NIH SciEd 2021: Annual Conference for NIH Science Education Projects

Virtual Conference

When:May 24-27, 2021
Where:Virtual at
Address:Washington, DC 20001
Event Contact:Steve Reest

Held virtually during May 24-27, NIH SciEd 2021 was the ninth NIH-wide conference for science
education projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. The 109 projects represented at the
conference were funded by the following programs:

• Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), National Institute of General Medical Sciences
(82 projects)
• Youth Enjoy Science Research Education Program, National Cancer Institute (11 projects)
• Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Experiences (ENDURE),
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (1 project)

The 412 conference registrants included 107 project PIs, 53 Co-PIs, 42 project managers, 81 project
staff members, 9 internal evaluators, 15 external evaluators, 13 graduate students, 11 post-doctoral
fellows, 9 teachers, 46 other individuals, 19 NIH staff (NIGMS, NHGRI, NCI, NIEHS, NIDDK, All of
Us Research Program, Tribal Health Research Office, and Office of Data Science Strategy) and 7
staff from other federal agencies involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM) education at the pre-kindergarten – grade 12 and public levels (National Science
Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel


Executive Summary

  • Executive Summary
    NIH SciEd 2021
    May 13, 2022 9:00 am

    The conference began with a keynote address by Jon R. Lorsch, PhD, director of NIH NIGMS, who
    highlighted the NIH strategic plan for data science and ways this focus is being implemented,
    including in SEPA projects. He also highlighted new initiatives in the IDeA program and NIGMS
    science education outreach efforts. In the next keynote address, Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD, director
    of NIH NIMHD, spoke about health disparities, their effects on children, and promoting health
    equity for all youth. And in a third keynote, Maryam Zaringhalam, PhD, AAAS Science & Technology
    Policy Fellow and Senior Producer at the StoryCollider, gave an inspiring presentation about the
    power of storytelling for engaging people in science. On the second morning of the conference,
    Leslie Goodyear, PhD, Principal Research Scientist at the Education Development Center,
    highlighted the elements of high-quality project evaluations. On the final day of the conference,
    plenary and breakout sessions focused on preparing competitive grant proposals.

    Twenty-nine breakout sessions addressed broadening participation, curriculum development,
    informal science education, research experiences for students and teachers, science teaching and
    learning, teacher professional development, research and evaluation, and project administration.

    Eighteen roundtable discussions provided opportunities to learn from other projects in an informal,
    small-group format. The NCI YES program also held a satellite PI meeting. All projects were invited
    to present a poster about their work during one of two poster sessions and to give a 1-minute
    “Flash” talk highlighting their poster. Participants reported that the most valuable things they
    gained from the conference were learning about and from other projects; learning about evaluation
    tools and resources; learning about other funding options; and–as always–networking,
    reconnecting, and finding new collaborators.

    Stark, Louisa A. – PhD


  • Sessions
    Links and Video

    Annual Conference for NIH Science Education Projects

    May 24-27, 2021

    All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time

    Session Abstracts are in the Detailed Conference Schedule

    11:00 – 12:00
    Introduction of Dr. Jon Lorsch
    Ming Lei, PhD, Director, Division for Research Capacity Building, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), NIH
    Keynote Address: NIGMS Update
    Jon R. Lorsch, PhD, Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), NIH

    12:00-1:00 Concurrent Poster Sessions
    See Detailed Conference Schedule for abstracts and poster session assignments

    Broadening Participation

    Curriculum Development (High School)

    Informal Science Education

    Research Experiences for Students & Teachers

    Science Teaching and Learning

    Teacher Professional Development

    2:00-3:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions
    Practices to Overcome Barriers to STEM Learning – Programs for First Generation, Urban and Rural Participation
    Debra Yourick, Elizabeth Parker, Melinda Gibbons, Erin Hardin

    Strategies for Facilitating Public Access to Educational Products Resulting from SEPA Projects
    Sandra San Miguel, Liliana Bronner

    Using STTR/SBIRs to Position Great Programs to Sustain Themselves Michael Wyss, Melissa Gilliam, Tim Herman, Dina Markowitz, Tony Beck, Robert Russell

    Productive Uncertainty and Curriculum Development Discussion
    Regina Wu, Jeanne Chowning

    The Making of Zoom Fatigue: PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Health Fellowship
    Leah Clapman, Eli Kintisch, John Barnes

    Themed, Multi-topic Sessions
    Each presenter will have 20 minutes

    Theme: Research Experiences
    Note: This session will run 3:00 – 4:20

    Lessons Learned from Developing a Distance Research Program
    Teresa Schiff, Mziya Sarishvili, Kelley Withy

    Remote Mentored Problem-Based Research
    Peter Faletra, Alyson Michael

    Developing Partnerships for Epidemiology Education in the Secondary Setting
    Robin Taylor Wilson, Dirk Swart, Terri O’Neil

