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: Bio and Chemical Technologies - Biotechnology

From InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center:

Building a CSO or Incubator: Strategies for Success

This 20-page report, published by Austin Community College, discusses strategies for building successful biotech CSOs and incubators. This report provides the history of some of the college-run organizations, describes how the Bioscience Community College and the Austin Community College Bioincubator began, and shares best practices that are intended to help other colleges successfully develop these types of organizations.

This resource contains a table of contents and the following sections: About this Report, What is a CSO / What is an Incubator, The First Community College Incubator, The First Community College CSO, Getting Administration on Board, Collecting Economic Data, Demonstrating the Need, Making Connections with Influential Leaders, and more. The report is available to download in .pdf format.

From InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center:

From Increasing the Student Biotech Pipeline:

Supplemental Material in Trigonometry for Biology Majors

This manual, created by Los Angeles Mission College, supports the study of trigonometry for biology majors. Included are worksheets, test review questions, and answer keys pertaining to topics like trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, graphing, and vectors and polar coordinates. The journal article that was originally included in the manual, "Angular Momentum in Human Walking" is available to view separately.

Community Connection

I Am ATE: Brandon Keller

Name: Brandon Keller
Title: Agriculture Instructor
Institution: Northeast Community College
Project Name: Developing a Precision Agriculture Workforce Ladder through Secondary, College, and Incumbent Worker Education that Integrates Emerging Technologies and Farm Data

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Keller: I became involved with the ATE program shortly after being hired by Northeast Community College in Fall 2017, as the then-PI for our current grant wanted to transition out of the role. Since I came into the college with some previous grant experience during my master’s program at Northwest Missouri State University, my supervisor asked me to consider taking over the PI role on the project at the end of year one. That fall I got to attend my first NSF ATE PI Conference in Washington, D.C. and I was immediately hooked on the ATE program! I was amazed by all of the opportunities and dedicated faculty members out in the ATE community.

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

Keller: The overarching goal of our project was to create a laddered approach to increase skilled precision agriculture technicians in Nebraska, addressing an industry shortage that the 20 country region our college serves was witnessing. To make this happen we broke our ladder into three areas:

High School: To help develop awareness and interest in Precision Agriculture early in high school student careers through the use of a five-lesson curriculum that will eventually be proposed to the Nebraska Department of Education to be integrated into the Introduction to Agriscience curriculum across the state.

College: To create a modularized and hands-on curriculum for our students that will provide real-world, hands-on instruction in the classroom. It was also a goal to take the farm data produced on our 530 acre college farm and identify ways to integrate that date into our agriculture programing.

Incumbent Workforce: To provide short-course workshops, modularized trainings, and customized trainings to help continue the education of technicians in our service area.

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

Keller: Part of our project was creating a mobile Precision Agriculture Learning simulator that allows us to bring the training to the person instead of requiring the person to come to the training. Northeast Community College contributed the trailer to the project and funds from the National Science Foundation outfitted the trailer with various Precision Agriculture equipment for hands-on training. The trailer has traveled to high schools, industry and trade shows to provide hands-on training with up to date technology. Due to the success of the PAL simulator, our original target of 12 high schools delivering curriculum over three years was nearly doubled by year three, with a waitlist for more that would like to be added to our PAL simulator visit list.

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

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

Setting Outreach Goals for 2021

As the start of a new year, January offers the perfect opportunity to take stock of your project’s or center’s outreach efforts, make changes, and set new goals. Offering an avenue to promote your team’s innovative work and make professional connections within and beyond the ATE community, outreach strategies help build success and sustainability. Outreach and dissemination also enable ATE grantees to meet the requirement of demonstrating broader impacts in alignment with the NSF’s aim “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.” Whether this year will see your project or center carrying on existing work, or beginning a new grant, setting strong outreach goals will help your team show those broader impacts.

