Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How will I access the virtual conference?

Registered attendees will be sent an email from Matchbox Virtual Media and AACC by 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT) on Friday, October 15. This email will contain a link to access the virtual conference platform login page.  Attendees will be able to enter the platform at that time.  Please note there will be no sessions available until their scheduled time on the agenda, but you can take a look around.

The link will be sent to the email address that was used to register you and is how you will access all the conference content. The same link can be used each day to access the platform for the live conference and whenever you choose to view on-demand content when the conference is over.

Q. When can I enter the virtual platform?

The virtual conference platform, powered by Matchbox Virtual Media, will open to all participants Friday, October 15.  

Q. What if I do not receive the link?

First check your SPAM or Junk folder.  If you still do not see the link please contact and a member of the AACC’s registration staff will contact you. 

Q. Can I share this link with others?

Just like an in-person meeting, registrations cannot be shared. Each registration provides a single sign-on secure experience for the user.

Q. I’m not sure if my organization will allow access to the virtual platform site. Is there a way I can check to ensure I won’t have problems when the conference begins?

Yes, please see tips for access provided below. 

• The platform is Zoom-based, so please make sure you are running the most updated version of Zoom. Click here to  join a test meeting now.

• We strongly recommend participating in the virtual conference through a laptop or desktop computer as the site is not configured for viewing/engagement on a phone or small mobile device.

• Please ensure that Vimeo is not blocked on your system.  

• Enable all pop-ups.

• The platform is designed to work best on Google Chrome, but it should work on all current browsers, including Edge and Firefox. 

o Internet Explorer is not compatible with this platform and will not work. 

• As the conference platform can occasionally be blocked by workplace firewalls, we encourage you to ask your IT team to clear or whitelist the following sites:

o and all subdomains

o and all subdomains

o and all subdomains

Q. How do I access the conference sessions?

All sessions will be located on the agenda by date and time.  Select the session tile and click “join session” to stream at the appropriate time. Some sessions are live and some are pre-recorded with presenters live in chat. All sessions will have a chat feature to engage with panelists and other attendees.  All registrations provide full access to the sessions.  Pre-conference workshops require pre-registration and the session you registered for will appear on your screen.  

Q. Will general and concurrent sessions be recorded?

Yes, all live sessions will be recorded and both live and pre-recorded sessions will be available on demand for six months following the event.

Q. How can I get either technical or general help during the conference?

Participants who are logged in to the virtual platform can access the conference Help Desk for either technical or general questions. This tile is found on the bottom of each session page.  It will be monitored throughout the event.




Q. I registered for the in-person event as part of the ATE Conference. How do I transfer my registration so that I can participate in the virtual event?

AACC will automatically register all persons registered for the in-person conference for the virtual event. 

Q. I paid for my conference registration. Will a refund be processed?

Yes, AACC will process all registration refunds in full over the next few weeks. Full refunds will be issued to your original form of payment. If you have any questions or concerns on refunds, please email

Q. I registered for an in-person pre-conference workshop. Will that workshop be offered virtually? Will my registration carry over to the virtual event?

The following workshops were going to be offered in-person as part of the 2021 ATE Conference.

Workshop C:  Stories Are Data – Analyzing & Reporting Qualitative Evaluation

Workshop D: Universal Design for Learning – Supporting Diversity and Equity

Workshop E: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work by Implementing a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

All three of these workshops will now be held virtually on Tuesday, October 19 (Workshops C and D will be held from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT; and Workshop E from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT). 

Any individuals registered for one of these in-person, pre-conference workshops will have their registrations automatically carried over to the virtual offering. If you no longer wish to attend the workshop, please email and we will make that adjustment. 

In addition, we are adding a new pre-conference workshop to the agenda:

Monday, October 18
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Workshop F – Engaging Students with HTML 5 STEM Activities

For more information, please see the pre-conference workshop page.

Q. I am already registered for the virtual component of the ATE Conference. Can I go back in and add a pre-conference workshop registration now that they are all virtual?

Yes, you can make changes to your registration at any time. If you have already registered for the conference, you can use your confirmation number to go back into your record and add a pre-conference workshop registration.


Q. I already made my hotel reservation at the Omni Shoreham. Will AACC cancel my hotel reservation?

The Omni Shoreham Hotel will automatically cancel all hotel reservations for the 2021 ATE Conference. You will receive notification of your hotel room cancellation directly from the hotel.


Q. I already made my air or other travel arrangements to attend. Will AACC cover the cost of my cancelled travel expenses?