    Funding Opportunity: NIDDK Short-Term Research Experience Program to Unlock Potential (STEP-UP) (R25)
    Robert Clay Rivers

    Theme: Multimedia, Social Media, Virtual learning

    Like, Follow, Share, Subscribe: How to Use Social Media in SciEd
    Amy Warren, Kimberly Jacoby Morris

    Adapting & Pivoting: Using our Lessons Learned as an Opportunity
    Michelle Ventura Ezeoke

    AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Interactive Multimedia Experts
    Adam Hott, Peter Anderson, Andrij Holian, Paulette Jones, Harmony Starr

    Theme: Broadening Participation in Evaluation (+ NGSS assessment bonus)
    Note: This session will run 3:00 – 4:20

    Re-engaging Program Alumni Through Focus Groups to Inform Program Evaluation
    Sarah Wojiski, Charlie Wray, Emaly Piecuch

    Creating Collective Impact – Activated Partnerships x Community Co-creation
    Holly Truitt

    Exploring Program Impacts Across All Stakeholders: University Student Mentors Describe the Personal and Professional Benefits of their Community Service Through Post-Lesson Reflective Diaries
    Lindley McDavid, Loran Carleton Parker, Weiling Li, Sandra San Miguel

    Developing and Validating a 3D, Phenomenon-Based Item Cluster for an NGSS- friendly Cell Biology Unit
    Ann Lambert, Dina Drits-Esser

    11:00-12:00 Plenary Session: Update on the SEPA Program and Town Hall
    Tony Beck, PhD, Program Director, Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Division for Research Capacity Building, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), NIH

    12:00-1:00 Concurrent Poster Sessions
    See Detailed Conference Schedule for abstracts and poster session assignments

    Broadening Participation

    Interactive Multimedia

    Research & Evaluation

    Research Experiences for Students & Teachers

    Science Teaching & Learning

    Teacher Professional Development

    1:00-2:00 Break

    2:00-3:00 Plenary Session

    Update on the NCI Youth Enjoy Science Program
    Alison Lin, PhD, Deputy Chief, Diversity Training Branch, Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH

    Supporting Teachers: Building a Pathway to Provide Teacher Access to SEPA Resources
    Elizabeth “Beth” Allan, PhD, President, National Science Teaching Association, and Professor of Biology, University of Central Oklahoma

    NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) Program – Synergy with the SEPA Program and SEPA Projects
    Liam R. O’Fallon, MS, Health Specialist, Population Health Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), NIH

    3:00-4:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions
    Exploring Synergies Between NSTA and SEPA: A Conversation with Dr. Beth Allan, NSTA President, and Tricia Shelton, NSTA Chief Learning Officer Elizabeth Allan, Tricia Shelton, Jeanne Chowning

    I’ll Make You Famous – Approaching Career Development with Passion and Joy through SEPA
    Sandra San Miguel

    The Scientist Spotlights Initiative: Integrating Counterstereotypical Scientists in Science Courses
    Dax Ovid, Kimberly Tanner, Jeff Schinske

    Tools of the Trade: CAISE Resources for those who Design, Implement and Study Informal STEM Learning Experiences
    Sasha Palmquist, Kevin Crowley, Jamie Bell, Cecilia Garibay, Martin Storksdieck, Rabiah Mayas

    How Can Science Research Design be Incorporated into the High School Science Classroom?
    Brett Taylor, Tony Ward, David Jones

    Broader Impacts of Near-Peer Mentoring: Addressing Barriers to Participation in STEM
    Debra Yourick, Holly Brown, Brittany Clawson, Nathan Berger, Catherine Morton

    11:00-12:00 Keynote Address: Science in Relation: the By, For, and With Who of Scientific Research and Science Education
    Savannah Martin, MA, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon and PhD Candidate in Biological Anthropology, Washington University

    12:00-1:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

    Bringing Native Voices to Education, Science and Health
    Maurice Godfrey, Savannah Martin, David Wilson, Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Joe Jessepe

    SEPA Partnerships with Other NIGMS Programs
    J. Michael Wyss, Lisa Marriott, Jane Disney, Derrick Scott, LaTia Scott

    Designing NGSS-aligned Curriculum: Challenges, Successes and Lessons Learned
    Molly Malone, Sheila Homburger, Jen Taylor, Kristin Fenker

    Breaking Down Cultural Barriers to STEM Education for Middle Schoolers
    Alicia Santiago, Kassy Rousselle

    Integrating a 3D Collaborative Virtual Learning Environment into a Middle/High School Science Curriculum
    Ido Davidesco, Noah Glaser

    Strategies for Working with Research Comparison Groups
    Kristin Bass, Alana Newell, Loran Parker, Weiling Li

    Partnerships with Schools, Nonprofits, and Community Partners: Successes and Failures
    Debra Yourick, Kevin Morris, Nancy Moreno, Luke Bradley, Rebecca Smith