  • Conduct an Outreach Assessment. Faced with a global pandemic, social distancing, and remote work, the ATE community has had to adapt. Through this difficult time, innovative solutions shone. For additional insights into what worked well, conduct a practice assessment. Reflecting on your team’s 2020 outreach efforts and strategies will offer direction when forging new goals for this year.
  • Learn from the ATE Community. As a community, ATE offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise across many areas. One key way to learn from the excellent work done by other projects and centers is to check out their social media profiles and websites to see how they leverage outreach to promote their work and reach new audiences.
  • Set Big-Picture Goals While Remaining Flexible. If there is one thing we have learned from last year, it is the need to be ready to change plans. However, this does not mean your outreach team should avoid setting goals. Select big-picture objectives, then break those big aims into manageable tasks, such as “learn about using content scheduling platforms,” or “choose an analytics tool to track how posts perform.” This approach will enable your team to look ahead, while also adapting to unforeseen challenges without scraping the entire strategy
  • Cultivate a Relationship with Your Evaluator. As an aspect of your project’s or center’s work, outreach should also be evaluated. Bring your proposed outreach goals, objectives, and the strategies you plan to implement to your evaluator to get their feedback. Have your outreach team check in with your evaluator regularly throughout the year to determine how effective your outreach approach is and make adjustments as needed.

For more planning resources and tips, check out the ATE Central Outreach Kit.

Did You Know?

A study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reveals that community college completion rates for the fall 2014 cohort fell by 0.5 percent by 2020, after initially increasing 1.5 to 1.7 percent in 2015 and 2016. The decline occurred despite enrollment increases of 3.1 percent over the period.

The report summarizes findings from “the six-year completion outcomes of the fall 2014 cohort of beginning college students, nationally and by state,” and “includes those who complete after transfer, not just completions at the starting institution.” The study also addresses trends by race and institution type.

To learn more about trends in six-year completion, read the full Completing College National and State Reports.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Software Sustainability Institute

Based at the Universities of Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, and Southampton, the Software Sustainability Institute brings together stakeholders with expertise in software development, management, research, and engagement. Though the areas of expertise vary, the key belief is shared: that "software has made an invaluable contribution to advancing research." In order to move both software and research forward, the Institute creates resources that explore the connection between the two. Readers may enjoy the Institute's various Guides (found under the Resources tab), which are curated with four main audiences in mind: researchers, managers, developers, and teachers. The organization also supports a variety of case studies covering everything from software engineering to software evaluation. Other reading materials are found on the Blog (linked at the top of the page) and in the Publications section (under Resources). Readers in a time crunch will want to browse the Top Tips section (under Resources), where information is boiled down to quick, easy-to-read primers. The Institute receives funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, and several other major councils. Its work is also supported by partnerships with technology and research organizations in the UK and beyond.

Professor of the 21st Century Framework

Readers are likely familiar with the term "life-long learner," but what about the people teaching those learners? Educators are life-long learners, too, and perfecting teaching skills is an equally endless process. Algonquin College's Professor of the 21st Century hub serves as a resource to educators, providing tools to expand seven key competency areas. These competency areas engulf topics such as professional development, curriculum creation, and implementing classroom technology. Several readings and documents are embedded under each competency sub-topic. Additionally, the Faculty Self-Assessment page outlines suggested competency benchmarks for 3 levels of educators: new educators (0-2 years of experience); seasoned educators (2-7 years of experience); and established educators (7+ years of experience). For example, the guidelines suggest a new professor can describe their learning style and understand how it impacts students' learning styles, while a professor with slightly more experience can adjust their learning style to better fit students' needs. A chart with these benchmarks is linked under the Professor of the 21st Century Framework Levelled Document section of the Faculty Self-Assessment page. Competency areas and sub-topics were developed in partnership with academic leaders and approved by the College Academic Council.

