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: Cybersecurity

From the National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center:

Securing Data from Risk Module

This webpage, from National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCYTE) Center, includes one of seven learning modules from the Cybersecurity-Infused Computer Science Modules series. This module introduces students to the "basics of data protection." Topics covered include: fundamentals of security, security principles, authentication mechanisms, data at rest using access control mechanisms and cryptography, security data in motion using cryptography, and more.

The module is divided into the following three units: General Information, Data at Rest, and Data in Motion. The other six modules in the series are available to view separately.

From the National CyberWatch Center:

The Role of Student Competitions in Cybersecurity Education

This resource is a 15-page white paper that was written by John Sener and is provided free for download. This paper discusses the role of student competitions in cybersecurity education, how competitions can support and improve cybersecurity education, expansion of competitions, and the future of competitions. A table of contents and the following sections are included: Background, Current Role of Student Cyber Competitions in Cybersecurity Education, The Potential of Student Competitions to Support and Improve Cybersecurity Education, The Expansion and Integration of Student Competitions into Cybersecurity Education, Future Directions: Taking the Role of Student Competitions to the “Next Level” in Cybersecurity, Education, Acknowledgements, and References.

From the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT):

Podcast Series: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work

This Automotive Cybersecurity for Automotive Technicians course introduces students to "the potential threats of cyber-attacks on vehicles, especially connected and automated vehicles." Topics covered include: Understanding Threat Models, Bus Protocols & Vehicle Communication, Automotive Electronics and ECUs, Attacking Vehicles, Defining Frameworks for Cybersecurity in Vehicles, Attacking Connected/Automated Vehicles, and Protecting Vehicles from Attacks.

Community Connection

I Am ATE: Donna Lange

In this feature ATE Central continues our "I Am ATE" series, which showcases an ATE PI, staff member, industry partner, or other ATE stakeholder. We are excited to help spread the word about the wonderful people who are at the core of the ATE community and the innovative work everyone is doing.

Name: Donna Lange
Title: Associate Professor / PI & Center Director, DeafTEC: Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Center Name: DeafTEC: Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Lange: My first grant with ATE was in 2000 while I was chair of the Applied Computer Technology department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), a two-year technical college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and one of the nine colleges of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. At that time, we were looking for funding to support an information technology workforce development project. It was the NTID's grants coordinator who found the solicitation for the ATE program and encouraged us to submit a proposal. We are so grateful to have found ATE and have been part of the community ever since.

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

Lange: In 2011, after eleven years of several successful ATE funded projects, we were awarded an ATE National Center of Excellence, DeafTEC: Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students which is currently in its first year as a resource center. The goal DeafTEC is to increase the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing (deaf/hh) individuals in highly skilled technician jobs in which there continues to be underrepresentation and underutilization of such individuals in the workplace. To achieve this goal DeafTEC is providing resources to: (1) advance the career self-efficacy and career awareness of deaf/hh high school and college students related to STEM technician careers, (2) improve access to learning for deaf/hh high school and community college students in STEM classrooms, (3) improve access to learning for student veterans with hearing loss in STEM programs at community colleges, and (4) raise employers' awareness of deaf/hh individuals as an untapped pool of skilled technicians and how to hire, onboard, and create an inclusive work environment for these individuals.

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

ATE Success Tips: Websites

Understanding Website Data Analytics

Tracking the performance of your project’s or center’s website content offers a great deal of insight. Data analytics allow users to learn what pages are performing best, where website traffic is coming from, how many unique or returning visitors enter your site, and how users navigate the site. However, the number of metrics available may overwhelm even the most experienced analytics users. By centering a few key areas of analysis, you can efficiently focus on the elements of site performance that matter most:

