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.

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In This Issue

Featured Resources: General Advanced Technological Education - Learning Research

From Collaborative Research - HSI ATE Hub - Diversifying the ATE Program with Hispanic Serving Institutions using Culturally Inclusive Mentoring and ATE Resources:

Culturally Responsive Instruction in HSIs Specific Instructional Strategies that Work

This webinar recording, from the HSI ATE Hub at Florence-Darlington Technical College, features three presenters who discuss culturally responsive instruction. Dr. Melissa Salazar, CEO of ESCALA Educational services, discusses the concept of culturally responsive instruction in the context of Hispanic Serving Institutions. Dr. Elena Ortiz, Biology faculty from Phoenix College, shares an experience of implementing an ESCALA-based practice and the impacts on the classroom. Bobby Alvarado, Welding instructor at Arizona Western College (AWC), discusses the practices he uses at "AWC to help his students feel welcome, respectful of each other's culture and backgrounds, engaged with STEM, and/or prepared for the cultures they may encounter as they transition to the workforce." This webinar recording runs 1:29:01 minutes in length.

From Mentor-Connect: Leadership Development and Outreach Initiative for ATE:

Addressing STEM Workforce Needs in a Virtual World–How ATE Grants Can Help and Why You Should Apply



This webinar, made available by Florence-Darlington Technical College, provides information on Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grants and STEM workforce needs in a virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar is divided into the following sections: Introduction to the NSF ATE Program, Virtual Teaching & Learning Strategies through ATE, and ATE Proposal Resources. Background information is provided on the National Science Foundation and the ATE program. Relevant innovation in education is discussed along with strategies and technologies for virtual and distance learning in different ATE programs during the pandemic. The presentation concludes with guidance for submitting applications for ATE grants during the pandemic. The recording runs 1:30:37 minutes in length. PowerPoint and .pdf files of the presentation slides are also included.

From EvaluATE: Evaluation Resource Center for Advanced Technological Education:

Adapting Evaluations in the Era of Social Distancing

This webinar, made available by EvaluATE: Evaluation Resource Center for Advanced Technological Education (ATE), provides strategies for adapting ATE evaluations for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include: changes in inputs and/or resources in the logic model; how these changes affect project activities, outcomes, and evaluations questions and criteria; how to be proactive and aid in decision-making; prioritizing project activities; and more.

Community Connection

Open Educational Resources for STEM Instruction

ATE community members are likely already connected with open education resource (OER) hubs (for example, the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources). Whether you are a novice or knowledgeable OER user, it is always nice to add new tools to your toolkit. Particularly in the textbook realm, OER tools can increase accessibility, equity, and efficacy in classrooms. As COVID-19 continues to impact learning environments, open textbooks are more important than ever. Get started with a few great platforms:

Find course texts for a variety of disciplines with LibreTexts.

This resource offers libraries for such fields as mathematics, physics, medicine, chemistry, engineering, and biology. The site also has a hub of materials in Spanish and a Workforce Library focused on tech and trade skills. Within all these libraries, readers can find bookshelves of digital textbooks, campus courses of customized LibreTexts, homework exercises, and ancillary materials such as visualizations and simulations. LibreTexts is directed by its founder Delmar Larsen, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Davis, and these materials are developed collaboratively between faculty, students, and outside experts and scholars.

Locate high-quality digital textbooks in the University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Library.

In the Open Textbook Library STEM educators will find a large collection of openly-licensed textbooks that can be downloaded for free as PDF or e-book files. The wealth of subjects offered include: medicine, computer science, mathematics, engineering, and natural sciences. The books come from multiple authors and publishing organizations, and cover a wide range of academic areas, including the humanities, natural and social sciences, mathematics, medicine, and law. Educators teaching remotely may also enjoy the site’s distance education materials.

Search across OER platforms with the Mason OER Metafinder.

This powerful search tool from the Mason Publishing Group at George Mason University allows users to search record metadata from more than 20 digital libraries and repositories, including the Digital Public Library of America, OER Commons, and AMSER — Applied Math and Science Education Repository. Searches are conducted in real time and are not pre-indexed. To get to the actual metafinder, visitors should click on the link embedded at the top of the homepage. The metafinder allows users to enter search terms in full record (searching across the entire content of a document), title, author, or date range. Users can also choose which sources the metafinder should search by unselecting repositories below the search bars (all repositories are included by default).

For additional OER suggestions, check out our ATE Impacts blog post on the subject.

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Using Content Scheduling Platforms for Social Media

Many ATE Community members are well acquainted with the benefits of posting regularly on social media. However, posting frequently can take up a lot of time. The best way to make sure your project’s or center’s social media presence remains active, even when the semester gets hectic, is to write and schedule posts ahead of time. Some social media platforms, such as Facebook, allow users to pre-schedule posts for their page on the site itself. There are also content scheduling platforms that centralize posting across a variety of platforms. With these quick tips your outreach team can select the best scheduling tools:

