Eastern Iowa Community Colleges has long been a national leader with its Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center (ATEEC), but that didn’t happen overnight.
The college recently received recognition in the Community College Journal in a national story detailing how the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants are making centers such as ATEEC possible throughout the country.
ATEEC was established in 1994 with the help of a $3 million NSF grant. It is a national center of excellence within the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program.
It provides educational resources for colleges and K-12 classrooms all across the United States. The center also works with business and industry to identify emerging technologies, enhance technical training, create opportunities for collaboration and educate the workforce. ATEEC works closely with area business leaders to assist in attracting new employers to the area.
In addition, hundreds of local school children participate in field trips to the center each year, where they have the opportunity to visit ATEEC’s interactive facility featuring a variety of displays devoted to energy and the environment.
“Receiving the grant in 1994 put Eastern Iowa Community Colleges on the map, literally,” EICC Vice Chancellor for Resource Development and Innovation said in the Journal story. “People would ask, ‘Why Iowa?’ And we would respond, ‘Why not Iowa?’ Our strength was, back then and continues to be, the robust educational partnerships and industry relationships we have formed.”
ATEEC is located at 201 N. Harrison Street, across from the Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport.
The NSF has continued to support the center and the work it is doing, providing a number of additional grants since that initial funding in 1994. Just last year it received a $780,000 grant for a specific project titled “Water Intense: Interactive Technology Education.”
The main focus of that grant is the development of a virtual reality education curriculum for water, wastewater, and agriculture technologies and conservation. Once completed, it will be shared with two-year colleges across the nation.
Learn More Community College Journal article – At 25, ATE’s impact continues to grow