Teaching Tomorrow’s Scientists: An ASCB Virtual Meeting

This is now a free, virtual event via Zoom for up to 200 participants. It will be held May 30, 9:00 am-1:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time (12:00-4:00 pm EDT). See Program below. 

The deadline for meeting registration is May 27. Register soon because it’s filling fast!

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Program (all times in PDT)

9:00-9:10 am   Introduction

9:10-9:45 am Sara Brownell, Arizona State University: How groups of students are differentially impacted by active learning

9:45-10:20 am Rachel Kennison, University of California, Los Angeles: Preparing graduate students and postdoctoral scholars for success in diverse STEM classrooms by engaging in reflective teaching practices

10:30-11:15 am Workshop: Introduction to ggplot as an entry way to R for beginners

Mine Dogucu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine

Learners are often more intrigued by making visual data summaries than making numerical data summaries. This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to ggplot with an aim to use it to teach exploratory data analysis and to deliver the basics of R to the learner. Pedagogical strategies and resources for teaching ggplot will be shared.

10:30-11:15 am Workshop: Strategies for incorporating science literacy

Michael Leo & Penelope Collins, PhD, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

Developing scientific literacy among undergraduate students is more important today than ever. This workshop will focus on the techniques and approaches to developing scientific literacy by emphasizing a writing to learn approach through adapting an evidence-based writing intervention, Self-Regulated Strategy Development. Methods to incorporate these interventions while keeping the workload manageable for large courses will also be covered.

11:25-12:10 pm Workshop: Using a reconciliatory approach to teaching evolution to religious students for increased acceptance

Jamie L. Jensen, PhD, Department of Biology, Brigham Young University

In this workshop, we will focus on three main objectives: 1) Participants will be able to defend the differences between science and religion as two distinct ways of knowing; 2) Participants will develop pedagogical techniques to help students overcome the most prevalent misconceptions that we have shown to lead to a rejection of evolutionary theory on religious grounds; and 3) Participants will develop tools to help bridge the gap between science and religion for a general religious audience.

11:25-12:10 pm Workshop: Linking interdisciplinary concepts through CUREs: from chemistry to cell biology

Ellis Bell, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of San Diego

Course based Undergraduate Research experiences (CUREs) are a well-documented, high-impact, student-centered teaching practice, and, as recommended by Vision and Change, offer an approach to provide increased access to bone fide research to a broad and diverse student population. This workshop will focus on how key elements of CUREs (Relevance, Scientific Background, Hypothesis Development, Proposal, Experiments/Teamwork to test hypothesis, Data Analysis and Conclusions, and Presentation) can be threaded into a CURE, helping to integrate foundational concepts of chemistry, physics and math with important questions in molecular and cell biology. The workshop has three objectives, 1) to provide strategies to help students develop testable hypotheses, 2) to illustrate how foundational concepts and skills can be melded into a CURE, and 3) to allow participants to develop a support network and implementable plan to incorporate their own research interests into a sustainable CURE.

12:15-1:00 pm Lunch Discussion Groups

  • Debriefing about Your Online Classes
  • Community Engagement and Outreach Opportunities
  • How Diseases Spread: Epidemiology Explored and other SimBio labs that help students understand the COVID-19 pandemic, with Dr. Eli Meir, SimBio. SimBio’s Virtual Labs are regularly used as active, inquiry-driven teaching tools in both remote and in-person college classes. In this workshop, we’ll highlight “How Diseases Spread: Epidemiology Explored”, a lab that uses simulated experiments based on flu, smallpox, and other past pandemics to help students understand R0 and how social isolation, quarantines, and vaccination campaigns can help reduce the impacts of diseases. If time allows, we’ll also show our other popular cell and molecular biology modules, such as “DNA Explored”, which covers DNA structure, replication, and PCR, and workshop participants will receive access to our evaluation software to further explore SimBio’s labs on their own.
  • BioBits: Easy-to-Use Educational Tools to Teach Cell Biology Concepts Using Freeze-Dried, Cell-Free Technology, with Alex Danis, MiniPCR. BioBits is a platform for hands-on molecular and synthetic biology educational activities based on easy-to-use, shelf-stable, cell-free reactions. By using fluorescent proteins as visual outputs, we are creating a variety of modules exploring cell biology topics that are otherwise difficult to easily teach in a hands-on manner. Workshop participants will get to see a demonstration of our central dogma learning lab, which allows students to visualize transcription and translation in real time.


This virtual meeting is being organized by Susan Walsh, Soka University of America; Andrea Nicholas, University of California, Irvine; and Joel Abraham, California State University, Fullerton

This meeting is generously sponsored by SimBio and miniPCR





Starts: May 30, 2020 9:00 am EDT

Ends: May 30, 2020 1:00 pm EDT