  • Assess your social media needs to pick the best platform(s). Among the key factors to consider when selecting a platform for social media content scheduling are: the number of social media platforms your team intends to post on, cost, convenience, and analytics needs. Social media platforms such as Facebook pages and Twitter offer users tools to schedule posts in advance. These tools are free, but specific to the platform, requiring outreach teams to work across multiple sites. Many content scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, offer free plans that allow users access to some of their basic features without charge. However, these plans often limit the social media accounts or platforms for which users can schedule content. The main benefit of using a single content scheduling tool is that they allow outreach teams to save on time and effort by centralizing social media posts and analytics. Some basic analytics information is also available via Facebook Insights and Twitter’s analytics feature.
  • Create a consistent posting schedule for your outreach team. The best way to use content scheduling tools to your advantage is to post regularly. This will make analytics data more helpful and keep your audience engaged. Developing a posting schedule is a great way to keep your outreach team on track and set posting and engagement goals. Check in regularly on metrics such as post engagement and click-through rates. These insights will help your team determine if any scheduling changes are necessary and also offer more information about whether your content scheduling tools are meeting your project’s or center’s outreach needs.
  • Make sure your content scheduling platform meets accessibility standards. Outreach is meant to showcase your project’s or center’s work to as large an audience as possible. Incorporating accessibility best practices into your social media routine will help your team do just that. Be sure that platforms will allow your team to add alternative text to images in your social media posts and make sure any videos you share have captions. To learn more about optimizing your social media accessibility, check out this resource page from the National Center on Accessible Education Materials (AEM).

More information on using social media for outreach is available in the ATE Central Outreach Kit’s Social Media section.

Did You Know?

According to data from a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, transfer student enrollment in Fall 2020 decreased 8.1 percent, 1.7 percent decrease in 2019. This drop was driven by a “decrease of 18.9 percent in students transferring into two-year colleges.” During the same period four-year institutions experienced only a 2.6 percent decrease in transfer-in enrollment.

The report also breaks down findings by gender and race. Notably, the authors conclude that “Black and Hispanic transfer students have been impacted the most, particularly at community colleges, whereas Asian students made gains in the four-year college sector.”

To learn more about student mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic read the full COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility, and Progress report.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives

Achieving equity in the STEM field involves addressing many aspects of academic marginalization, including the unique barriers experienced by English learners (ELs). Published in 2018, English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives calls attention to the ways these students have been marginalized and highlights the assets that English learners bring to the STEM field, particularly drawing on "their experiences in their homes and communities, home languages, variation in discourse practices, and, in some cases, experiences with schooling in other countries." The report provides 7 recommendations ranging from "equip teachers and teacher candidates with the requisite tools and preparation to effectively engage and positively position English learners in STEM content learning," to "encourage and facilitate engagement with stakeholders in ELs' local environment to support STEM learning." The text is available to read online, or readers can enter an email address to download it as a guest (in PDF form). Readers can download the entire book or choose individual chapters. Additionally, the Resources panel at the link above shares some corresponding resources, including condensed report highlights and recordings of related webinars. David Francis and Amy Stephens edited the report and it was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation.

All You Need is Code

Bringing together stakeholders from governmental, technological, and nonprofit sectors, All You Need is Code hopes to "promote coding and computational thinking," in formal and informal settings. The site curates coding resources for Students, Teachers, and Adults. Each section links out to websites, games, lesson plans, and more, making the best resources available in one convenient place. The site also highlights DIS-CODE, a project that introduces students to computing and coding skills through a "flipped classroom" (a more interactive approach to learning) and other innovative models. The DIS-CODE curriculum includes three modules, covering digital skills, numerical skills, and an introduction to Scratch programming. Modules contain a syllabus with learning objectives, activities, and an assessment, among other helpful features. DIS-CODE was developed by a consortium of partners from Italy, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Belgium, and Portugal. Both the platform and the All You Need is Code site in its entirety hope to promote coding across ages and industries, with the premiere goal of "establishing coding as a key competence within every education system in Europe."

The Fungal Mating Game: A Simple Demonstration of the Genetic Regulation of Fungal Mating Compatibility

Here is a fun(gi) fact: "Some fungi have more than 20,000 'sexes.'" While the genetics behind fungal mating can be quite complex, Lisa J. Vaillancourt (University of Kentucky, Lexington) created this game to distill some of the basics for mycology students. Educators will only need to gather a few decks of cards, the exact amount dependent on class size, to bring the activity to life. Instructions are provided for three different activities, reflective of bipolar mating and tetrapolar mating (with two species models). Vaillancourt also provides a results section with some key takeaways students should gain from the activity. This game was posted on the American Phytopathological Society's (APS) website, and readers interested in additional tools and activities from APS will want to check out their Education section. Here, teachers will find case studies, lab exercises, and lesson plans, among other resources.

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 Developing, Starting, and Maintaining a Drone Program Online
Eng Autonomous Snowplow Competition Online
Mfg Third Symposium on Additive Manufacturing Online
Gen Data Collection Online
Gen Evaluation Crash Course for Non-evaluators Online
Gen ATE Annual Survey Online
Mfg Practical Tools to Better Implement Root Causes Analyses Online
Bio/Chem ABRF 2021 Supporting Interdisciplinary Science Online
Gen Moving Up! Strategies for Preparing YOUR Next ATE Project Proposal Online
Gen ATE Proposals 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

EvaluATE Webchats

EvaluATE webchats are an opportunity for small groups of ATE evaluation community members to come together to share and learn from each other in real time. Anyone interested in evaluation is welcome to attend. Participants are encouraged to turn on their webcams and join in the conversation, offering a great opportunity to network.

Upcoming webchats will cover a variety of subjects including:

Those interested in attending can resgister at the links included above. A full schedule of the 2021 webchats is avilable on the EvaluATE website's Webchats page. All webchats are held virtually from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET on the dates listed.

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.

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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