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: Engineering Technologies

From Hybrid Curriculum for Upskilling Photonics Technicians in Advanced Optics and Quantum Research Enabled Technologies:

Quantum Technician Skills and Competencies for the Emerging Quantum 2.0 Industry

This article presents the results of a quantum industry survey on the skills and competencies necessary in a quantum technician workforce, followed by recommendations for quantum technician curricula based on the survey results. The article provides an overview of the quantum industry in the United States and an analysis of current quantum education programs, highlighting the insufficient technical training in quantum technologies to meet the projected need for a quantum technician workforce. Additionally, the article discusses the EdQuantum project, which aims to create a curriculum in quantum technologies for technicians.

From Teachers' Domain: Advanced Technological Education:

Fiber Optics

Optical fibers transmit light signals and are widely used in the telecommunications industry to transmit data over long distances. Light travels through the core material of an optical fiber by essentially repeatedly bouncing off the cladding material that surrounds the core. Understanding refraction and how light behaves at the boundary of two different materials is the basis for understanding how fiber optic lines work. In particular, total internal reflection occurs when light travels in a material with a higher index of refraction toward a material with a lower index of refraction and the angle of incidence is greater than the critical angle. In this lesson, students investigate through experimentation, discussion, and video the phenomenon of total internal reflection and its relationship to fiber optics. Students also watch a video about dispersion and discuss the implications for fiber optics. Note: This is the second of two optics lesson plans. You may want to precede this lesson with The Index of Refraction Lesson Plan.

From Electron Technologies: Modeling Pico Worlds for New Careers:

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Activity

This resource provides an introductory activity on "the basic quantum mechanics concepts about electrons that are essential to understanding modern and future technology- especially nanotechnology that will be vitally important to the industry." Core concepts include probability distribution, electron waves, diffraction, interference, tunneling, bound states and excited states. The interactive module allows students to test their knowledge as they learn. The material would be best for high school AP classes and college level students. Although a preview of the activity is available, instructors and students are encouraged to sign up with the Electron Technologies site before starting to use these materials.

Community Connection

Teaching with Snack Foods - Engage. Educate. Enjoy!

This month's ATE Impact's From the Archive blog post explores how inventive educators within the ATE community use every day snack foods to teach complex STEM concepts. Highlighting three projects which showcase how these educators transform marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, and candy into engaging learning tools. These methods make scientific and mathematical principles more accessible and enjoyable for students, blending education with entertainment.

One highlighted project from Erie Community College uses marshmallows to teach measurement and calculations, having students determine the surface area, volume, and density of these cylindrical treats. Northern Wyoming Community College District's lesson employs chocolate chip cookies to simulate surface mining and land reclamation, where students diagram, mine, classify, and reclaim resources within the cookies. Lastly, the FLATE Center provides lessons on melting points and emulsions, using candy-making activities to deepen students' understanding of these concepts. Each resource is designed to captivate students' interest while providing hands-on educational experiences.

Read the whole blog post on the ATE Impacts website.

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

Effective Outreach to Non-Specialist Audiences

The internet and social media allow researchers and educators to communicate with more people than could be done through traditional venues such as conferences and classrooms. Formats such as blogs and podcasts are great platforms for members of the ATE community to employ to widely promote their projects or centers and support or even enhance other outreach efforts. Yet this greater reach means that we must work to sharpen our communications skills to be understood by non-technical audiences.

Here are some tips for improving public outreach with non-specialist audiences.

