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: General Advanced Manufacturing Technologies - General Manufacturing

From Advanced Welder Education:

AWS SENSE QC-10 Instructor Manual for High School Instructors

This 54-page resource, made available by Monroe Community College (MCC), is an instructor's guide for an AWS (American Welding Society) SENSE Entry Level 115 QC-10 welder's certification course. Topics covered include: Grading Methodology, Partial Completion, Time Sheet/Attendance, AWS Performance Qualification, Fit up/Inspection, Collective Project Blueprints, and more. The guide also includes relevant contacts at MCC; reference sheets for WPS specifications; templates for grading, assessments, and attendance; and more.

From Ensuring Workforce Readiness for the Energy and Manufacturing Industries Through Educational Simulations:

Manufacturing PPE Mini-Sim

This website includes two simulations from Excelsior College that allow users to practice manufacturing personal protective tasks. The first simulation is a scenario involving "... an intake slurry valve that operates by pneumatic valve control systems [that] has stopped working." The second simulation is a scenario that involves "a slurry-pond water pump powered by a 575 volt three-phase AC motor with 150 HP and 1800 RPM [that] has ceased operating."

After selecting a simulation, users will be guided through a navigation tutorial. A menu is located on the right-side of the screen during the activity. From this menu, users can access a simulation description, additional resources, and more.

From The Necessary Skills Now Network: Integrating Employability Skills Development into Technician Education Across STEM Disciplines:

Manufacturing Modules

These modules were published by the Center for Occupational Research and Development (U.S.) as part of the Necessary Skills Now (NSN) project. NSN aims to support integrated instruction in technical schools around employability in the cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing fields. The modules on this webpage feature lesson plans that address various topics within manufacturing and include the following: Batch Mix System for Polyisocyanurate Foam Insulation, Building a Drone, Statistical Quality Control with a Focus on Building Necessary Work Skills, Design and Production of a Bike Pedal for BMX bikes, and Puzzle it Out. Each module includes links to a project overview page and associated files for download. Each project overview page details the module's purpose, key terms and major topics covered, necessary equipment and/or materials, as well as estimated time required. Users must create an account to download any materials.

Community Connection

Resources for Career Search and Professional Development

The ATE community supports many students in building marketable skills and reaching career readiness. Amid the economic challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing students for the transition from school to workplace is even more important. These select resources will help ATE community members guide students through this process, while keeping their own professional materials up-to-date:

Get job search tips, from interviews to negotiating salaries, with the ALA’s Career Development Resources.

Compiled by the American Library Association (ALA), these Career Development Resources "help you prepare for a productive and effective job search as well as enhance your career development efforts." These materials are categorized by topic, with each broad category containing several specific tools. For example, the Interviewing section houses sets of sample questions, while the Resumes section offers visitors a collection of design and format guides. Additionally, at the link above readers can download a printable version of the ALA's "Career Development Resource Guide," with more than 50 pages of insights on everything from professional etiquette to negotiating salaries, including a useful "Evaluating Yourself" template that lets users take inventory of their skills and interests and consider compatible career paths.

Create a resume that will turn heads with CV Maker.

CV Maker helps users "create beautiful, professional resumes in minutes." While certain features require a paid user subscription, the basic content is available free of charge. Click the "Create a CV Now" button to get started. After filling in basic personal, educational, and work experience information, readers can generate polished products with the existing design templates. The home page highlights several of these templates for users to get a feel for what is available. Looking for additional assistance? Check out the Help and Resume Tips sections. The Resume Tips page provides a useful guide to framing resumes for a particular audience and proofreading for quality and clarity. CV Maker is available in more than 30 languages.

Learn about career transitions and personal finance with Khan Academy’s Navigate Your Career.

Well known for its instructional videos in mathematics and science, Khan Academy also launched this Navigate Your Career unit designed for both students exploring their first career and those considering a job change. The unit features interviews with a variety of professionals, as well as instructional written material and videos. These materials cover job search topics ranging from networking to salary negotiation, as well as providing helpful hints for those seeking to build their own business and learn about personal finance. Readers who enjoy this unit may want to check out the Careers section of Khan Academy's site for additional guidance.

Perfect your professional materials and academic writing with OpenAcademics.

OpenAcademics is a “family” of multidisciplinary academics who share the same pillars of "respect, diversity, inclusion, equity, and kindness." The site offers plenty of valuable tools on the Resources page, including professional development primers distilling tips on academic CVs, cover letters, elevator pitches, and more. Those in research roles will benefit from the Research Paper Anatomy tips sheet, while those in development positions may enjoy the Grant Writing Process Outline. All readers can benefit from the Useful Expressions infographic (essentially a pocket thesaurus) and the Writing a Formal Email cheat sheet. For even more useful resources, check out the Infographics page, which is home to important reminders about mental health and mentorship.