No, travel costs are the responsibility of the attendee. If cancelling your travel to attend the ATE Conference incurs in a cost, please note that cancellation costs for ATE-funded events due to the pandemic can be covered by your grant. Please refer to the following guidance from NSF in relation to the allowability of incurring conference/meeting cancellation costs. NSF published a series of documentation and guidance on COVID, found here. See specifically FAQ #4 from this document. 

Call for Sessions

Q. I submitted a proposed conference session in response to the Call for Sessions and indicated that I wanted to present in-person. Can my session proposal be considered for placement on the agenda for the virtual conference?

Yes, AACC is in the process of scheduling the submissions received in response to the Call for Sessions and are considering all submissions for placement on the virtual program. We will be reaching out to individuals who submitted sessions shortly.

Conference Orientation Webinar

Q. I registered for the Conference orientation webinar. Will that still be held on Thursday, September 9.

No, AACC has rescheduled the Conference orientation webinar to Wednesday, October 6 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., EDT to allow time to transition to the virtual platform. Those already registered for the orientation were notified through Zoom of the change in scheduling. To register for the Conference Orientation Webinar, please click here. 

Conference Agenda

Q. Now that the conference has changed to all virtual, what is the schedule of events?

We have updated the draft schedule of events for the virtual conference, which can be found here. We will be updating this agenda with the sessions scheduled in the next few weeks as we finish our review/scheduling of the Call for Sessions submissions and confirm presenters. Please continue to check back for updates.


Q. Should I still nominate students to apply to attend? What virtual events are available for students?  

Yes! The student application deadline has been extended to Thursday, September 16. Please encourage students to apply. Students may attend all virtual sessions including a student only networking session with industry representatives. Students are also required to submit a poster that will be shared during a virtual student poster session. For more information regarding students, please see the student page.

ATE Connects

Q. Now that the event is virtual will there be any changes with ATE Connects?

No. ATE Connects was planned as a virtual component to connect the ATE community and spotlight all grants. Participation in ATE Connects is required by NSF. Please plan to submit your ATE Connects session materials by the September 20 deadline. For more details, please visit the ATE Connects page of the conference site. 

Q. I am preparing my ATE Connects submission, can my video/audio PPT file be longer than 90 seconds?

The maximum length for video or audio PPT files is 90 seconds. AACC will not accept longer files. To assist you in preparing a 90-second video or audio PPT file, we ask you to consider the ATE Connects session as an opportunity to share your project or center “elevator speech.” It is intended to provide a high-level overview of your program and/or to highlight a strategy or resource of interest to the ATE community. It is not intended to describe the full scope of your project. You are more than welcome to include links to websites, longer videos, and other resources in your PDF one-pager to compliment the short video or PPT file.


Q. What is the deadline to register for the ATE Conference?

The deadline to register for the 2021 Virtual ATE Conference is October 12. 

Q. How many people can register per grant to attend the conference?

Please see the Conference Registration page for detailed information on how many attendees per grant award can attend the conference.  

Q. Where can I find my ATE grant number in order to register?

To register for the ATE Conference, you will need your ATE Grant Number. If your institution has more than one grant, please consult with your team members to determine who should register under which grant. AACC has coded a set number of slots per grant in the online registration system so each participant must register with a grant number. For NSF ATE award number look-up, please consult NSF’s awards database by using the Advanced Search Function and entering “7412” into the Element Code box to restrict your search to the ATE program.

Q. My grant is in a no-cost extension, can I still register to attend?

Yes. ATE projects and centers in no-cost extensions, or those that have recently expired, are welcome to attend the conference and can bring up to two people to attend. Registration for the virtual conference is complimentary. Please use your grant number when registering. If your grant number does not allow you to register online, please contact ATE registration at 

Q. If my institution has more than one grant, how do I know what grant to register under?

Please contact your PI or other grant team members for guidance. AACC has coded a set amount of registration space per grant in the online system so each participant must register with a grant number.  

Q. AACC has my grant listed as a project grant and I have a center grant?

AACC receives the list of grant awards from NSF. If you feel that your grant has been improperly designated as a project or center, please contact NSF. Please note that planning grants for centers count as a project. 

Q. When will registration for pre-conference workshops be available and is there a fee? 

Pre-Conference workshop registration is available now with conference registration information. There will be no fee for pre-conference workshops for the 2021 ATE Conference. However, pre-conference workshops will be offered on a space available basis, first-come, first-served and require advance registration.

Q. What is the policy for transferring or canceling a registration to the 2021 Virtual ATE Conference?

Cancellations and participant substitutions can be made online by October 12 and at any time following by emailing