information, check out the ATE Central Outreach Kit overview of analytics and tracking tools.
  • Set aside time every month to check in on your social media goals. Analytics offer a wealth of information, but these data are useless if you never apply the insights. The findings should guide your project or center’s social media strategy in terms of when and how often your organization posts, the design and qualitative aspects of that content, your outreach team’s engagement and audience expansion strategies, and other initiatives such as conversion rate optimization.

For more guidance on creating a social media strategy, consult the ATE Central Outreach Kit.

Did You Know?

New data from a survey by the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium reveal that international students are worried about health risks, immigration status complications, and financial strain while continuing their education in the U.S. during COVID-19. The most reported concern was the risk of health issues (52% of undergraduate and 67% of graduate international students reported this concern). The next greatest concern was navigating issues regarding immigration status and visas (reported by 44% of undergraduate at 55% of graduate international students). Financial concerns were the third largest factor (reported by 36% of undergraduate and 49% of graduate international students).

Among immigration concerns, 46% of undergraduate and 43% of graduate international students expressed worry about managing their student visa status. This concern is likely to be accentuated, given the recent proposed adjustments to nonimmigrant visa regulations and the on-going legal uncertainty related to international students’ ability to take online courses while remaining in the U.S.

The SERU survey collected responses from “22,519 undergraduate students and 7,690 graduate and professional students at five public research universities,” about their institutions’ responses to COVID-19 and the students’ continuing concerns regarding the global pandemic. This survey investigated the following areas: “1) students’ transition to remote instruction, 2) the financial impact of COVID-19 for students, 3) students’ health and wellbeing during the pandemic, 4) students’ belonging and engagement, and 5) students’ future plans.” As of June 11, 2020, 8.8% of the undergraduate respondents and 18.5% of the graduate and professional respondents were international students. Data collection began in May 2020 and is ongoing.

Read more about the challenges international students anticipate facing while continuing their education during COVID-19 in the full International Students’ Experience and Concerns During the Pandemic report.

Select STEM Education Resources

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


Inviting users to begin "thinking like scientists," Explorify is a widely-regarded tool for fostering science enthusiasm. Teachers will want to bookmark this resource for next year's curriculum, and parents and caregivers may find value in it over the summer months. In response to school closures, some of the site's resources are available without an account under the "Explorify at home!" section (linked on the homepage). However, users who create a free account will gain access to all of the science-based learning Activities. Explorify labels activities by topic and age group. Users can also filter resources by activity topic (e.g. electricity or rocks), type (e.g. video or image gallery), and age group using the search tools at the top of the page. Offering resources that are "purely online with nothing to print or prep," the site is a time and energy saver. Plus, the My Dashboard feature allows users to save activities for a later date (perfect for teachers planning ahead). In addition to activities, the site has a Blog covering topics such as professional development and teaching science. On the Downloads page, instructors will find even more classroom resources, including certificates and posters. Explorify is funded by UK-based education foundation Wellcome and consults with a variety of other STEM and education partners.

NISE Network: Moon Landing 50th Anniversary

Educators in a variety of settings may want to check out this collection of resources assembled by the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. In this well-organized collection, readers will find links to five websites created by NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute specifically for this anniversary, as well as links to nine of NASA's resources with information about the moon and the Apollo program, all of which were produced with general audiences in mind. For elementary educators, there are links to two of NASA's summaries of the Apollo program that were written for younger audiences, one for students in grades 5-8 and another for grades K-4. Additionally, there are numerous hands-on activities related to the moon and space exploration (from the NISE Network, NASA, and other organizations) that could be adapted for classroom use. Informal STEM educators may be interested in the recorded online workshops, as well as printable handouts and posters geared toward celebrating the moon and astronomy. These resources and more make this collection well worth a visit.

