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Pre-Conference Session 1 - Supporting the COVID cohort in the lab

Teenagers in the UK were having a tough spring, with 50% reporting lower levels of academic motivation and 30% reporting higher levels of stress and anxiety according to a survey of secondary school students by Unifrog. Then, A levels were canceled, and an algorithm changed everything. Now that the dust has settled, we are left with arguably inflated scores and more places offered. With lab classes notoriously demanding of first year students, are members of the incoming class prepared to study science at the university level? What can we do to support students and enable their success this term and next?

Tope Oyelade

Teaching Lab Tech, University College London

Robert Purdy

Director of College & University Partnerships, Labster

Pre-Conference Session 2 - Sharing access to science education across Europe

Even in the midst of the pandemic, there is an opportunity to future-proof European education. Using a case study approach, we will recall how online solutions were used to solve the immediate problems of lockdown at a large University. Reflecting on the experience, we'll explore how the pandemic can provide a starting point for further development of digital solutions in education.

Anne Nørremølle

Assoc. Professor, Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen

Sonal Shivsharan

Director of College & University Partnerships, Labster

Joe Ferraro

Conference Host, Labster

Opening Plenary

Sal Khan will engage in a purposeful chat with Labster's Mads Bonde about why it is so difficult to develop and use technology that significantly transforms student outcomes, and the challenges and potential of much more distance learning during the pandemic and beyond.

Sal Khan

Founder, CEO, Khan Academy

Mads Bonde

Founder, Executive Chairman, Labster; Honorary Associate Professor, Copenhagen University

CONCURRENT SESSION 1: Access, Inclusivity, and Equity in the Virtual Science Classroom

Although we aim to make science as objective and unbiased as possible, scientists are human and therefore inherently biased. In addition, most undergraduate courses are so hard-pressed to simply cover course content that they don’t typically directly address issues of access, inclusivity, and equity. Students with differences – including disabilities – add to the rich diversity of our schools. During the pandemic, remote teaching has highlighted the need to create websites, digital course content, and online learning environments that are inclusive and accessible to all users. How can science educators leverage technology to help remove the physical, technological, and attitudinal barriers to access, opportunity, and choice enjoyed by majority students? What opportunities do we have to tell the stories of scientists of color, women, and non-binary genders in 2020, a year characterized by both a social justice awakening and remote learning?

Dr. Laura Rozzi

Operations and Lab Technician, Online Lecturer, Biology, University of Kansas  

Dr. Mark Mort

Professor, Biology, University of Kansas

Dr. Sophia Rahming

Assoc. Director, Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Florida State University

Francesca Rahming

Upper Level Laboratory Technician for Biology, University of the Bahamas

Hannah Lavendier

Moderator, Labster

CONCURRENT SESSION 2: Surviving and thriving in the new learning environment

Online learning is not just a digital version of the in-person classroom. Now that we have experience with remote and hybrid teaching, we have the opportunity to re-create it. How can we engage students in remote classroom so they can experiment and explore while we provide guidance and coaching? How much time should we spend explaining to students how to use a given technology or why it is helpful? Learn the practices that promote learning and reduce anxiety for students and faculty alike.

Dr. Meshagae Hunte-Brown

Professor, Biology, Drexel University

Kayla Nicholson

Director of College & University Partnerships, Labster

CONCURRENT SESSION 3: Community College Faculty Share Lessons From the Front Lines

Community colleges have always come up with creative solutions to teaching science in a way that connects theory to real world applications. During the pandemic, lower-income community college students have faced challenges related to job insecurity, health risks, and lack of childcare. At the same time, with the support of their faculty, they have continued learning key concepts, performing experiments, and practicing their skills. What can other colleges learn from community colleges’ entrepreneurial approach to improving learning outcomes while simultaneously offering an accessible, flexible education to nontraditional students?

Dr. Ali Ahrabi

Asst. Professor, Anatomy & Physiology, Middlesex Community College

Juliana Kelley

Instructor, Biology, Laredo College

Selinda Martinez

Instructor, Biology, Laredo College

April Ondis

Moderator, Labster

CONCURRENT SESSION 1: Best Practices for Using EdTech in Your Curriculum

Teaching science has always included lab assignments, but do students really connect lab experiments to lecture content? There are a wide variety of digital tools to help you teach, but teachers equipped with ed tech solutions need to know how to integrate them into the curriculum in a way that promotes mastery and sense-making. Can virtual tools provide students with adequate training and practice to learn new skills and techniques? What are the best strategies and practices for making ed tech a part of your curriculum now and in the post-pandemic future?

Dr. Stephanie Dillon

Director, Freshman Chemistry Laboratories, Florida State University

Peter Gemmellaro

Senior Customer Success Manager, Labster

CONCURRENT SESSION 2: How high school teachers can get back in the groove during a pandemic

In recent months, even seasoned K-12 teachers have felt their confidence shaken as they pivoted to remote learning with limited guidance, resources, or time to prepare. In this session, we’ll hear from high school teachers and administrators about their experiences and discuss tips for mastering new technologies, support students’ social-emotional well-being, imparting knowledge, and creating opportunities for hands-on learning in a remote or hybrid setting. Topics will include instructional practices, tools and technologies, and student engagement.

Mark Fuller

Product Manager, Labster

Margaret (Meg) Moore

Environmental Science Teacher, Friendship Collegiate Academy

Stacia Bowden

Biomedical Science Instructor, Tulsa Technology Center

Sue P. White

Director of STEM, Friendship Public Charter School

Bernard M. Bujard

Adjunct Instructor, Chemistry, Uvalde High School

CONCURRENT SESSION 3: Chemistry & Biology: Two Approaches to Learning

Should students rely on quantitative data or are qualitative observations just as important? Should students restrict lab reports to values obtained through experimentation or should they provide detailed descriptions and background context? And should there be a conclusion at the end? These are just a few of the ways Chemistry and Biology education differ. What can two highly related fields with two different approaches learn from each other? How can we apply these insights to leverage learning technology?

Dr. Felicia Vulcu

Asst. Professor, Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University

Dr. Caitlin Mullarkey

Teaching Professor & the Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education in the department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University

Christopher Conner

Director of Institutional Relations, Canada, Labster

Closing Panel discussion: How We Can Transform Science Education in a post-COVID World

Simply moving classes from in-person to online does not transform the way we teach science. Beyond the logistics of how lessons are delivered, what needs to change in science education? What can we do as science educators to foster the 21st century competencies of critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration? As we know, schools don't always require expensive lab equipment to give students a basic science education. If you had an extra dollar (or euro or pound) to spend on improving educational technology, how would you spend it? What lessons will you take away from your experience as a teacher during the pandemic? What will we resolve to do differently to transform STEM education moving forward?

Terri Quenzer

Statewide Director, California Community College System

Dr. Jennifer Hearne Bobenko

Chairperson, Institutional Review Board; Professor of Biochemistry, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Moustapha Diack

Doctoral Program in Sciences/Math Education (SMED) - College of Sciences & Engineering, Southern University

Leslie Kennedy

Senior Director Academic Technology Services, The California State University System

Sam Butcher

Moderator, Labster

Keynote: The Classroom of the Future

How will we teach? What will students learn? A blue sky look at technologies and platforms through the telescope of tomorrow.

Michael Bodekaer

CEO, Co-founder, Labster

Joe Ferraro

Conference Host, Labster