2017 Mobile Lab Conference

The 2017 Mobile Laboratory Coalition Conference was held July 25-28 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This was the 12th annual conference. There were 75 conference participants representing 29 different programs from across the US, as well as one international program.

The conference was hosted by Rutgers University. Staff and faculty teamed up to offer exciting discussion panels on outreach (Dr. Kathleen Scott, Dr. Larry Katz, and Dr. Martha Soto), program evaluation (Dr. Mary Emenike), and diversity and inclusion (Dr. Evelyn Erenrich, Dr. Patty Irizarry, and Janice McDonnell). A new exciting event this year was the visit to the RU-COOL research facilities, one of the world’s largest ocean observation centers. There was also an opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of the New Jersey Liberty Science Center. Our external plenary speaker was Andrew Yolleck from the award winning off-Broadway show “That Physics Show”.

In addition to many networking opportunities within the niche community, a group of ~30 teachers from New Jersey joined the conference during one day for our “Teachers in STEM Day”. We were pleased to see so many teachers participate in this conference.

A total of 14 educational workshops and 17 poster presentations were developed by conference attendees addressing relevant issues in the following topics:

  • Curriculum demonstrations
  • Building a mobile laboratory
  • Engaging diverse audiences
  • Marketing your program
  • Identifying funding sources
  • Investigation method 

Conference Schedule 

Tuesday, July 25

1:00 – 3:00 Group Visit to the Liberty Science Center

Wednesday, July 26

7:30 – 8:30 Registration, breakfast, and networking
8:30 – 9:15 Welcoming Remarks
  Patricia Irizarry, PhD
Office of STEM Education, Rutgers University

Publication of MLC Impact Data
Dr. Amanda Jones                                                         Dr. Mary Stapleton
Director, Science Education Department,                       Director
Seattle Children's Research Institute                              Towson University Center for STEM Excellence
9:15 – 9:30  Program Introductions Round 1

9:40 – 10:30

Plenary Session: How to Integrate STEM in your Community

  Dr. Larry Katz, Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Dr. Kathleen Scott, Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Martha Soto, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
10:30 – 10:50 Break
10:50 – 11:40 Concurrent Workshop Sessions
  Roundtable Round-Up: Hot Topics in Mobile Labs
Janee Pelletier
MdBio Foundation, Inc.

Sense, Think, Move: Neuroscience on Wheels
William Roden
Seattle Children’s Research Institute
11:40 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:50

Plenary Session: Diversity and Inclusion: Pathways in STEM

  Dr. Evelyn Erenrich, Graduate School of New Brunswick, Rutgers University
Dr. Janice McDonnell, 4-H Youth Development, Rutgers University
Dr. Patricia Irizarry, Office of STEM Education, Rutgers University
2:00 – 2:50 Concurrent Workshop Sessions
  What Defines Quality in Informal Science Education
Sarah Weisberg
BioBus (NYC)

Looking Backwards, Looking Forward: Exploring how proxy data provides evidence for past climatic events
Dr. Mary Stapleton
Towson University Center for STEM Excellence
2:50 Break
3:00 Walk to Marine Science Building
3:30 – 5:00 Visit to the Marine and Coastal Science Building
  Tour and Activities
Dr. Janice McDonnell, 4-H Youth Development, Rutgers University
Sage Lichtenwalner, Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University
Christine Bean, Rutgers University
6:00 – 9:00 Networking Event and Dinner at Harvest Moon

Thursday, July 27

7:30 – 8:40 Registration and Breakfast
8:40 Shuttle to Math and Science Learning Center
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome to Math and Science Learning Center (MSLC)
  Dr. Kathleen Scott, MSLC Director, Rutgers University
9:10 – 10:00 Concurrent Workshop Sessions
  Soil Metagenomics: The Unseen World Beneath Our Feet
Michelle Ventura
The Bio-Bus Program/Georgia State University

Drilling into Science! A Petroleum and Oil Exploration
Dr. Lauren Adamo
Rutgers Geology Museum

Science is Knowing What to Do When You Don’t Have an Answer: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (PCOI)
Dr. Carla Romney
Fordham University and Boston University
10:00 Break and walk to Life Science Building
10:45 – 11:00 Program Introductions Round 2

11:00 - 12:00

Plenary Session: That Physics Show

  Andrew Yolleck, That Physics Show and Liberty Science Center
12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and Lab Tours
  Rutgers Science Explorer, Rutgers University
MXLab, MdBio Foundation
Bio Bus, BioBus (NYC)
2:00 – 2:50 Concurrent Workshop Sessions
  Power to the People! An Exploration about Engineering Design
Catrice Carter
Rutgers University

Designing and Building a State-of-the-Art Mobile STEM Lab
William “Jake” Jacobs
George Washington University

Become an ocean explorer! Join marine ecologist in their journey to protect our oceans
Patrick Flanagan                                       Lizahira Rodriguez
Ocean Learning Lab and Immersive           Rutgers University
3:00 – 4:30  Poster Session
4:45 Shuttle back to Rutgers Inn and Conference Center

Friday, July 15

8:00 – 9:00 MLC Annual Business Meeting and Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00

Plenary Session: Assessment of Learning

  Dr. Mary Emenike, Office of STEM Education, Rutgers University
10:00 – 10:20 Program Introductions Round 3
10:20 Break
10:30 – 11:20 Concurrent Workshop Sessions
  Get Started with your Mobile Lab
Dr. Ben Dubin-Thaler
BioBus (NYC)

Messaging Your Mobile Lab Program for Glory, Fame, and Funding
Janee Pelletier
MdBio Foundation, Inc.
11:00 – 11:50  Concurrent Workshop Sessions
  The Scope of STEM and Diversity – Engaging Girls in STEM
Lori Harvey
Hitachi Technologies America, Inc.

Designing Curriculum to get Grants: Skeleton investigation and forensics discussion
Dr. Patricia Irizarry
Office of STEM Education, Rutgers University
12:30 Adjourn