ATE Success Tips: Websites

How to Keep Your Website Up-To-Date

Many in the ATE community understand the value of an informative, well-designed website to showcase their project’s or center’s innovative work. Experts recommend keeping websites current when possible. However, making sure your site is up-to-date can be time consuming or fall through the cracks of a busy schedule. These tips will help your outreach team efficiently refresh the most important aspects of your project’s or center’s site:

  • Regularly review core content and add new material. One of the easiest ways to keep your website fresh is to ensure your project’s or center’s most recent work is featured. Adding a blog feature is a great way to keep visitors coming back and showcase your team’s efforts. At the minimum, be sure to update staff profiles and the About section of your site to reflect present employees and projects. Building a website update into your new employee onboarding process is a great way to remind your outreach team to keep the site current.
  • Check for broken links. One of the quickest ways to lose website traffic is to leave broken links on your site. It’s helpful to do an overview of both internal and external links at least once a year. Some platforms, like WordPress, offer automatic link checking plugins, but there are other options to make link testing easy. A great alternative is Google Analytics, which helps outreach teams track the impact and performance of web content. This tool can also be used to detect broken links.
  • Check both web and mobile design. If your site looks spectacular on computers, that’s great! Just make sure it also works well on mobile devices, as many users may visit via their phones. Making your mobile guests feel at home can also help your search rankings. To check if your website is mobile-friendly, try using this tool. It is also important to make sure your site’s mobile design is accessible for users with disabilities.
  • Test changes before they go live. The easiest way to make sure your outreach team is working efficiently is to preview your changes before they go live. This will prevent your team missing errors that will require an additional update. Many web platforms have a preview feature, and other tools such as Google Optimize offer testing features.

Just getting started and want help setting up a website? Check out ATE Central’s Microsite Service, available free to ATE grantees.

Did You Know?

Data from the 2019 National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) reveal that “of the 14.8 million graduates who earned their first bachelor’s degree between 2008 and 2017, more than half (52 percent) had previously attended a community college and 25 percent had earned an associate’s degree.” Prior to 2008, only 48 percent of first-time bachelor’s degree recipients also attended community college, with only 19 percent having completed an associate’s degree.

The report also offers insights about patterns of racial difference, disability, and military veteran status among these graduates. Readers may also be interested in the section regarding students’ reasons for community college attendance.

To learn more about community college attendance among bachelor’s degree recipients, read the full The Increasing Role of Community Colleges among Bachelor’s Degree Recipients: Findings from the 2019 National Survey of College Graduates report.

Select STEM Education Resources

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


OpenSciEd will be music to the ears of any open educational resources enthusiast. The project "seeks to ensure any science teacher anywhere can access and download freely available, high-quality, locally adaptable full-course materials." Developed with and for classroom educators, OpenSciEd has a variety of units covering chemistry, physics, health, and more. Though the current focus is on middle school curriculum, the project plans to expand to provide resources for K-12 educators over time. New content is released periodically, and readers can find the Unit Release Schedule under the Instructional Materials tab. To learn more about the development process itself, visitors will want to navigate to the OpenSciEd Approach tab. In addition to the wealth of instructional resources available, readers will also have access to professional development tools. Users must create a free account to access the materials. Registrants will join the ranks of more than 18,000 educators currently enjoying the resource.

The College of Engineering at the University of Utah: Lesson Plans

It is never too early to introduce engineering concepts into educational settings, and with these great outreach materials from the University of Utah's Engineering Department, middle school educators can do just that. Each activity includes instructions (in PDF form) and a mixture of tutorial videos, PowerPoint slides, or handouts. Readers near Utah's campus may be able to take advantage of the "checkout materials" program, where educators can borrow resources needed to complete some of the activities (note that COVID-19 may affect availability). While some of the lesson plans are best suited for in-person classrooms due to the more complex materials lists and need for supervision (e.g., "Building Wings" requires cutting tools and carving wood), others may be adaptable to online learning environments. For example, the "Paper Boats" activity requires more common household objects: paper, tape, a timer, and a pseudo-swimming pool (a tub with water should suffice).

Equity Unbound: Community Building Activities

Recognizing that online learning creates unique obstacles and opportunities for building community, a team of educators crafted this resource kit to assist their fellow instructors in creating inclusive and engaging virtual classrooms. Though many activities are geared toward educational settings, event organizers may also appreciate this tool. The activities were curated with "intentionally equitable hospitality," in mind, a framework that emphasizes the importance of meeting people where they are at, in order to make them feel welcome, and recognizes the different needs and perspectives of those within any given classroom or group. Activities range from short exercises that give students a break during class to icebreakers that will help create respectful and relational classrooms. Clicking on an activity will reveal additional details that may include a purpose statement, preparation guide, instructions, and other resources. This activity kit is a collaboration between OneHE (an educator support organization) and Equity Unbound (a collaborative curriculum focused on principles of equity, open access, connection, and intercultural learning experiences).