  • Unique sessions showcase how many visits your site is getting overall. Sessions are defined as a collection of interactions on your site by one user, so sessions can encompass multiple interactions and pageviews. Users can open and leave multiple sessions per day, and these sessions end either by expiring time limit or if the visitor exits and re-enters in a different manner. Examining the number of unique sessions is a great starting place for your outreach team. It also provides a useful metric to check in on your progress and set tangible, data-driven goals for your website performance.
  • Traffic sources tell you how people found your site. Some examples of how visitors might enter include: via search engine listings, clicking through from social media posts or email links, via links on other websites, or by directly entering the URL of your project’s or center’s website into a browser. This offers important insight about whether your outreach team’s related efforts, such as social media campaigns, are effective in driving traffic to the website.
  • Time visitors spend on the site helps your outreach team identify whether visitors linger on your site or not. Websites that are intended to showcase the work and output of projects or centers should retain visitors for a while, since they are content-driven. If you see that visitors are not spending a lot of time on your site, it may indicate that you should redesign the landing page or pages through which they tend to enter. It is also helpful to consider your project’s or center’s website bounce rate in combination with this metric.
  • Time visitors spend on pages (or unique pageviews) is another key area for outreach teams to track. This will display the pages on which visitors spend the most time. This metric will show your outreach team if certain pages are well-designed or have particularly useful content. It can also indicate if your site navigation makes sense, depending on where visitors enter and how they move through the site. For example, if most visitors do not spend a lot of time on an intermediary page, but spend a long time on the pages prior to and after that page, it may indicate that you should directly link those two pages and remove the intermediary page.
  • Conversion rate is extremely useful when examined in concert with the previous two metrics. Website conversions are when visitors complete an action on the site that your outreach team is hoping those visitors will take. For example, users might subscribe to a blog or sign up for an email newsletter. Conversions may also be as simple as clicking on and reading particular pages. The overall conversion rate is calculated as a percentage of conversions divided by visitors.
  • New and returning visitors can also be distinguished using website analytics. Tracking this metric will inform your outreach team as to whether your site traffic is coming mostly from visitors who already know about the site, or from new visitors who are seeking out the site. If your outreach team has a related campaign going on, such as a social media push or a networking event, it will also lend information about how successful that event was in driving new visitors to your site. Knowing which outreach efforts are paying off will help your project or center determine what to invest time and resources in going forward.

These metrics are available using many free analytics tools. For more information on data analytics, check out the Analytics and Tracking page of ATE Central’s Outreach Kit.

Did You Know?

According to a July 2020 report from Brookings, “on average, an additional layoff per 10,000 working-age residents ... reduces the share of the county’s high school graduates enrolling in related community college programs by 0.8%.” This is most prominent when layoffs take place in the same county and in a student’s final year of high school. However, decreased enrollment in programs related to fields where unemployment occurred does not mean that students are not pursuing higher education. Rather, “this effect ... is driven by students substituting enrollment between community college programs.”

The study finds that community-level layoffs do not impact enrollment rates for vocational programs overall. When job losses occur, students adapt by moving into programs that “require similar skills to the field affected by layoffs.” When there is not a clear alternative available, “students exhibit a lower degree of responsiveness.” According to the author, this suggests that educational offerings by community colleges have the potential to “alter the effects of local labor market downturns.” When considered in context with the high rate of unemployment due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, this finding offers administrators and stakeholders important insight.

This study draws on high school academic records from 2009-2016 and data from Michigan community colleges, with particular attention to vocational programs. Analysis focuses on “students’ first program choices within six months of high school graduation.” Programs were classified by the author as either “vocational” or “non-vocational” and matched to “attainable” career outcomes using program and employment requirements.

