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

Agricultural and Environmental Technologies -- Energy technologies


ACAD 08-006 Crosswalk: 1.3 Core Curriculum - Basic Components Knowledge

ACAD 08-006 is the Uniform Curriculum Guide for Nuclear Power Plant Technician, Maintenance, and Nonlicensed Operations Personnel Associate Degree Programs and includes five main curriculum areas: Core Curriculum, Discipline-Specific Curriculum for Nonlicensed Operators, Discipline-Specific Curriculum for Radiological Protection Technicians, Discipline-Specific for Chemistry Technicians, and Discipline Specific for Maintenance Personnel. The Core Curriculum is divided into three sections: Fundamentals, Basic Systems Knowledge, and Basic Components Knowledge. This Basic Components Knowledge section (ACAD 08-006 1.3) covers "describ[ing] basic construction, application, and operation of plant components." This material covers, more specifically: the theory, construction, and application of the following: diesel engines; air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems; auxiliary equipment; rotating equipment; electrical supply components; electrical control components; valve actuator types; and more.

From Energy Storage Project:

Engaging Employers, Defining Skills, and Preparing Students

This 22-page paper was presented at the 2020 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and reports on a U.S. faculty international study program. This study explored the intersection of the German renewable energy and energy storage sectors. The international program included eleven instructional faculty from throughout the United States. This paper "provides an overview of the German renewable energy and energy storage landscape in comparison to the United States." The ".... differences related to the historical context, policy and regulatory differences, and technology advances in the renewable energy and energy storage sectors" is emphasized.

From Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Resource Center:

Career Mapping

This webinar, from the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Resource Center (CREATE), discusses using career maps for recruitment and student engagement. The webinar was held on May 1, 2020 with Presenter Joe Sarubbi. The objectives of the webinar include: Understand the value of career maps for exploring jobs, especially for nascent industries; discover how career maps are useful for student/employee recruitment and retention; learn ways to use the map. The webinar recording runs 56:46 minutes in length and includes closed captioning. PDF webinar slides are also provided.

Community Connection

2021 ATE PI Conference: Broadening Impact through Innovation

Now that we are well into fall instruction, our thoughts turn to the 2021 ATE Principal Investigators Conference, which is coming up from October 18-22. Due to continued concerns related to COVID-19 and in consideration of the safety and well-being of conference participants and staff, the conference organizers have made the difficult decision to transition the 2021 conference to a fully virtual format.

For projects and centers old and new, the annual PI conference offers a chance to share experiences, collaborate, learn, and meet other members of the ATE community. While you have probably been hard at work preparing already, now is a good time to double check and make sure your project or center is ready for the big event.

This year's theme is Broadening Impact through Innovation, and the conference will focus the critical importance of preparing students with STEM technical and employability skills—and the vital role community colleges and the ATE program play in preparing a highly-skilled U.S. workforce in a current- and post-pandemic economy. Information about how to register can be found on the conference registration page. The deadline to register is October 12. PLEASE NOTE: The ATE PI Conference is only open to those funded by the NSF ATE Program and their project or center partners.

The full program is available on the conference schedule page. Although the conference takes place over five days, events are scheduled only between the hours of noon and 5 pm Eastern time. The pre-conferences events (on Monday and Tuesday) include a workshop for new grantees and others on topics such as using qualitative data for analysis and reporting and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Two plenary sessions (one on Wednesday and one on Friday) along with a variety of sessions and demos will fill the program with innovative and exciting content. There are also networking opportunities for PIs through ATE Connects sessions (on Wednesday and Thursday), and an opportunity for student-industry networking (on Thursday).

For those looking for more information about the conference, there will be an orientation webinar held on October 6 at 1 pm Eastern time. The conference organizers have also prepared an FAQ to address questions and concerns participants may have about the transition from a hybrid to fully virtual format.

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

Presenting and Participating in Remote Conferences

Attending and presenting at conferences is a great way to disseminate information about your project or center and connect with others who might be interested in your work. By this time, members of the ATE community are well versed in the dynamics of remote conferences, but sometimes we can all use a reminder about best practices. To help readers prepare for the 2021 ATE PI Conference, we share some quick tips to help both presenters and participants get the most out of the remote conference format.