  • Avoid abstraction. Use concrete examples or analogies to relate abstract concepts to more broadly shared experiences. For instance, instead of just discussing wind speeds in kilometers per hour, an effective climatologist might also relate them to common weather phenomena such as a breezy day or a hurricane.
  • Ask and answer questions. Anticipate questions that non-specialist readers will have along the way. State them and provide the response to ensure audiences understand basic concepts.
  • Mix media. It is easier than ever to record basic videos of your computer desktop and voice. Integrate visuals such as graphics and video explanations into written text to provide more depth and clarity in your explanation.
  • Watch out for acronyms. We all use them and our professional colleagues know exactly who or what we are talking about - but for those who are not part of our scientific or education community using acronyms can be off putting and confusing. Make sure to use the full name of an organization; even though it's often longer, it's better to use "The National Science Foundation" than "NSF" (and provide a brief reminder of what the organization does) so that everyone understands who or what you're talking about.
  • Try alternative formats. We know folks in the ATE community love text, but many audiences today prefer formats such as short videos, infographics, photos, and podcasts. As for the latter, it is not as difficult or expensive as it seems to make high-quality audio recordings. Podcasts can be really effective for outreach efforts, as exemplified by the Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work Podcast, hosted by Mike Lesiecki.
  • Remember to consider accessibility – make sure to include captions in videos and alt text for images. Learn more about making your work accessible and tip sheets from AccessATE.

Did You Know?

In the 2021-2022 academic year, approximately 60% of students at community colleges were enrolled in credit-earning courses, which typically lead to degrees or certificates and can be transferred to four-year institutions. The remaining 40% of students were participating in non-credit programs, which are designed to provide workforce training, personal enrichment, or basic education skills, according to the American Association of Community Colleges Fast Facts 2023. These non-credit programs play a crucial role in community colleges' mission to offer accessible education and career advancement opportunities to diverse populations. The flexibility and variety of courses available cater to the needs of both traditional students and working adults looking to enhance skills.

Select STEM Education Resources

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

United States Society on Dams

The United States Society on Dams (USSD) is a professional organization that promotes the advancement of dam engineering and technology and fosters public awareness of the importance of dams. The best feature on the society's home page is its excellent introduction to dams and their benefits. First, a short definition of a dam is given, and then some reasons for their construction are outlined with specific examples. There are many pictures of dams across the country, and most have explanations for their importance. Hydroelectric power as a renewable resource is discussed in detail. This Web site is a good learning resource for both kids and adults.

Test and Treat Before You Drink

This resource from the Teach Engineering website is designed to help students learn about water quality testing and basic water treatment designs. This resource was created by scientists at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program in the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Users will find ten different sections that cover the learning objectives, vocabulary, associated activities, and assessment. The entire exercise should take twenty minutes in the classroom, and the features here include graphs, charts, helpful annotated photographs, and so on. The exercise may be used to raise awareness of the importance of clean drinking water in the developing world and how various innovations can help in achieving this goal.

ANSI/AAMI EC13 Test Waveforms

This Web page contains an offering from PhysioNet, a public service of the National Institute of Health's National Center for Research Resources, which provides free access to digitally recorded physiologic signals and related software. PhysioNet made available this standard set of test waveforms (as specified by the American National Standard for cardiac monitors, heart rate meters, and alarms). The files provided may be used to test a number of devices that monitor electrocardiogram and include both synthetic and real waveforms. Frequently updated to include new databases and other resources, PhysioNet is a must-bookmark Web site for the physiological research community.

