Innovate. Educate. Engage.

STEM professionals, educators and other partners from around the world gathered at the premier venue to learn about innovative advances in informal science education. The Mobile Laboratory Coalition Conference was held July 25 – 28, 2017 in New Brunswick, NJ hosted by Rutgers University.

The Mobile Laboratory Coalition Conference is targeted at new and established STEM education programs – it is the premier venue to network with peers, seek advice, and share best practices with programs as unique as yours.

The conference included plenary sessions, poster presentations, and workshops that address key topics. Examples of topics addressed:

  • Building a mobile laboratory
  • Engaging diverse learners
  • Identifying funding sources
  • Incorporating Next Generation Science Standards
  • Collecting meaningful evaluation data
  • Preparing your students for an evolving job market
  • Interfacing with your audience and incorporating technology into your teaching
  • Marketing your program

Learn more about the conference by reading the 2017 Conference Report:










Conference Agenda
Tuesday, July 25

1:00pm-3:00pm Our visit to the Liberty Science Center!

Transportation will be provided from the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center, departing at 12:30pm. 

Join MLC colleagues for our visit to the Liberty Science Center (, a 300,000-square-foot learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to bringing the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, the world’s largest IMAX Dome Theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs. More than 650,000 students, teachers, and parents visit the Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participate in the Center’s off-site and online programs.

Prepay for your discounted rate ticket to the Liberty Science Center when you register for the MLCC!   

Dinner on your own

Wednesday, July 26

7:30-8:30 am  Registration + Networking + Breakfast provided

8:30 – 9:30 am  Welcome + MLC Publication Discussion+ Introductions, Program Introductions Round One

9:30-10:30 am  PLENARY SESSION- How to Integrate STEM in your Community

Dr. Larry Katz Sr. Associate Director of the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station | Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension | Professor in the Department of Animal Science

Dr. Kathleen Scott Director of the Math and Science Learning Center at Rutgers University

Dr. Martha Soto Founder and Director of the Bio Links Program

Coffee Break

10:50-11:40 am  Concurrent Workshop Sessions

A: Jen Colvin Building the Right Mobile Lab: Crowdsourcing a Needs Assessment for Our Community

B: William Roden SENSE, THINK, MOVE: Neuroscience on Wheels

11:40-1:00pm  Lunch

1:00-1:50 pm PLENARY SESSION- Diversity and Inclusion: Pathways in STEM

Dr. Evelyn Erenrich Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of New Brunswick | Director of Graduate Recruitment, Retention and Diversity (GR2AD)

Janice McDonell Associate Professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences | Science, Engineering & Technology Agent (Extension Division- 4H)

Dr. Patricia Irizarry Director of Outreach at the Match and Science Learning Center | Program Director of Rutgers Science Explorer

2:00-2:50 pm Concurrent Workshops, Session

C: Sarah Weisberg What Defines Quality in Informal Science Education?

D: Oscar Contreras-Villarroel Co-designing a curriculum with teachers


3:30-5:00 pm Visit to the Marine and Coastal Science Building within walking distance

6:00-9:00 pm Networking Event + Dinner at Harvest Moon 392 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Thursday, July 27

8:00-8:45 am  Registration + Breakfast  Provided + Shuttle to the Math and Science Learning Center (MSLC)

8:45-9:00 am Welcome to the MSLC

9:10-10:00 am Concurrent Workshop Sessions

E: Dr. Carla Romney Science is Knowing What to Do When You Don’t Have an Answer: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (PCOI)

F: Dr. Lauren Adamo Drilling into Science! A Petroleum and Oil Exploration

G: Michelle Ventura Soil Metagenomics: The Unseen World beneath Our Feet

10:20-11:00 am Program Introductions – Round Two at Life Science Atrium

11:00-12:00 am  Plenary Session- That Physics Show Performance

Andrew Yolleck Lead Physics Demonstrator at That Physics Show Off Broadway Performance| STEM Educator at Liberty Science Center

12:00pm-2:00 pm Poster Session Set-up + Food Truck Lunch + Mobile Lab Tours

2:00-2:50PM Workshop Sessions

H: Catrice Carter Power to the People! An exploration about engineering design

I: William Jacobs Designing and Building a State-of-the-Art Mobile STEM Lab

J: Patrick Flanagan Become an ocean explorer! Join marine ecologists in their journey to protect our oceans

3:00-4:30PM Poster Session and Reception 

4:45 Shuttle back to Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center

Adjourn Dinner on your own

Friday, July 28

8:00-9:00 am  Annual MLC Business Meeting + Breakfast Provided

9:00-10:00 am Plenary Session- Assessment of Learning  

Dr. Mary Emenike Assistant Teaching Professor for the Chemistry Department and TRIAD (Transforming STEM courses to enhance Research in STEM Education Instructional practices based in DBER Assessment of learning Dissemination to seed and support other course transformations)

10:00-10:20 am Program Introductions – Round Three

10:00-10:20 am  Coffee Break + Transition

10:30am-11:20 pm Concurrent Workshops

K: Dr. Ben Dubin-Thaler Get Started with Your Mobile Lab

L: Janee Pelletier Messaging Your Mobile Lab Program for Glory, Fame, & Funding

11:30- 12:20 pm Concurrent Workshops

M: Lori Harvey The Scope of STEM And Diversity – Engaging Girls in STEM

N: Julie Legault Engineering Biology hands-on! Discover Easy, Portable Biotechnology

12:20 pm Adjourn


Conference Sponsors