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

Micro and Nanotechnologies

From Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center:

Shift Register V1

This video, made available by the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC), is part of the NEATEC Digital Electronics Series from Professor Roger Young. This video describes shift registers and runs 24:09 minutes in length.

From Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center:

State Machines Part 1 V1

This video, made available by the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC), is part of the NEATEC Digital Electronics Series from Professor Roger Young. This video is the first of two that describes state machines. The recording runs 38:09 minutes in length and part two is available to view separately.

From Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Resource Center:

Shape Changing Micromachines

This webinar was presented by Daniel López and introduces the fundamentals and limitations of current micro-machines. López also discusses the prospect of creating shape morphing structures by using origami and Kirigami techniques combined with nanoscale materials. These shape morphing systems create a new paradigm in engineering where the distinction between materials and mechanisms gets vague. This webinar recording runs 1:01:07 minutes in length. PDF presentation slides are also included.

Community Connection

NSF Releases New ATE Program Solicitation

Exciting news: the newest ATE program solicitation is now available from the National Science Foundation! As most of us in the ATE community are well aware, the ATE program emphasizes the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy, with special emphasis on two-year higher education institutions. Through partnerships among academic institutions and industry, ATE promotes improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians, including curriculum development, professional development, career pathways, and other activities.

The focus of the new solicitation is the same as it’s been in years past in that it provides funds to advance the knowledge base related to technician education. Projects and centers are expected to be faculty-driven and incorporate credit-bearing courses and programs, although materials developed through the program may also be used for incumbent worker education.

In this cycle, an estimated 45 to 80 standard and continuing grants will be made totaling approximately $75 million for 2022. Grants may be awarded in a wide variety of sizes and durations. The actual number of awards and sizes are subject to the availability of funds and quality of proposals.

For an overview of the important revisions and updates to the 2021 program solicitation and information about how to prepare and submit a proposal, check out our recent ATE Impacts blog.

ATE Success Tips: Social Media

Evergreen Content

You may be familiar with ephemeral content for social media – fleeting content such as promotions for upcoming events that are only relevant and accessible for a limited time. We covered this content in the May 2019 ATE Central Connection Success Tips. These posts can be fun for audiences and boost social media engagement, but there may be times when you need to post but do not have upcoming ephemeral content to share.

This is when evergreen content can be a lifesaver. As this overview from Digital Marketing Institute explains, Evergreen content remains relevant to readers long after it was created and can be shared on social media multiple times before becoming stale. Having such material at the ready can boost your social media traffic, keep you connected to key audiences even when you do not have events or other time-sensitive materials to post, and help to develop a reputation for expertise in your ATE topic area.

It is fairly straightforward to create evergreen content that you can integrate into your project or center’s social media strategy. Examples of evergreen content include how-to articles or videos, blog posts offering advice or tips, case studies, resource lists or databases, and publications and reviews, among others. What is not evergreen? News items, reports featuring data that will quickly go out of date, and articles on recent industry trends are just a few examples.

Here are a few tips to help you use evergreen content more effectively:

  • Don’t overuse it. Audiences interacting with your social media will quickly tire of seeing posts promoting the same blog or report week after week. Having a variety of content and deploying it sparingly will ensure it stays compelling.
  • Before posting, make sure the content is still relevant to your audience. Has the information gone out-of-date? Are there standards for tone, jargon, or style that have changed? Could the content just use some “freshening up”?
  • Write your outreach materials with sustainability in mind. When you create a blog post or develop new resources to share, consider how durable it will be. Thinking about the long-term at the moment of creating new content can save you time down the road.

For an example of evergreen content, take a look at this post from ATE Central Twitter. ATE Central offers good examples of how to use evergreen content on social media within the scope of STEM and ATE. For more ideas on how to market your project or center with social media, check out the ATE Central Outreach Kit.

Did You Know?

A recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center lays out the pandemic’s impact on Higher Education enrollment numbers. According to the report, total student enrollment in spring 2021 declined 3.5% from the previous year. The decline was even larger for community colleges, which saw enrollment fall by nearly half a million students (a 9.5% drop).

The report offers more positive news about adult student and graduate enrollment, both of which increased moderately over the previous year.

For information on how the data were collected and a more detailed break-down by institution type, student age, and student gender, among other factors, read the full report Overview: Spring 2021 Enrollment Estimates.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

Connect OER

As an information sharing platform that connects educators across North America, Connect OER lives up to its name. Readers may want to start by navigating to the Directory tab to view the existing database. Several filters are provided for more fruitful browsing; for example, selections allow users to search by name, location, activity, and other institutional characteristics, and buttons at the top of the page invite users to narrow by Institutions, Programs, Policies, Events, and Resources. Then, interested readers can create a free profile for their institution to highlight their own OER contributions and share best practices in the field. Users should note that most of the information they contribute to the database will be available in the public domain through a CC0 Public Domain Dedication. The FAQ button at the bottom of the page provides guidance on how to request an account, how to maintain and make changes to user profiles, and other troubleshooting advice. Additionally, the Reports tab contains comprehensive yearly snapshots of Connect OER's efforts and the evolution of OER generally. Connect OER is a project of SPARC, a global group dedicated to "making open the default for research and education."

