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: Empowering Women and Girls in STEM

From the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM):

You Belong in MFG: Myrna; Applications, Research and Development Engineer

This video, by the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM), profiles Myrna Reyes, a research and development engineer for TRUMPF Inc. Myrna describes her role at TRUMPF, her personal reasons for choosing her career, her manufacturing education, and the benefits of working in manufacturing. The video is part of a series by RCNGM called "You Belong in Manufacturing" focusing on the importance of educating women in the manufacturing field, as well as the advantages of working in a high-tech manufacturing setting that is inclusive towards women. This video runs 03:26 minutes in length. For the rest of the videos in the series see the RCNGM website.

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

Women Forging Ahead in Traditionally Male Dominated Engineering Technology Fields

These presentation slides, provided by the University of South Florida, discuss a research project on women in engineering technology (ET) fields. The following sections are included: Introduction, Background, Barriers to Women in ET, Research Questions, Sample, Methodology, Analysis, Themes, Conclusions, and more. Research questions for this presentation are: What are experiences of women enrolled in ET degree programs at community colleges, to what extent are their experiences similar and/or different, why they decided to enroll in community college, why they decided to pursue an ET degree, and what are their career ambitions. These presentation slides also include characteristics of female college students in ET programs and case studies of six different women.

The following are the conclusions of this presentation:

  • Women in ET are meeting its challenges, but continue to face barriers: Family responsibilities, affordability, stereotypes.
  • Community colleges need to conduct outreach to women so as to increase their numbers in the ET program.
  • Research needs to be conducted to examine barriers to women getting hired in ET.

From EvaluATE: Evaluation Resource Center for Advanced Technological Education:

How Well are We Serving our Female Students in STEM?

This webinar recording and slides, provided by EvaluATE: Evaluation Resource Center for Advanced Technological Education, discusses evaluation tools needed to measure enrollment and retention of women in STEM programs. The webinar covers the following topics: why gathering gender data is critical, the nuts and bolts of collecting enrollment/retention data, and how to assess the effectiveness of strategies to improve the recruitment and retention of women in STEM programs.

Community Connection

ATE PI Conference 2020

PLEASE NOTE: The ATE PI Virtual Conference is only open to those funded by the NSF ATE Program and their project or center partners.

Now that the fall semester is underway, our thoughts turn to the 2020 Virtual ATE Principal Investigators Conference right around the corner on October 19-23. 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. 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.

For projects and centers old and new, the annual PI conference offers a chance to share experiences, collaborate, learn, and meet other members of the ATE community. While you have probably been hard at work preparing already, now is a good time to double check and make sure your project or center is ready for the big event. To help in your preparation efforts, here is some information that you may find useful:

Conference Program

Those interested can find the conference program on the ATE PI Conference website. You can see from looking through the program that the conference runs over a full five days this year – although sessions and activities are scheduled for only part of each day. Preconference workshops are on Monday October 19, with the general conference beginning on Tuesday October 20 and running through the rest of the week. Two plenary sessions (one on Tuesday and one on Friday) along with a variety of sessions and demos will fill the program with innovative and exciting content. Tuesday’s Concurrent Sessions (from 1:30-2:30 p.m. EDT) will include a diverse set of topics including hearing from industry experts as they discuss The Future of Work’s Impact on Technician Education; a session focused on STEM Engagement in the Time of COVID; information on how to utilize Remote Undergraduate Research to Increase Participation in ATE; and finally how educators are Augmenting the Realities of Training and Education with AR/VR Technology.

ATE Connects is a key component of this year’s virtual conference and offers ATE projects and centers the opportunity to network and connect with conference participants, explore the ATE community, and engage in the sharing of information, resources, and materials related to their programs. The ATE Connects session will take place live on Tuesday, October 20 from 2:45 – 4:00 p.m. EDT. Materials and information from the session will remain available for on-demand for viewing throughout the event, and for up to four months following the conference.

Visit ATE Central at Our Conference Sessions and ATE Connects

Like all other ATE projects and centers, ATE Central will have an ATE Connects session. We hope you will stop by and say hello! In addition, we will host two conference sessions. See information on those sessions below:

Archiving with ATE Central
Wednesday, October 21, 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

Making the deliverables of your grant available through the ATE Central resource portal ensures discoverability and long-term access to your work. Adding a Creative Commons license before submission can encourage others to further share, use, and build upon a work that you created. Please join ATE Central staff as we demonstrate how to select and affix Creative Commons licenses to sample resources and how to submit those resources to ATE Central via the archive submission form. This event will be pre-recorded and delivered synchronously with live presenter chat.

Creating Video Content and Webinars – Best Practice and Accessibility
Wednesday, October 21, 3:10 – 4:00 p.m. EDT

Webinars and videos are critical tools for many of us in the ATE community and now, during COVID-19, they present unique opportunities and challenges for projects and centers. Join us to learn tips and tricks from our experts including gaining a better understanding of how to increase accessibility for all participants and users, including those with disabilities. Other key discussion points include how to encourage engagement, strategies for recruiting participants, and dissemination pathways. This event will be pre-recorded and delivered synchronously with live presenter chat.

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

Making Conference Presentation Materials Accessible

Conferences are a great way to grow your professional network and promote the work done by your project and center. Whether it is for ATE PI Conference coming up later this month, or other educational conferences or events, it is always worth the effort to make sure your conference presentation materials are accessible.