To learn more about the impact of layoffs on community college enrollment, read the full Community College Program Choices in the Wake of Local Job Losses report.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Science News For Students

Publishing daily news stories for young science enthusiasts, Science News for Students is a celebrated resource bringing "age-appropriate, topical science news to learners, parents, and educators." Written by veteran science journalists, the site's stories make research accessible to readers of all ages and technical backgrounds. Pieces are organized into broad science categories (for example, Earth and Space), and some of these categories are further sorted by sub-topic (e.g., Animals, Plants, and Fossils are all under Life). Readers can filter stories by these categories under the All Topics tab or scroll through the home page for the latest scoop. Designed for use in science classrooms, stories are accompanied by resources such as discussion questions, "power words," and follow-up readings. More information about these tools is available on the For Educators page. In addition to science stories, the site hosts other supplemental materials (available under the Sections tab) such as experiments, career resources, and a "word of the week." The nonprofit organization Society for Science & the Public launched Science News for Students in 2003. Janet Raloff serves as the publication's current editor.

She Can STEM

By "giv[ing] visibility to women currently leading the world of STEM," She Can STEM hopes to inspire girls to recognize their potential within STEM fields. The resource highlights the stories of several women, including rocket designers, engineers, inventors, and other STEM superstars, and walks readers through a timeline of each woman's journey. The stories start by exploring what experiences made them interested in STEM, go on to explore internships and jobs that solidified these interests, and conclude by showcasing the work they are doing now. Additionally, following each story is a Feeling Inspired? section that lists websites and resources relating to each field. She Can STEM also has a YouTube channel (linked in the top-right corner of the website) that features short clips of interviews between girls and women in STEM fields. Plus, scrolling to the bottom of the landing page, readers will find additional materials (on the aptly titled Resources page, linked under "Explore STEM Resources"). Instructors will want to check out the Educator's Guide, also linked at the bottom of the landing page. This "She Can STEM" toolkit is a 55 page PDF with lesson plans and activities. She Can STEM is a partnership between several corporate and nonprofit entities, including Bloomberg, Google, and Verizon.

Inspiration Laboratories: Summer Science Series

Summer may be winding down, but the opportunity for science exploration is far from over with Inspiration Laboratories' Summer Science Series. The series provides six weeks of materials, covering topics such as biology, geology, and astronomy, and each topic includes multiple lesson plans and experiments. For example, the Biology toolkit provides an "Easy Earthworm Science Experiment" and a summer vegetable soup recipe. The rest of the website provides additional STEM-related content, too. Readers can check out the reading challenges, citizen science experiments, and many other offerings on the Science page. Plus, the Arts & Crafts, Reading, and Recipes pages house activities that stretch beyond STEM subjects. Inspiration Laboratories is the "creative outlet" of Trisha, the author of this blog. Trisha is a lifelong teacher passionate about sharing tools for science education. In her words, "It's never too early to start building a foundation for science skills." Never miss a post by subscribing to the blog via the About page.

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
Eng Charged Virtual Conference on EV Engineering Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: State of STEM Education Online
Info National CAE Virtual Career Fair Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Penn State CNEU – It’s NACK plus more Online
Gen Acquire the knowledge needed to prepare competitive proposals to the NSF ATE program! 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
Info Midwest Cisco Networking Academy Conference Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: NASA’s Science and Education Outreach Efforts Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: SCME and UGR Program Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Peer-reviewed Journal Sponsored by the MNT-EC and Podcast Online
Gen Autonomous Vehicle Technology Sensors (Air, Land and Sea) Online
Gen National Career Pathways Network Virtual Conference Online
Gen Mid-Atlantic Annual Meeting Newark, DE
Gen 27th National ATE Principal Investigators Conference Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Building a Science Community Through Outreach Online
Gen 6th Life Discovery: Doing Science Biology Education Conference (LDC) Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Service Members Working with Transition Assistance Programs 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

Webinar: An Introduction to Archiving with ATE Central

Join presenters Kendra Bouda and Rachael Bower on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 from 1:00-2:00 pm EDT for a free webinar on archiving with ATE Central. Presenters will discuss NSF ATE’s archiving requirement and recommended Creative Commons licenses, what the ATE Central Archiving Service is, and how to select and submit materials for archiving. Learn what to expect during the archiving process and what happens to your materials behind the scenes. This webinar is designed for those new to archiving with ATE Central, though all are welcome to participate. To attend this webinar, register here.

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!

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