ATE Leadership Caucus Looks to the Future

In mid-December, the new “Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work” project hosted its advisory committee and Principal Investigators from ATE centers, coordination networks and projects in Alexandria, Virginia to explore anticipated impacts on the “future of work” on the advanced technicians graduating from our programs.  This event kick-started the four-year ATE special project focused identifying what skills and knowledge the technician workforce will need in the coming decades and how we can best deploy them. The project advisory committee met the day prior to the Caucus and those 10 industry representatives joined the ATE Caucus to share their industry perspectives.  The funded “Preparing Technicians” project is providing an important opportunity for the ATE community to come together and look toward the future of technician education and what we will want and need to change in our educational systems to best prepare students for the jobs of the future.

Several NSF program officers from programs focused on the NSF’s “Big Idea” focusing on the Future of Work at the Human Technology Interface. This program spans the breadth of the National Science Foundation’s programs including the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.  And, it is one of ten “Big Ideas” (see the Big Ideas webpage) that the National Science Foundation is promoting to prompt scientists and engineering researchers to investigate interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary topics and applications of emerging technologies. The ATE Impacts Blog has a recent post from the Caucus event that highlights the presentations from these NSF program officers at the Caucus.
You can join the Preparing Technician’s community by signing up on its website,, and/or read the posted article from the December Caucus, which summarizes the amazing presentation by Mehran Gul, Lead for Digital Transformation Initiative at the World Economic Forum (Geneva, Switzerland).  This presentation gives a thought-provoking historic and global perspective of work and anticipates the future. You can also find the project’s monthly podcasts as well as other resources.

The fast pace of technological change, the power of artificial intelligence, G5 communication platforms, flexible manufacturing and virtual / augmented reality will affect how many workers do their work every day. We must do our best to anticipate what industry will look like for working technicians.  FLATE looks forward to sharing news from the Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work project as it explores the technology workforce and workplace of the near future.  For more information about the Preparing Technicians projects, contact the project P.I., Ann-Clair Anderson ( or Marilyn Barger, Executive Director, FLATE (

Catch the Wave of career Pathways with the 2019 Florida Career Pathways Network (FCPN) Symposium

The Florida Career Pathways Network hosted its Annual FCPN Symposium “2019 Catch the Wave of Career Pathways” in the beautiful Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa, in Martin County, Florida on January 16-18. FCPN is part of the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN), a membership organization dedicated to the advancement of Career Pathways, career technical education (CTE), and workforce development initiatives. FCPN serves as a platform for educational practitioners and leaders to collaborate on initiatives targeted to prepare students at the secondary and postsecondary level for the 21st century high-tech, high-skill and high-paying jobs. FCPN supports excellence in the planning, implementation, evaluation and improvement of career pathways, career and technical education, and education-related reform initiatives across Florida. Its cohort of members and partners who include educators, administrators, and employers have been effective in pooling an extensive array of information aimed at providing a network of communication and resources for new and existing programs. As every year, the 2019 FCPN symposium offered a true collaboration of outstanding educators and business partners from across the state of Florida, who strive for educational best practices and excellence.
The pre-conference “Integrating Robotics and Coding” hands on workshop focused on the importance of increasing robotics and coding a crossed grade levels, the need to prepare the future workforce for careers and the relationship to computer, reviewed industry certifications that apply to coding and robotics, and available professional development resources. A total  of 18 participants took advantage of the hands on robotics activities, some of the activities involved the use of EV3 robot programming platform to build and code a robot.  Learn the basics, then build and program a robot to perform a specific task.

FLATE is closely involved and has been a longtime member of the organization. As part of its ongoing involvement with statewide Career & Technical (CTE) programs, every year FLATE attends the FCPN symposium to share ideas and best practices. This year FLATE together with the Hillsborough County Public Schools facilitated a pre-conference “Integrating Robotics and Coding” hands on workshop held on January 16, 2019. In addition, FLATE participated in two sessions at the FCPN Symposium held on January 17.
FLATE typically provide satisfaction surveys at the end of workshops to provide a means of continuous improvement and to ensure FLATE is meeting the needs of attendees. Fifteen respondents to the survey agreed that the format, presentation and overall activities of the workshop were excellent, 100% of the respondents plan to use the information presented in the workshop, will share something learned with colleagues and peers, and will definitely recommend this workshop to others.
Session 1: Industry Tours: A Strategy that Works to Spark Girls’ Awareness about STEM Careers. This session presented how women representation in STEM fields continues to be low in USA. Field trips/industry tours activities provide students with the opportunity to visualize and integrate the “T and E” in STEM subjects by experiencing real high-tech world industry workplace.   During this presentation, FLATE demonstrated how its outreach campaign “Made in Florida” Industry Tours positively impact the perception of students.

Session 2: Manufacturing Day Student Tours: A Great Way to Celebrate STEM and CTE Pathways. This session introduced FLATE’s Made in Florida outreach campaign “Manufacturing Day/Month”, and shared how FLATE has organized a statewide effort, carried out by local stakeholders, to get students into manufacturing facilities for tours in October.  Participants learned how STEM /CTE disciplines can help to expose students and the community to manufacturing and all the high technologies and great careers.

FLATE receives Florida Career Pathways Best Practices Award for its outstanding dedication and leadership in support of Florida’s Career Pathways Initiatives, demonstrated through its Florida Best Practices.
During the 2019 FCPN Awards luncheon, Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director, FLATE, Danielly Orozco-Cole, Associate Director, FLATE, and Elizabeth E. Simpson, Supervisor, Industrial and Technology Education, Hillsborough County Publics Schools Career and Technical Education were recognized for their dedication and leadership received two Best Practices Awards.

The best practice presentations are now available for download on FLATE’s Wiki/presentations.

SAVE THE DATE for the National Career Pathways Network Conference on October 11-13, 2019, Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld, Florida. For more information visit