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: Micro and Nanotechnologies

From the Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME):

Introduction to Statistical Process Control Learning Module

This learning module, from Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME), serves as an introduction to statistical process control (SPC). "SPC is a set of tools used for continuous improvement and the assurance of quality in an active manufacturing process. This learning module introduces some of the SPC tools used by technicians and engineers, including one of the most common tools - control charts."

This module includes five instructor guides, five participant guides, and two presentations. All resources include .pdf and .docx versions. The included instructor and participant guides are Statistical Process Control Activity Resistance Measurement, Statistical Process Control Assessment, Statistical Process Control Knowledge Probe (KP) Pre-test, Introduction to Statistical Control Primary Knowledge Unit, and Control Chart Basics Primary Knowledge Unit. Instructor guides include additional content such as instructor notes and questions and answers. A Learning Module Map (LM) Instructor Guide is also included.

From the Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME):

MEMS Micromachining Overview Learning Module

This module, from Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME), provides an "overview of three micromachining processes (bulk, surface, LIGA) used for the fabrication of microsystems or MEMS (microelectromechanical systems)." This module is divided into the following five units: Knowledge Probe (KP) or Pre-test, Primary Knowledge (PK), Terminology Activity, Research Activity, and Final Assessment.

This module includes six instructor guides, five participant guides, and a presentation. Guides are provided in .pdf and .docx formats. The included guides are MEMS Micromachining Overview Primary Knowledge Unit, MEMS Micromachining Overview Knowledge Probe (Pre-test), two activities, and an assessment. Instructor guides include additional content such as instructor notes and questions and answers. A Learning Module Map (LM) Instructor Guide is also included.

From the Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Resource Center (NACK Center):

Nanoengineering Cellulose for Environmental and Biomedical Applications

This webinar, from the National Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge, provides information on environmental and biomedical applications for nanocelluloses. The presentation was given by Dr. Amir Sheikhi, Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Background information is given on the importance of biomedical engineering and the history of cellulose, nanocelluloses, and hairy nanocelluloses. Applications of hairy nanocelluloses are described in detail and includes the following five topics: Scale Inhibition, Biomimetic Mineralization, Water Remediation, Scale-resistance Interfaces, and Other Applications. The video runs 1:02:52 minutes in length.

Community Connection

I Am ATE: Mandy Briggs

Name: Mandy Briggs
Title: Assistant Chief Flight Instructor / PI for UCID project
Institution: Parkland College
Project/Center Name: UCID-UAS Curriculum for Industry Demand

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Briggs: I first started with ATE in 2017 as a co-PI for another ATE grant, the PACE project. One of the goals of the PACE project was updating the curriculum for Parkland's precision agriculture program. As the co-PI, I helped implement the use of drones in existing curriculum for the agriculture department. Seeing the need for additional training in our region, this lead to a second grant application with ATE, the UCID project, to create a UAS program at Parkland College. I currently serve as the PI for the UCID project.

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

Briggs: The UCID project has three primary goals. The first goal is to create new UAS courses and credentials to meet industry demand in Central Illinois. We have successfully created three new courses and two new certificates. Promoting the recruitment of minorities for the Parkland UAS program is our second goal. Through targeted marketing and recruitment, female enrollment is increasing in our program. Our third goal is to connect Parkland’s UAS program to area high schools along with universities offering UAS degrees. To connect with area high schools, we have offered training events to high school teachers to help them implement drones in their classrooms as well as workshops for guidance counselors about our program and career opportunities. We are currently pursuing articulation agreements with several universities to offer our students a path for a four-year degree.

ATE Central: What makes the work of your project/center unique?

Briggs: Our project is unique in that we were the first community college in our state to offer both credit classes and certificates in the area of UAS. The drone industry is rapidly evolving and we are excited to be one of the early programs in our region. Our students are able to obtain training that they wouldn't be able to receive elsewhere, making them more marketable to future employers.

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

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Using Social Listening to Enhance Social Media

One of the best parts of the ATE PI Conference is connecting with other projects and centers and learning about their work. With this year’s PI Conference going virtual, it is the perfect time to make the most of your project’s or center’s social media presence. A key way to grow your digital presence in and beyond the ATE community is through social listening. Rather than solely tracking the performance and reception of your organization’s social media posts, social listening also looks to conversations and networks your posts have yet to reach, allowing your outreach team to weigh in on happenings and discussions with untapped audiences.

Here are some quick tips for making social listening work for your project or center:

  • Pay attention to who is saying what about your work. The most basic understanding of social listening is keeping an eye on how your organization's work is received. This can mean conducting regular keyword searches on social platforms for your project’s or center’s name, any hashtags you use to promote that work, or individuals who are the face of your team. Keep track of who is talking about your work and what they say. This can point to either things that are going well, or areas where your outreach efforts need improvement. Your team may also want to draw inspiration from how similar organizations feature in social media conversations, using the same querying method.
  • Find relevant conversations on social media. Social listening is also about finding digital discourse your project or center should be part of but is not yet. Participating in social conversations where there is already a lot of interest, engagement, and readership is a great way to draw more followers to your organization’s accounts. Keyword searches and building a list of relevant hashtags are two effective methods for locating such conservations.
  • Follow social accounts in the area of your organization’s work. Outreach typically focuses on building audiences. However, becoming part of an audience is also extremely helpful. Not only will following relevant accounts help your outreach team find individuals and organizations to network with, this also makes it easier to find relevant digital discourse for your outreach team to engage. Spend some time scrolling through your feed, noting any new hashtags, keywords, or accounts that your project’s or center’s team should interact with. You can also look to see which accounts are following or followed by these relevant social profiles.
  • Check your inbox. Get in the habit of regularly checking your organization’s social profiles for direct messages (DMs). Like an email, DMs can provide feedback, offer opportunities for collaboration, and help build your project’s or center’s network.
  • Engage with mentions, retweets, and other account activity. Replying to retweets and comments helps build audience engagement. While this is not strictly social listening, interacting with your social following helps build conversation and encourage feedback.