Presenting Remotely:

  • Sign in early when presenting. Plan to log in 15 minutes early to test streaming technology and slide sharing features in advance.
  • Familiarize yourself with the other presenters and any moderator instructions. Know the order of presenters and be ready to go when it is your turn to speak. Be ready to step in if your moderator is sidelined due to technical issues.
  • Be aware of your presentation location and its limitations. Make sure you are in a well lit, quiet room with a background you do not mind others seeing.
  • For any breakout or interactive components, make sure participants have clear instructions. Make sure you have instructions ready to distribute to those participating in your session and that you are available to offer clarification when needed.

Participating in a Remote Conference or Meeting:

  • Plan for fatigue and build in breaks. The same way you would when attending an in-person conference or meeting, you should plan to take a break from digital events.
  • Minimize distractions and take an interactive approach. Turn off notifications and avoid multitasking. To avoid taking notes, check whether slides will be made available or presentations will be recorded.
  • Select sessions wisely. Do not feel pressure to "see it all," or sit through talks that you are not engaged with.
  • Familiarize yourself with the streaming technology and related etiquette. Be aware of whether your video is on. When not presenting or asking a question, keep your mic muted to avoid detracting from presenter audio.

For more information, consult this guide on video conferencing etiquette and this tipsheet for using Zoom effectively.

Did You Know?

A recent study has found that among rural students enrolled in 2- or 4-year college programs, only 13 percent pursue STEM majors, compared to 17 percent of suburban students. Among other factors, the researchers behind the study suggest that rural high schools often lack advanced programs in math and science or associated extracurriculars.

The study, conducted by a research team from Claremont Graduate University and Indiana University, derived these results from nationally representative data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009.

To learn more about the findings and methodology, read the full paper, STEM Pathways of Rural and Small-Town Students: Opportunities to Learn, Aspirations, Preparation, and College Enrollment.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

National Science Foundation YouTube Channel

Nearly 13,000 viewers have subscribed to the National Science Foundation's YouTube channel. It's not a secret why. These well-produced and often poignant presentations have managed to pack so much into such a small space. Nearly all the videos clock in at less than four minutes. Many of the clips are just two or three minutes long so readers can easily learn about the birth of planets, the details of the tropospheric ozone, and the wonders of biomedical engineering - all within the timespan of a quick coffee break. The hundreds of available videos are broken into categories such as Computer Science, Brain Research, and Education, among others. Whether you are looking for an interesting tidbit to add to your lecture on Geoscience or you are simply curious about conservation efforts in Central Africa, there is much to enjoy here.

Institute of Physics: Education

The Institute of Physics (IOP), which boasts a worldwide membership of over 50,000, has put together an excellent Education section on its website. Here readers will find curriculum development initiatives, professional development courses, and other helpful resources. Readers may like to start by choosing one of the categories on the landing page, which are broadly divided by career level or area of interest, e.g. I am a teacher or I am a student. Each section is loaded with helpful links and resources. For instance, under the I am new to teaching physics section, some readers may start with "I'm waiting to begin my teacher training." From there, a number of options are available, including What to read, Refresh your physics subject knowledge, and other topics. Likewise, under the Gender balance section, readers will find information about efforts to address gender imbalances in the field, systematically sorted into the subcategories of Reports and research, Resources and guidance for teachers, and Information on current projects.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2011 to manage the International Space Station. In addition to making access to the station faster and easier, connecting funders to scientists, and making research accessible to the public, CASIS hosts an excellent website packed with information about the space station. Readers may view the short videos on the homepage for more information on the projects CASIS sponsors, or peruse articles under the News & Events tab. Perhaps the most interesting part of the site, however, are the three tabs set aside for researchers, businesses, and educators. In fact, the For Educators tab is especially helpful, as it features Lesson Plans on topics such as "The Laws of Newton" and "Tracking Satellites," a Q&A section, and Additional Resources for teachers.

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
Gen AACC Future Presidents Institute Washington, DC
Gen AACC John E. Roueche Future Leaders Institute Washington, DC
Gen Preparing the Workforce for Industry 4.0 Washington, DC
Eng UAS SUMMIT & EXPO Grand Forks, ND
Gen 2021 ATE Conference: Broadening Impact through Innovation Washington, DC
Eng Charged Virtual Conference - EV Engineering Online
Eng Automotive Testing Expo Novi, MI
Gen EDUCAUSE Annual Conference Philadelphia, PA
Gen Reflections From ATE PI 2021 Online
Bio/Chem NABT Professional Development Conference Atlanta, GA
Mfg ITS America 2021 Annual Meeting Charlotte, NC
Gen Evaluation Methods 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 Project Releases Research Paper Outlining Critical Skills for Future Technicians

The ATE project Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work recently released a research paper that outlines recommendations for the integration of knowledge and skills in three key STEM areas: advanced digital literacy, data knowledge and analysis, and business knowledge and processes. The paper draws on research conducted with industry leaders, technicians, and STEM educators.