Early Learning in Math and Science (ELMS) Undergraduate Course in Teacher Preparation

Educators facilitating in-person courses will want to check out this Early Learning in Math and Science (ELMS) undergraduate curriculum (and those teaching online will want to save it for the future). Developed through a collaboration between the National Science Foundation, the University of California Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, and Los Medanos Community College, ELMS helps "college instructors to prepare pre-service early childhood educators to teach science and math to young children." This comprehensive and adaptable curriculum includes 17 lesson plans (designed for 2.5 hours per session) and provides everything an instructor needs. Before committing to the content, educators should review the checklist found on the Teaching the Course Overview page. These requirements help users determine if it is a good fit. Next, educators should check out the Pre-Course Preparation section (also found under Teaching the Course) for planning instructions. On the General Course Docs page, instructors can view and download preliminary materials, including a sample syllabus and materials list. Then, each session is neatly organized on its own page found under the Sessions tab. For each session, educators will find instructions, multimedia materials, and printables to make planning a breeze. Finally, the Assessing Students page provides suggested assignments and rubrics to assist in the grading process. The curriculum was developed by Ellen Blinderman, Ashley Barajas Montano, and Pamela Perfumo, with input from other colleagues and advisors.

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 Consumer Electronics Show Online
Bio/Chem CRISPR Explained: Gene Editing History, Technology, and Applications Online
Eng Photonics Spectra Conference Online
Nano Intro to Nanotechnology for Educators Workshop Online
Bio/Chem Using CRISPR-Cas9 with the Out of the Blue CRISPR Gene Editing and Genotyping Kits Online
Gen AACC Workforce Development Institute 2021 Online
Nano Novel Two-dimensional (2D) Materials and Devices for Biomimetic Sensing Online
Bio/Chem DTCC Innovative Laboratory Exercise and Curriculum on CRISPR Gene Editing 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 Impacts 2020-2021 Book Now Available

Free print copies of the ATE Impacts book, to distribute on your campus, to your industry partners, or elsewhere can be obtained via the book request form. Interactive flipbook and electronic (PDF) versions of the ATE Impacts book are also 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.

ATE Central Social Media Directory

Looking to jump-start your project’s or center’s outreach efforts? Take some inspiration from others in the ATE community!

The ATE Central Social Media Directory offers an online compilation of all the ATE projects and centers who have social media profiles, as well as some ATE partners and collaborators. This resource provides an easy way to learn best social media practices, forge professional connections, and stay in touch with the ATE community.

For additional guidance on outreach and building a social media presence, check out the ATE Outreach Kit.

Mentor-Connect Coffee Breaks

A new Mentor-Connect resource for prospective grantees is now available. These short tidbits of guidance and advice are called “Coffee Breaks.”

Mentor Connect Coffee Breaks provide quick answers to frequently asked questions that arise while working on and preparing to submit an NSF ATE proposal. Tips for project management are included, too, such as preparing reports for NSF. Each presentation is less than 10 minutes and addresses a specific topic or question you may have. Coffee Break advice is available in the Mentor-Connect Library,

Under Find A Resource, select Webinars, then type “Coffee Break” in the search function at the top of the page.

Apply to Participate in Pilot Implementation of EvaluateUR-CURE

EvaluateUR-CURE, a method for evaluating course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), is currently in development and the next round of pilot testing is set for the 2021-2022 academic year. Pilot testing of E-CURE is open to all faculty. Faculty teaching courses with research experiences (CUREs) at community colleges are especially encouraged to apply.

In common with EvaluateUR, EvaluateUR-CURE has about a dozen student outcome categories, each defined by several outcome components. In order to assess student progress, each component is scored both by the student researcher and his or her faculty mentor using a five-point scale and accompanying rubric.

Beginning on December 8, 2020, applications will be open. Selections will be made for the 2021-2022 academic year. Applications received after this date will be considered only if available sites are open. The organizers anticipate identifying up to 10 sites for the pilot. A modest stipend is provided for participating in the pilot and providing feedback. This project is funded by NSF ATE #1836033.

ATE PI 2020 Conference Resources Available Until June, 2021

The deadline to access this year's ATE PI Conference materials has been extended! All session materials, recordings, and ATE Connects submissions are available for on-demand viewing on demand on the conference platform until June 1, 2021.

If materials for a 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. 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.

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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