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 Seminar w/ Steven R. Spurgeon Online
Eng Photonics West Online
Bio/Chem ABRF 2021 Supporting Interdisciplinary Science Online
Nano Future of Food and Agriculture from Macro to Nano Online
Nano Seminar w/ Xinwei Wang Online
Gen Moving Up! Strategies for Preparing YOUR Next ATE Project Proposal Online
Nano Business Industry Leadership Team (BILT) - Part A Online
Nano Introduction to the NanoHUB Simulation Environment Online
Gen Walking the NSF Budgeting Walk: NSF ATE Proposal Budget and Budget Justification Online
Bio/Chem Empowering Students to Recognize and Foster More Inclusive Workplaces Online
Gen ATE Proposals Online
Nano CVD Synthesis of 2D Material Graphene and Automated Image Analysis - Session 1 Online
Nano Business Industry Leadership Team (BILT) - Part B Online
Nano CVD Synthesis of 2D Material Graphene and Automated Image Analysis - Session 2 Online
Eng Electric Vehicles Battery Tech USA Long Beach, CA
Nano Peer Review Journal Writing Workshop Online
Eng WCX Digital Summit Online
Nano Guide for Educators with a Desire to Reach and Work with Industry Online
Gen Evaluation Reporting 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

Second-Chance Mentoring Available

Principal Investigators of Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE whose next ATE project proposals were declined during the past 24 months are eligible for assistance from Mentor-Connect’s Second-Chance Mentoring to re-apply for funding. Second-Chance Mentoring provides faculty teams with advice from an experienced mentor to rework and resubmit ATE grant proposals.

The application deadline is April 1. But Mentor-Connect responds within days to Second-Chance Mentoring applications so work with a mentor can begin ASAP.

AccessATE Tip Sheet: Creating Accessible Videos

We use videos in so many ways in the ATE community; as part of classroom and lab instruction, for recruiting students, and as part of our outreach efforts to various stakeholders. And as we all use Zoom and other online platforms for meetings and conferences, we often record those events, creating more recorded video content. So how do we ensure that everyone can utilize this great content? By considering accessibility from the beginning, which is what this helpful tip sheet from the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) and AccessATE is all about!

This tip sheet covers best practices for creating accessible videos, from captioning to creating descriptive narration to selecting accessible video players. The tip sheet also includes links to related resources. To learn more, read the AccessATE blog post about the Creating Accessible Videos tip sheet.

AccessATE supports the work of the NSF-funded Advanced Technological Education (ATE) projects and centers in making the materials and activities they develop more accessible for all students and faculty, including those with disabilities. The project aims to increase awareness and understanding of accessibility requirements and provide guidance, tools, and support that offers solutions and helps achieve compliance with accessibility standards.

AACC 2021 Community College Innovation Challenge

Do you know a student with an entrepreneurial spirit and an interest in STEM? AACC, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, is inviting community college students to participate in the 2021 Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC).

The CCIC is a national competition where community college student teams, working with a faculty or administrator team mentor, use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems, attend a Virtual Innovation Boot Camp, and compete for cash awards.

The Virtual Innovation Boot Camp provides professional development, mentoring, and coaching designed to build strategic communication and entrepreneurial skills to help students advance their innovations in both the public and private sectors. The Boot Camp culminates in a virtual poster session and engagement opportunity with STEM leaders and Congressional stakeholders, and a pitch presentation in front of a panel of industry professionals to determine the first, second, and third place winning teams.

Diverse and interdisciplinary teams that include students in STEM, business, humanities, and other fields are encouraged to apply. Submissions are due by April 20, 2021.

Webinar: Moving Up! Strategies for Preparing YOUR Next ATE Project Proposal

Has your college been an ATE grantee? Did you have a “New to NSF” grant? Keep the momentum going! Take advantage of what ATE funding can do for your college’s technician education programs and students by “Moving Up” to an ATE Project. What will help make your proposal be more competitive? How do requirements and reviewer expectations change when you take the next step? Where can you get help to make your proposal more competitive? Learn the answers to these questions along with strategies, insider tips, and mistakes to avoid in seeking your next ATE grant.

This event will take place on March 11, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET. Those interested in participating should register to attend.

Webinar: Walking the NSF Budgeting Walk: NSF ATE Proposal Budget and Budget Justification

The purpose of this webinar is to help those who have not been funded by NSF to develop fundable proposals. Topics include how to prepare a budget for your NSF ATE grant, what to include in each budget category, how to prepare a budget justification, how to align the budget and project description, and how to avoid common errors.

This event will take place on March 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET. Those interested in participating should register to attend.

Webinar: Tips and Tricks: Step by Step NSF ATE Proposal Forms Preparation

This webinar focuses on the various forms associated with NSF ATE grant proposals. Forms can make up 2/3 of a final proposal submission and impact the quality and accuracy of a proposal. The webinar will cover knowing the purpose of various forms associated with NSF ATE proposals, knowing what data to enter into each form associated with NSF ATE proposal, learning the importance of providing consistent information on forms and other components of a proposal, and recognizing common errors that can be avoided.

This event will take place on May 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET. Those interested in participating should register to attend.

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.

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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