Members of the ATE community will find much that is relevant to their own work, especially the report's discussions of new programs to support emerging occupations and strategies to ensure the competitiveness of community college technical programs.

Readers can learn about the project and download the paper, "A Framework for Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core."

Nominations Open for Terry O'Banion Student Technology Awards

The League for Innovation is now accepting nominations for the 2021-2022 Terry O'Banion Student Technology Awards from League Alliance and Board member colleges. This award honors two deserving students who demonstrate a special talent in technology, passion about moving toward a career in technology, academic excellence, and strong financial need. Winners will receive $1,000 to be used for education expenses (e.g., tuition, fees) and a plaque commemorating their achievement.

Each separately accredited League member institution may submit one nomination for the Student Technology Champion award and one nomination for the Student Developer Champion award. (Dual enrollment high school and early college students are not eligible.)

Nominations will be accepted through October 29, 2021. Please refer to the Terry O'Banion Student Technology Awards page to learn more. The guidelines page provides detailed nomination information. Contact Kelly Dooling with questions.

Mentor-Connect Opens Services to Faculty Who Are New to ATE

Mentor-Connect is opening its mentoring services to two-year college STEM faculty members who have not previously received a grant from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. Previously, the Mentor-Connect mentoring opportunity was only available to faculty whose colleges are eligible for small grants for institutions new to ATE.

To access Mentor-Connect's online application for The New-to-ATE Two-Year STEM Faculty Mentorship click here. Mentor-Connect applications are due by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, October 8, 2021. Selected faculty will be notified Friday, November 5.

Call for Submissions for New ATE Journal

The Journal of Advanced Technological Education (J ATE) is a new peer-reviewed technical journal focused on technician education at community colleges. J ATE is now welcoming submissions to be published in upcoming issues. For members of the ATE community, publishing in a peer-reviewed technical journal like J ATE will be an excellent way to disseminate work, promote technical education programs, and share research with like-minded educators and the wider technical education community.

There is no cost to publish, access, and read the journal. In addition, there are no subscription or submission fees. J ATE authors are invited from ATE projects and centers, community college faculty, university education researchers, and industry personnel. Our target audience will include community and technical college faculty and staff, as well as K-12 educators, industry members, and those readers with interests in micro-nano technology and related fields, NSF ATE, and technician education. The journal is supported by the Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) with participation from InnovATEBIO (The National Center for Bio Technologies), the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT), and the National Center for Next Generation Manufacturing.

J ATE will include:

  • Articles and short communications on a variety of topics relevant to teaching and learning in technician education at all levels. This will include innovative pedagogical methods and related research.
  • Articles that demonstrate new educational activities, lab experiments, instructional methods and pedagogies that can be adopted in community and technical colleges.


NSF Releases New ATE Program Solicitation

Exciting news - the newest ATE program solicitation is now available from the National Science Foundation! 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.

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.

To read about the important updates and revisions to this program solicitation, check out the ATE Impacts blog on the topic.

AccessATE Tip Sheet: Workplace Communication and Safety for Physical Disabilities

It can be a challenge to talk to potential industry employers about workplace communication and safety for employees with disabilities. Check out this tip sheet from DeafTEC and AccessATE on Workplace Communication and Safety for Physical Disabilities for helpful hints and resources to prepare you to discuss these topics with industry partners and advocate for your students.

This resource covers tips for communicating with individuals with disabilities and ensuring people with physical disabilities can be safe in the workplace, as well as links to additional useful resources. To learn more, be sure to read the AccessATE blog post on using Person-First or Identity-First language to describe people with disabilities.

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: Workplace Communication for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Employees

Employers often are unsure about how best to communicate with potential employees who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. This tip sheet from DeafTEC and AccessATE provides helpful hints and resources to prepare you to discuss with employers how to effectively communicate with deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals.

This resource covers strategies for conversations in one-on-one interactions and group settings. To learn more, be sure to read the AccessATE blog post on how COVID-19 makes communication more challenging for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

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 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.

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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