Keynote & Invited Speakers
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2023
Dr. David Hu
Georgia Tech: Georgia W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Title: How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls
Embark on a visual journey through animal movement, and highlight the properties of animals that allow them to be champions at what they do. The audience will learn how to go from a common observation to a new engineered device or a law of nature. They’ll also learn that science can be fun and exciting for all ages.
Speaker Bio: Dr. David Hu is leading researcher in the area of biomechanics of animal movement. He earned degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from M.I.T., and is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award for young scientists, the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics (twice), and the Pineapple Science Prize (the Ig Nobel of China). He has graduated twelve doctoral students and one postdoc in biomechanics, five of whom have faculty positions at Arizona State University, University of Tennessee, Tsinghua University in Taiwan, Sun-Yat Sen University, and Wageningen University. He is associate editor for Proceedings of the Royal Society Society B and is on the editorial board for Journal of Experimental Biology and Nature Scientific Reports. His work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, and Highlights for Children. He is the author of How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls (Princeton University Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru Prize for Best Science Book for Young Adults and winner of the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award. He has published in Nature, Science, and PNAS as well as 67 other journal articles.
INVITED SPEAKER (11:00AM)
The National Center for Science Education
Title: Designing Evolution and Climate Change Activities That Help Students Overcome Misconceptions In These Often Socially Controversial Areas of Science
The National Center for Science Education has been working for the last forty years to prevent efforts to interfere with the accurate teaching of evolution and climate change across the United States. But the threat of attacks is just one barrier to effective evolution and climate change education. Another is that students and even some teachers do not enter the classroom as blank slates due to the extent of societal controversy around these topics. Instead, they are likely to have already formed various misconceptions about the science of evolution and climate change through multiple sources. To address this challenge, NCSE has developed NGSS-aligned storylining lesson sets that allow students to engage with evidence to recognize and resolve the most common misconceptions. In this address, several examples of these activities, as well as personal experience with using them in the classroom, will be described.
Speaker Bio: David Amidon is a National Board Certified Middle School Science Teacher from LaFayette, NY, who has been teaching middle school science since 1999. He is a Teacher Ambassador for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) after joining the Teacher Advisory Board in 2015 and participating in the Scientist in the Classroom Program. In 2018, he was selected for the first cohort of Climate Change Ambassadors for the Turning Misinformation into Education Opportunities program. In that role, he adapted lessons for middle school classes and presented the program through webinars with the Alliance for Climate Education and at the STANYS Conference in 2019. During the pandemic, NCSE reimagined their lessons as NGSS-aligned storylines, which David assisted with by authoring portions of the Climate Change and Nature of Science storylines. He collaborated with the Kings Centre for Visualization in Science in these efforts to produce interactive applets for his lessons. From 2021-2023, he also field-tested these lessons and the Evolution storyline in his classes. In October 2022, David was an NCSE cohort member presenting these storylines at the 47th annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, DC, to demonstrate the use of data in classrooms and shift to 3-Dimensional Learning. In addition to his work with the National Center for Science Education, he is a New York State Master Teacher emeritus, a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, a NOAA Teacher at Sea alumni, and a Certified American Meteorological Society Teacher. David has received national teacher of the year awards from the American Geosciences Institute and the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association, earned NY’s Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award, and is a two-time recipient of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Last November, David received the Intermediate Level Excellence in Teaching Award from STANYS.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2023
FELLOWS SPEAKERS (5:30PM)
The Amoeba Sisters
Science Content Creators
Title: Cultivating Creativity in Science
In our adventure creating the biology YouTube channel, Amoeba Sisters, one thing we have certainly recognized is that learning and creativity go hand in hand! How can we cultivate creativity in our science teaching? What is the value in also involving students as creators in the classroom, with consideration for challenges such as limited classroom time and/or resources?
Speaker Bio: Brianna Rapini is a former high school biology teacher who has worked in Texas public school districts for a total of 12 years. Sarina Peterson is a former program analyst from a large Texas public school district, and she is a self-taught cartoonist. Together, the sisters started the biology cartoon YouTube channel “Amoeba Sisters” in 2013. The channel has grown to more than 1 million subscribers with a cumulative view count of more than 160 million. Their online community has translated their video subtitles into over 22 different languages.
INVITED SPEAKER (10:45AM)
Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO)
Title: Brain Games: Connecting Your Class to Neuroscience From Near and Far
Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO) seeks to foster a lifelong interest in the brain and in science among New York City school students and the general public. In this session, teachers will learn how they can work with scientists to provide a rich experience for their students exploring the 4th Grade Structure, Function, and Information Processing Performance Expectations. We will include examples of neuro activities that teachers can complete in their own classrooms, along with those that can be done in conjunction with virtual classroom visits from our team.
Speaker Bio: Nick Bulthuis, M.A., M.Phil., is a PhD candidate in the Neurobiology and Behavior program at Columbia University. He is a transplant from the Midwest who grew up in Michigan and studied biology at Loyola University Chicago as a National Merit Scholar, after which he served as an Intramural Research Training fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship supporting his thesis research on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of memory in the lab of Dr. Christine Denny. Alongside his lab work, he also teaches science communication as an instructor in Columbia’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program and contributes as a writer and editor to the web magazine PhDish.
As President of Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO), Nick is honored to lead a volunteer organization that hosts dozens of outreach events annually, reaching over 1,500 students and members of the public, through the efforts of Columbia researchers and trainees from neuroscience and education backgrounds. From brain fairs to research talks to classroom visits, all of CUNO’s programs aim to build a more inclusive scientific community, foster a lifelong interest in the brain, and strengthen both the scientific literacy of citizens and the communication ability of scientists. Nick has presented on CUNO’s efforts to members of the New York City Council as part of March for Science NYC’s Science Summit, highlighting the ways that public-private-academic partnerships can support STEM teaching and learning.