    2:00-3:00 Concurrent Poster Sessions
    See Detailed Conference Schedule for abstracts and poster session assignments

    Big Data

    Broadening Participation

    Curriculum Development: Middle School

    Early STEM Learning

    Informal Science Education

    Research Experiences for Students & Teachers

    3:00-4:00 Themed, Multi-topic Sessions
    Each presenter will have 20 minutes

    Theme: Research and Learning

    eCLOSE Institute: Creating Science Spaces for Teachers and Students in Biomedical Research
    Dara Ruiz-Whalen, Alana O’Reilly

    Bioinformatics-Based Research to Investigate the Function of Genes Predicted to be Hypothetical
    Stephen Koury

    Repurposing a CRISPR Virtual Reality Experience for Diverse Educational Uses
    Megan Hochstrasser

    Theme: Informal Science Education

    We Engage 4 Health RAP Sessions
    Melinda Butsch Kovacic, Susan Hershberger, Susan Gertz

    Strategies to Leverage the Expertise of Your Advisory Board
    Anastasia Thanukos, Alex Gurn

    Using DiY Exhibitions to Enhance Student’s Understanding of Genomics
    Kimberly Jacoby Morris, Rosann Wise

    Theme: Teacher Professional Learning

    Transforming Field Experiences in Teacher Preparation through Personalized, Mixed Reality Simulations
    Chris Dede, Rhonda Bondie

    The Evolution of Online Teacher PD Before, During, and Into the Future
    Atom Lesiak, Joan Griswold

    Examining a Decade of Online Teacher Professional Development
    Celina Marie Lay

    Theme: Science Teaching and Learning

    Chew on This: Obstacles and Successes for Using Food to Teach Chemistry Online
    Tandy L. Dolin Petrov, Stanislav V. Petrov, Retta R. Evans, J. Michael Wyss

    Enhancing Cancer Literacy in Kentucky High School Students through Cancer Education
    Lauren Hudson

    11:00-12:00 Keynote Address: Leading the Way to a Modern Data Ecosystem: Stories of Women and Men Making an Impact in Data Science at NIH
    Susan Gregurick, PhD, NIH Associate Director for Data Science and Director, Office of Data Science Strategy, NIH Office of Data Science Strategy

    12:00-1:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

    Increasing Youth Voice and Choice: A Toolkit for Recruiting and Retaining “Hard to Reach” Youth in Informal Science Education
    Laurie Jo Wallace, Brandon Morgan, Lisa Aslan

    Social Networks, Community, and Students’ Identities
    Rebecca Smith, Julia McQuillan, Katherine Richardson Bruna, Linda Morell, Meghan Leadabrand

    Overcoming Barriers and Creating a Sense of Belonging in Student Research Experiences
    Dave Vannier, Ellen Chenoweth, David Boone

    Program Sustainability: Successes and Challenges – Session 1
    Carla Romney, Debra Yourick, Melissa Gilliam, Kelley Withy, Ralph Imondi

    Researchers, Teachers and Data: Oh My!
    Consuelo Morales, Rosemary Riggs, Renee Bayer

    Integrating Interactive Multimedia into Your Project
    Adam Hott, Berri Jacque, Dani Alcena-Stiner, Sheila Homburger

    1:00-2:00 Break

    2:00-3:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

    Partnership Stories: Diverse Perspectives on Participatory Research and Design with Underrepresented Communities
    Note: this session will run 2:00 – 3:30
    Molly L. Kelton, Robert Danielson, Kristin Fisher, David Garcia, Marnie Gelbart, Libby Grace, Regina Idoate, Sharon Locke, AnaMaria Martinez, Louisa Stark, Alison White

    Game Design for Systems Thinking: Co-Creating Educational Interventions with Young People
    Ailea Stites

    Empowering Students with Environmental Health Research
    David Petering

    Program Sustainability: Successes and Challenges – Session 2
    Carla Romney, Dina Markowitz, Chuck Wood, Donald DeRosa

    The Design Cycle: Using an Iterative Process Across Content Areas
    Kristin Brynteson

    Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence through Mythbuster Activities & Community Advocacy in the Biology Classroom
    Julia Boge, Maria Alonso Luaces

    Addressing Equity and Inclusion
    Debra Yourick, Nicole Ekanem, Jennifer Ufnar, Sara Erickson, Katherine Bruna, William Folk

    3:00-4:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

    Partnership Stories: Diverse Perspectives on Participatory Research and Design with Underrepresented Communities (continued from prior session) Note: this session will run 2:00 – 3:30

    Applying for a SEPA Grant: Information for Potential Applicants
    Tony Beck, PhD, Program Director, Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Division for Research Capacity Building, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), NIH

    Avoid the Void – How to Effectively Disseminate Your Findings and Communicate with Your Audience, Instead of Shouting into the Void Adam Hott, Kristen Bass, Jennifer Ufnar