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
Info NICE Conference Dallas, TX
Bio/Chem BIO International Convention San Diego, CA
Eng GRRATE Summer Institute - Archer Archer, FL
Gen 2024 PTI Conference Portland, ME
Nano University of Minnesota: Micro and Nanotechnology Health & Safety Workshop 2024 Minneapolis, MN
Nano Water, Water Everywhere - Nanotechnology Applications (Zoom Workshop) Online
Gen Mentor Up Workshop Online
Info 2024 Information Security Summit Wellesley Hills, MA
Gen Maker Faire NoVa Alexandria, VA
Eng 2024 Energy Drone & Robotics Summit The Woodlands, TX
Bio/Chem Summer of Nanopore Sequencing 2024 - Skyline College San Bruno, CA
Info GenCyber: Appalachian Solutions Teacher Academy Prestonsburg, KY
Mfg Summer Teacher Institute Tampa, FL
Mfg Mechatronics Professional Development #1 - Concepts of Electronics Columbus, NE
Info GeoEd'24 Louisville, KY
Ag/Env VESTA National Summit 2024 Knoxville, TN
Mfg "Girls Can, Too!" Summer Day-Camp Georgetown, KY
Mfg Fundamentals of Metallurgy, GMA Processes, & Welder Certification East Peoria, IL
Mfg Fundamentals of Metallurgy, SMA Processes, Inspection, & Codes Wahpeton, ND
Info CyAD Conference: Cybersecurity Across Disciplines Palos Hills, IL
Nano 2024 NACK Hands-on-Site Workshops Williamsville, NY
Nano Biomimicry: Lessons from Nature (Zoom Workshop) Online
Mfg Mechatronics Professional Development #2 - Intro to Instrumentation Columbus, NE
Bio/Chem Summer of Nanopore Sequencing 2024 - DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech Brooklyn, NY
Eng Northwestern Michigan College ROV and Sonar Workshop Traverse City, MI
Info IoT Cloud Online
Gen Power of Us Camp Durham, NC
Eng GRRATE Summer Institute - Downtown Gainesville Gainesville, FL
Info ITSS Summit - Alexandria, VA Alexandria, VA
Bio/Chem Summer of Nanopore Sequencing 2024 - University of Hawaii at Mānoa Honolulu, HI
Mfg Fundamentals of Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Santa Clarita, CA
Eng MATE ROV World Championship Kingsport, TN
Bio/Chem Summer of Nanopore Sequencing 2024 - Granite Technical Institute South Salt Lake, UT
Mfg Mechatronics Professional Development #3 - Intro to PLC's Columbus, NE
Info AI Threat Management Workshop Online
Eng 2024 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Portland, OR
Bio/Chem Summer of Nanopore Sequencing 2024 - James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
Eng Workshop: Advancing Faculty Skills in Mass Timber Construction East Lansing, MI
Info Security+ Online
Eng GRRATE Summer Institute - Starke Starke, FL
Info Summer 2024 Bootcamp: The Convergence of AI & XR – Leveraging emerging technologies in the classroom St Cloud, MN
Bio/Chem The All of Us Research Hub Summer Institute Salt Lake City, UT
Mfg Mechatronics Professional Development #4 - Application of Industrial Sensors Coumbus, NE
Gen Evaluation Essentials for Non-Evaluators: Understanding the Basics and Benefits of Evaluation Online
Info Implications of Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity Educators Online
Info Whatcom Community College Gencyber Camp Bellingham, WA
Mfg Weld-Ed Summer Training - Fundamentals of GMAW Waveforms, Visual Inspection, and Ultrasonic Testing Williamsport, PA
Mfg Weld-Ed Summer Training - Fundamentals of Welding Metallurgy - Aluminum & Welding Robotics - Cobots Ogden, UT
Ag/Env 48th ASEV-Eastern Section Annual Meeting Cleveland, OH
Ag/Env 2024 STEM Solar Institute Madison, WI
Eng ASE Instructor Training Conference Minneapolis, MN
Info Microsoft Azure Open AI Fundamentals Online
Eng GRRATE Summer Institute - Alachua Alachua, FL
Eng GRRATE Summer Institute - Keystone Heights Keystone Heights, FL
Ag/Env Summer 2024 STEM Educator Energy Institute Pittsboro, NC
Mfg Weld-Ed Summer Training - Surface Inspection NonDestructive Testing Chattanooga, TN
Eng Battery Electric Vehicle Sumer Institute Dayton, OH
Ag/Env Summer 2024 STEM Solar Plus Storage Institute Madison, WI
Gen HI-TEC 2024 Kansas City, MO
Bio/Chem BIOTECH Pathways: Summer Institute Bel Air, MD
Gen Experience STEAM Bloomington, MN
Nano REU Convocation Lincoln, NE
Nano 2024 NACK Hands-on-Site Workshops University Park, PA
Bio/Chem Antibody Engineering Hackathon August 2024 Online
Mfg 2024 MTTIA Conference Brainerd, MN
Mfg Weld-Ed Summer Training - GMAW /FCAW Processes Marysville, CA
Mfg Edge Computing Educator Workshop Tampa, FL
Info AWS Cloud Workshop 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.