Resisting Scientific Misinformation

Social media has made it easy to share information with others, but unfortunately not all of that information is true. To help combat this challenge, middle and high school science educators should check out this free one-week curriculum designed to help students learn how to identify and resist misleading "scientific" claims. This classroom-tested curriculum was created by STEM educators Penny Noyce of Tumblehome Books and Andy Zucker, a retired senior research scientist at the Concord Consortium, along with support from the staff of PBS's NOVA at WGBH in Boston. It consists of four standards-aligned, 45-minute lessons (with an optional fifth lesson) that aim to teach students how to evaluate advertising claims and misleading arguments, how to ask the right questions about dubious claims, and how researchers and scientific organizations use the scientific process to develop well-supported claims and synthesize scientific information. Created with grades 6-12 in mind, these lessons include multiple student activities as well as homework. The curriculum includes four downloadable video files, a thorough teacher guide with links to additional resources, and a one-page informational flyer.

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 Working with Remote Sensing Imagery in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro 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 Virtual Educator Workshop: STEM Drones Take Flight Online
Nano MNT-EC Seminar Online
Info DroneTECH Summer Camp Thief River Falls, MN
Ag/Env Washington STEM Educator Solar Institute [CANCELLED] Shoreline, WA
Eng MPPC & SPAD: Future of Photon Counting Detectors Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: nanoHUB Resources for MNT Educators and Students Online
Eng Using SNR Simulation to Select a Photodetector Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Nano Health and Safety Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Mentor-Connect and ATE Funding Opportunities Online
Mfg Career Success Skills Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: State of STEM Education Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Penn State CNEU – It’s NACK plus more Online
Gen NSF ATE Grant Funding: Opportunities Abound and Mentor-Connect Provides Proposal Development Help Online
Gen An Introduction to Archiving with ATE Central Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Virtual Reality for Nanotechnology Training Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Nanotechnology Workshop for High School Students and High School Educators Online

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

The 2020 ATE PI Conference is Going Virtual

The 27th National Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Conference is going virtual! The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), will host the 2020 ATE Conference on October 19-23.

AACC and NSF leadership have monitored the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to the upcoming ATE Conference, including local guidance in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the current state of domestic travel and travel restrictions among educational institutions, and recommendations for convening large groups. In order to ensure the safety and well-being of the ATE community, the organizers have made the difficult decision to transition the conference, which was to be held in Washington, D.C., from an in-person event to an online experience.

The 2020 Virtual ATE Conference will consist of pre-conference workshops, keynotes, featured presentations, poster presentations, and a range of live streaming and asynchronous sessions and opportunities. This year’s event theme ATE 2020: Resilience and New Frontiers, will focus on the critical value of preparing students with STEM technical and employability skills—and the vital role community colleges and the ATE program play in preparing a highly-skilled U.S. workforce in a current- and post-pandemic economy. ATE projects and centers nationwide, in response to Covid-19, are challenged to develop strategies to successfully deliver hands-on content in an online environment such as through virtual labs, simulations, and augmented and virtual reality. The 2020 Virtual ATE Conference will include a special focus on how the ATE community has created innovative curriculum, technologies, and authentic learning experiences in virtual environments and how their resiliency, flexibility, and leadership is both addressing and shaping the current and future needs of STEM technician education.

The conference program and other information, including registration and a Call for Sessions will be available in the coming weeks. Please check back and stay tuned for updated information and further details by going to

URE Stakeholder Engagement One-Pagers Now Available

In April 2020, AACC released the Community College Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) Summit Proceedings Report and the report’s Executive Summary.

In response to the suggestions from URE Summit participants, we also developed summit Stakeholder Engagement One-pagers targeted to faculty, administrators, students, and partners. The outreach documents are based on the recommendations that came out of the URE Summit. They are designed to assist stakeholders in their discussion, consideration, and implementation of UREs.

The Stakeholder Engagement One-Pagers are now available on AACC’s website, along with additional summit resources. The stakeholder engagement one-pagers and the URE Summit report are intended to help expand support for building and strengthening UREs at community colleges.

These one-pagers and the full report can be shared with your networks as appropriate. To view the report, one-pagers, and resources, please visit the AACC website’s URE page.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Ellen Hause at, or Courtney Larson at

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.

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.

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!

Follow ATE Central on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all things new at ATE Central and in the ATE Community as well as in the world of STEM Education.

To unsubscribe to the ATE Central Connection, please reply to this e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the subject field or body of the e-mail, or use your ATE Central account to unsubscribe at For any other subscription questions, please e-mail