For more information about crafting a social media presence, check out the ATE Central Social Media guide.

Did You Know?

According to a study from the Community College Research Center, dual enrollment (DE) in face-to-face off-campus courses was associated with a 13.7% increase of immediate community college enrollment after completing high school. Face-to-face on-campus enrollment was associated with a 15.3% increase and enrollment online with an 11.6% increase.

The study used longitudinal data from two Florida public school cohorts, who were ninth graders in 2007 and 2012 “to conduct a descriptive analysis of DE student characteristics and outcomes and to conduct multivariate regression analysis of the effects of taking DE courses on short- and long-term outcomes.”

The researchers also found effects by race (looking at Black, white, and Hispanic students). Notably, modality had differential impacts by race, with Black student post-secondary enrollment benefiting the most from online DE courses (a 23.5% increase in state university enrollment, and an 18% increase in overall post-secondary enrollment). On the other hand, white and Hispanic post-secondary enrollment increased most when students in these racial groups “took most of their DE courses face-to-face on-campus,” (a 14% increase in college and 16.3% increase in university enrollment for Hispanic students; an 8.5% in state university enrollment and a 15.6% increase in college enrollment for white students).

Learn more about the impact of dual enrollment and course modality on community college and state university attendance by reading the full Community College Research Center Report, High School Dual Enrollment in Florida: Effects on College Outcomes by Race/Ethnicity and Course Modality.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Big History Project

"Where did everything come from?" This is a big question, so it is only fitting that the answer is found in the Big History Project. This free online course, designed for high school students, takes learners on a journey through "13.7 billion years of history." With so much ground to cover, the course divides its contents into five chapters: The Universe, Our Solar System and Earth, Life, Humans, and The Future. Embedded videos, quizzes, and activities keep students engaged along the way. While registration is not required to access the course materials, creating a free account does allow users to "take quizzes, track your progress, and earn badges." Plus, instructors can provide their students with a unique access code to keep track of each student's progress. The course is recommended for social studies classrooms, and teachers can join more than 1,000 of their peers who have already implemented the curriculum. Big History Project is a collaboration between Bill Gates and Professor David Christian (from Macquarie University), with additional support from educators and scientists. Readers should note the website is currently migrating to a new platform (accessible via the Go to School Site box at the top of the page); and, as a bonus, educators can also access Big History Project's sister project, World History Project, at this link.

Food Systems Feed the World

Designed for middle school classrooms and meant to last an hour, this lesson plan is the perfect introduction to a unit on agriculture and food systems. The curriculum invites students to "explore the steps and processes that create a food system and gain an understanding of hunger as it relates to the physical well-being, culture, and geographic location of all people." The lesson plan includes two activities (with links to all of the materials needed), suggested questions to guide discussions, and a list of "companion resources" for further exploration. The activities, which explore food production and food insecurity, can be easily adapted for virtual classrooms. Debra Spielmaker created this lesson for the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix, a branch of Agriculture in the Classroom (which longtime readers may remember from the 02-01-2013 Scout Report). Educators may also enjoy other lesson plans in the matrix (which can be searched by grade and content area). Additionally, educators may find value in the other learning tools found on the Teacher Center page. For example, the eLearning section has classroom activities for pre-K through 12th grade.

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

As the school year is well underway, it is time to check in with teachers. Educators struggling with increased technological classroom components may find guidance from the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. The journal's focus on "promot[ing] research and scholarship on the integration of technology in tertiary education," means it is packed with articles exploring the intersection of classrooms and computers. For example, Volume 36 Issue 3 (published in June 2020) includes research on crowdsourcing educational technology tools and assessing learning management systems for students in arts disciplines. To browse this and other recent content, check out the Current tab. To explore past pieces, from the first issue in 1985 to present, visit the Archives tab. Additional content is available on the Early Release tab (meaning the piece has been peer-reviewed and accepted, but was released before the next "full issue publication"). Those interested in publishing with the journal will find information about submitting on the Call for Special Issues tab. To keep abreast of the journal's latest happenings, consider following them on Twitter, @AJET_eds. The journal is published by the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education and is led by editors Eva Heinrich (Massey University, New Zealand), Michael Henderson (Monash University, Australia), and Petrea Redmond (University of Southern Queensland, Australia).

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 Living Room Learning Online
Info National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week Online
Nano Hands On(line) Lab Education with Remote SEM Online
Eng dSPACE North American Conference Plymouth, MI
Nano Living Room Learning Online
Info GeoTECH Virtual GIS Day Online
Bio/Chem Expansion of Online Biology & Biotech Course Delivery during the COVID-19 Pandemic Online
Info National K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference 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

ATE PI Conference Materials Available

This year’s ATE PI Conference materials are now available! Recorded sessions are hosted for viewing on demand on the conference platform and will remain there until January 25, 2021. If materials for the session were provided, they are linked directly below the session abstract (as well as are available in the Materials box next to the chat window for the Concurrent, Spotlight, and Demonstration sessions).

ATE Connects materials will also remain available on-demand for up to three months following the conference. PDF handouts in this section are downloadable from the site. To download, click on the three dots in the top right of the Adobe frame for the handout, and then click download.

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