News & Reminders

ATE Central LinkedIn Page

Introducing ATE Central's official LinkedIn page! ATE Central amplifies the impactful work of the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education community. The ATE community is dedicated to elevating the skills of technicians and their educators and ATE Central’s LinkedIn page provides a gateway to the full spectrum of the ATE achievements. Follow the LinkedIn page to stay updated, access valuable resources and events, and connect with like-minded professionals shaping the future of technological education.

Upcoming Event: Marine Technology Field training course

Northwestern Michigan College is holding a Marine Technology Field training course that consists of hands-on experience using multiple marine technologies. From June 16th-21st, participants will be able to spend time on research vessels and join in on various subsea investigations. Participants will examine multiple shipwrecks and ecosystems in the Grand Traverse Bay area. Register for the workshop on Northwest Michigan College’s website.

ATE Impacts 2024-2025 Book Promotes Technical Education and Celebrates 30 Years

The ATE Impacts 2024-2025 book showcases the work of the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Community. This edition includes a foreword from National Science Foundation Director, Sethuraman Panchanathan, and features the work of 24 centers and 35 projects across the seven ATE areas, as well as applied research. By highlighting the ATE community's successful and innovative work, the book encourages broader participation in the ATE program by academic institutions, educators, and industry partners. Dissemination of the ATE Impacts book advances understanding of the importance of technician education and its role in supporting the high-tech industries that drive the United States' economy More information on the book can be found on the ATE Impacts website.

Second Annual Cybersecurity Across Disciplines (CyAD) Conference

The second annual Cybersecurity Across Disciplines (CyAD) Conference is set to take place in-person at Moraine Valley Community College on June 12-13, 2024.

This event invites community college faculty members, industry representatives, and educators from diverse disciplines to come together and delve into the critical intersections of cybersecurity. Whether you're from the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, engineering, or banking and finance sectors, this conference offers invaluable opportunities to expand your cybersecurity knowledge, integrate it into your curriculum, and collaborate on innovative approaches to cybersecurity education. With interactive presentations, hands-on workshops, and ample networking opportunities, the CyAD conference is designed to equip you with practical tools and insights, regardless of your prior cybersecurity experience.

Register online on the NCyTE website.

ATE Central Outreach Kit

The ATE Central Outreach Kit was developed as a tool to assist ATE Principal Investigators (PIs) and staff in effectively planning, monitoring, and executing outreach activities.

ATE Central has given the Outreach Kit a refresh with a new design and content, accompanied by a downloadable Template. The new kit is designed to guide you through a step-by-step process and helps you explore how to identify your primary audiences and stakeholders, determine the partners and resources that can support your efforts, and start considering aspects such as branding and messaging.

By utilizing the kit and template, you will make significant progress towards developing a comprehensive plan that enables you to achieve the objectives of your grant, effectively communicate your outcomes and impacts, and showcase the valuable work of your project or center to a diverse range of stakeholders.

The Outreach Kit can be found on ATE Central's website, under the Resources tab.

New Tool - Calendar Feed

The ATE Central Calendar Feed is an easy to customize tool that enables calendar feeds from the ATE Central Events Calendar to quickly be added to either the Outlook or the Mac Calendar app, and will then automatically display upcoming events of interest based on the keywords you include. You can use the feed to populate your personal calendar or to add lists of upcoming events to your ATE center or project website. For WordPress-based sites, free plugins like ICS Calendar will allow you to use a calendar feed to display a list of upcoming events on your WordPress site. You'll need to sign in to your ATE Central account to create a feed - and it's easy to change your selection of keywords to add or subtract areas of interest over time. We look forward to hearing from you as you utilize this new service and as always, we'd love to get your feedback or comments. Don't hesitate to reach out to the team with any questions at

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