  • Format your slides for accessibility. Accessible slides are the first step to a presentation that researches your full audience. When using Microsoft PowerPoint, make your presentation more accessible from the start by building from existing templates, rather blank slides. Presenters can also set slide content order, so that audience members using screen readers can move through the slide in the intended progression. This video tutorial provides a helpful overview of how to design your presentation with accessibility in mind.
  • Add alternative text to images and tables. Visual information that is not captured in words may not be understandable for all audiences. To ensure those using screen readers can understand the meaning of tables, images, and other visual media, create accompanying alternative text. This text should be brief, descriptive, and capture the most important meaning of the visual elements in your presentation.
  • Ensure color and contrast are accessible. Following W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for color contrast will help you create slides that even colorblind audience members can see. These guidelines offer insight on choosing contrast ratios and link to a downloadable color content analyzer for evaluating your presentation materials. You may also wish to use a quick web-based contrast evaluation tool.
  • Test your slides in advance. Do not leave accessibility to the last minute. Checking your presentation materials for accessibility is easy and avoids the need for last-minute updates. Slide creation platforms like PowerPoint often include accessibility checking tools that aid in this.
  • Offer audiences access to the slides prior to presenting. Providing audiences with a link to your slides or a digital copy will ensure they can access the information in your presentation. For a free way to create custom links, check out Bitly.

To learn more about designing with universal access in mind, refer to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Universal Design for Learning resources provided by CAST. For tips on participating in remote conferences, check out this ATE Impacts blog post on the subject.

Did You Know?

A new study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reveals that in Summer 2020 “community colleges saw enrollment losses of nearly 6%.” The authors find that community college summer enrollment decreased for programs, regardless of urbanicity. There were also significant differences in enrollment by race, with a 11% decline for Black students. However, summer enrollment among students aged 17 or younger grew in 2020, continuing a trend from 2019.

To learn more about higher education summer enrollment trends between 2019 and 2020, read the full Stay Informed with the Latest Enrollment Information report.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Planted: Finding Your Roots in STEM Careers

Produced by the Morton Arboretum, Planted: Finding Your Roots in STEM Careers is a podcast designed to connect students with "plant professionals," demonstrating that various exciting science career paths exist. The podcast has two seasons with nine episodes each. Released in 2018, the first season focuses on "the journey into a STEM career." These episodes cover topics like "choosing a direction" (see Episode 3), "navigating multiple opportunities" (see Episode 5), and "final destinations" (see Episode 7). Released in 2019, the second season discusses the "highlighted traits of individuals in various stages of their STEM careers." For example, Episode 1 concentrates on "collaboration," and Episode 9 looks at "adventure." Readers can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or tune in by clicking the link next to "Listen" on the page linked above. Clicking on an episode from the right-hand panel leads to "bonus" materials, including articles and activities. Listeners may also enjoy the "STEM Career Overview" chart linked at the bottom of the page. The chart profiles various STEM careers, compiling job descriptions, educational requirements, and possible employment opportunities.

National Society of Black Engineers

On a mission "to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community," the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) provides a wealth of academic and professional development resources. Students, Professionals, and Parents & Educators will find sections designed with their audience in mind on the site. For example, learners may wish to explore scholarship and leadership opportunities. Students may also wish to make an account to access extra resources like the Resume Writing Services tool (found in the Students section under Jobs & Internships). Professionals may wish to enroll in an online career course (readers should note these courses are not free). The site also frequently updates job and internship boards, perfect for eligible candidates searching for their next STEM position. To stay up to date on NSBE's latest news, readers may wish to sign up for their newsletter (via a form at the bottom of the home page). The National Society of Black Engineers is supported by a variety of corporate partners and through contributions from members.

AI4ALL Open Learning

Educators and caregivers of high school students may be interested in AI4ALL Open Learning, a free program designed to connect students "with [a] relevant and approachable AI education." Before registering for the program, readers may want to watch the brief introductory video on the Open Learning page. As this video notes, AI4ALL was founded on the belief that its participants "can shape the future of AI for the better." And, the program is created and led by community facilitators with a commitment to inclusion. The curriculum contains more than 30 hours of materials and activities, as well as facilitator guides. Plus, it is designed for students with varied interests, demonstrating that AI touches many careers, from engineering to art. For more information on the program, check out the "Open Learning Platform Tips" guide found on the FAQ page (linked at the bottom of the site). To access the learning modules (including "AI & Drawing," "AI & COVID-19," and "AI & The Environment"), readers will need to register for a free account.

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
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: SCME and UGR Program Online
Gen ATE Conference Orientation Webinar Online
Eng Industry 4.0 Workforce Summit Online
Eng UAS Summit & Expo 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 Top Ten Tips for Teaching Student Veterans from the Classroom to Online 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
Eng Automotive Testing Expo Novi, MI
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Service Members Working with Transition Assistance Programs Online
Info Situational & Cybersecurity Awareness for Global Public Health Researchers Webcast Online
Nano MNT-EC Summer Series: Distance Education Online
Eng dSPACE North American Conference Plymouth, MI

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: 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. The presenters 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. Stay for the last half hour to have your questions answered by a panel of student veterans.

This webinar will take place on October 15, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Register to participate using this form.

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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