I Contain Multitudes: The Series

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has a fabulous track record of creating a number of top-notch classroom resources for science educators. That said, the new short film series "I Contain Multitudes," created by science writer Ed Yong (who authored a book by the same name) and HHMI's Tangled Banks Studios, is not for science teachers alone. This series, which is dedicated to microbes and their role in the world, is highly entertaining and suitable for viewing both inside and outside the classroom. In one episode, Yong explains how the bobtail squid teams up with the bacterium Vibrio fischeri to emit a glowing light that allows for squid to blend in with its oceanic environment. In another episode, Yong discusses recent research about the emergences of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Interested viewers can access this series through the above link or on YouTube. These episodes, which are each approximately eight minutes in length, offer an excellent resource that biology instructors may want to use to supplement existing curriculum.

USGS: Volcano Hazards Program

This site from the U.S. Geological Survey can function as a lesson plan supplement or resource for amateur volcano watchers around the world. While the homepage features a map highlighting the current statuses of America's volcanoes (green for normal, and yellow, orange, and red for increasing alert levels), the site itself boasts a number of other educational resources. For instance, readers may select Learn for access to interesting material, both for educators and for the general public. In addition, Publications links to Volcano Fact Sheets, Volcano Assessments, and other interesting Volcano-related information. However, for many readers the Images tab, with its photographs of eruptions and its web cams of several U.S. volcanoes will constitute the dramatic heart of the site.

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
Bio/Chem Professional Development Courses for Biotech Educators Online
Nano Arduino Microcontrollers Workshop Ottumwa, IA
Nano Arduino Microcontrollers Workshop Ottumwa, IA
Nano A Guide for Educators with a Desire to Reach and Work with Industry Online
Nano Tapping into the Veteran Population to Build a High Tech Workforce Pipeline Online
Eng Drone "The Build" Educator Workshop Thief River Falls, MN
Ag/Env Train-the-Trainer Workshops Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Eng Electric Vehicles Battery Tech USA Long Beach, CA
Gen Next-Level Logic Models for Your ATE Proposal and Beyond Online
Gen Logic Models Online
Info WiCyS 2021 Aurora, CO
Info National Cybersecurity Virtual Career Fair Online
Info National Cyber Summit Huntsville, AL
Gen Evaluation Tasks Online
Ag/Env 7th Life Discovery – Doing Science Biology Education Conference Estes Park, CO

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

Apply for the Geospatial Educators Certification (GeoEdC) program

The GeoTech Center is now accepting applications for the next round of the Geospatial Educators Certification (GeoEdC) program. Participants will be provided a $1,000 stipend for successful completion of the program.

Applications are due by August 16, 2021.To learn more about GeoEdC and to apply, visit the GeoEdC hub site. Questions about the program should be addressed to Michael Ragan or Ken Yanow.

Upcoming Event from ASEE: Preparing the Workforce for Industry 4.0

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) is hosting an in-person event, ASEE: Preparing the Workforce for Industry 4.0, which will take place in Washington, D.C., on October 13-14, 2021.

Engineering is at a crossroads. This includes its practice in the workplace—and how it’s taught in the classroom. New technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), nanofabrication, and the internet of things (IoT) have shifted the engineering landscape.

The event features a series of TED-like talks, along with industry and academic leaders, a member of the National Science Board, and other luminaries.

To learn more about the project and for details about registration and accommodations (including early-bird pricing), visit the ASEE Workforce 4.0 site.

ATE Program Overview Brief

Did you know that in 2019 ATE grantees educated 65,000 students? ATE covers a wide range of fields, from agriculture to advanced manufacturing to cybersecurity and beyond. During its twenty-eight-year history there have been ATE projects in every state of the US.

Learn more about the ATE Program with the ATE Program Overview Brief.

AccessATE Tip Sheet: Educating the Employer

As an advocate for your students with disabilities, it can be challenging to get into discussions with potential employers about providing workplace accommodations. Check out this tip sheet from DeafTEC and AccessATE on Educating the Employer for helpful hints and resources to give employers the information they need about the benefits and requirements that come with hiring persons with disabilities.

This tip sheet covers workplace accommodations, safety, and confidentiality, and links to additional useful resources. To learn more, be sure to read the AccessATE Blog post on Common Workplace Accommodations.

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.

AccessATE Tip Sheet: Advocating for Student Skills

Being a good advocate for your students with disabilities when working with industry partners and employers just got a little bit easier! Check out this helpful tip sheet from DeafTEC and AccessATE on Advocating for Student Skills to find helpful hints and resources.

This tip sheet covers conversations with employers, affirming student identity, and more. To find additional resources that will help you support your disabled students, read the AccessATE blog post on Advocating for Student Skills.

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.

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.

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.

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