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 will be held July 24 – 27, 2018 in Detroit, MI hosted by Triune Specialty Trailers and MdBio Foundation.


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.


Abstracts and Travel Stipends

The 2018 MLC conference planning committee is working to develop an impactful agenda and invites you to be part of it! We encourage participation from team members at all levels and offer a variety of options for presenting.

There are two formats for workshops for the 2018 conference; traditional single-speaker 50-minute sessions suitable for in-depth, well-developed presentations on key topics, and new this year — multi-speaker micro-learning workshops. Suggested topics for workshops are listed on the submission form. The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended to Monday, April 16. 

Abstracts for poster presentations will be accepted past the April 16 deadline, on a rolling basis through June 4.

Travel Stipend Application
Thanks to funding from the NIH, a limited number of travel stipends (maximum $750) are available to help offset the cost of attending the conference. Preference will be given to those presenting a workshop or poster, but anyone may apply.


Venue and Lodging

The MLC conference will take place at Wayne State University.

We ​have ​reserved ​a ​block ​of ​rooms ​at ​the ​historic ​Inn ​on ​Ferry ​Street ​in ​midtown ​Detroit ​( ​Rooms ​are ​available ​at ​the ​discounted ​rate ​of ​$149 ​per ​night.​ To ​reserve ​rooms ​call ​the ​hotel ​directly ​(313.871.6000) ​and ​ask ​for ​the ​Mobile ​Lab ​Coalition ​Conference ​rate. ​The ​room ​block ​will ​be ​held ​until ​June ​12.


Conference Agenda
Tuesday, July 24

6:00 pm Optional meet up at HopCat Restaurant and Bar. 4265 Woodward Ave. Detroit MI 48201


Wednesday, July 25

Location: Wayne State University Student Center. 5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit, MI 48202

Breakfast on your own. Guests at Inn on Ferry Street have breakfast included in room rate (begins at 6:00 am).

8:00-8:30 am Registration at Wayne State Student Center + Coffee/Networking

8:30-8:45 am Welcome Remarks

8:45-10:15 am Keynote Session: Really, What Could Go Wrong? Mobile Lab Disaster Room Tabletop Exercise. Facilitated by Janeé Pelletier, Vice President of Communications & Events, MdBio Foundation

10:15-10:30 am Coffee Break

10:30-11:20 am Keynote Session: Brave Initiatives: Girls Building a Better World through Code. Robin Brewer, Detroit Lead, Brave Initiatives

11:30-1:00 pm Lunch and Annual Business Meeting

1:00-1:50 pm Plenary Session: A Blueprint for STEM Success. Michelle Reaves, Executive Director, Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP)

1:50-2:05 pm Program Introductions, Round 1

2:05-2:30 pm Break & Set Up for Poster Session

2:30-4:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

Session A: Design and Build a Mobile Lab Workshop 

Dr. Ben Dubin-Thaler, Founder and Executive Director, BioBus (NYC)

Jennifer Colvin, Vice President of Education, MdBio Foundation

Rebecca Dowd, Curiosity Cube Coordinator, Corporate Responsibility, MilliporeSigma

Steve Creech, Director, Wyland Foundation

Session B: Active Attacker: Emergency Preparedness for Active Shooter Situations

Lieutenant Dave Scott, Crime Prevention Section, Wayne State University Police

4:00-6:00 pm Poster Session & Light Reception

7:00 pm Optional: Pub Crawl in Greektown

Thursday, July 26

Location: Wayne State Integrative Biosciences Center. 6135 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

Breakfast on your own. Guests at Inn on Ferry Street have breakfast included in room rate (begins at 6:00 am).

8:30-9:00 am Registration at Wayne State Student Center + Coffee/Networking

9:00-9:50 am Concurrent Sessions

Session A: Engaging Diverse Learners with New Technology and Methods

The Scope of STEM and Diversity: Engaging Girls in STEM. Lori Harvey, Hitachi High Technologies 

Engaging Middle School Students from Underrepresented Minorities in the STEM Disciplines. Dr. Patricia Irizarry, Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Director, Rutgers University

Partnering with Verizon Innovative Learning to Bring High End Technology to Mobile Education. Dr. Benedetta Naglieri, Education Program Manager, MdBio Foundation

Session B: Community Collaboration: Development of Successful Mobile Programs

Shiloh Slomsky, SEEDS Project Director, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, SEEDS Project

9:50-10:00 am Coffee Break

10:00-10:50 am Concurrent Sessions

Session A: Instructor Exchange Program: Lessons Learned from Doing Someone Else’s Job

Corey Coombs, Mobile Lab Scientist/Driver, Seattle Children’s Research Institute Science Adventure Lab | Patrick Flanagan, Ocean Learning Lab and Immersive Experiences (OLLIE) | Dr. David Garbe, Outreach Educator, PA Society for Biomedical Research

Session B: The Curiosity Cube- Engaging Employees and Communities using a Retrofitted Shipping Container

Rebecca Dowd, MilliporeSigma

11:00-11:50 am Concurrent Sessions

Session A: Evaluating Program Impact

Program Evaluation of Informal Science Settings. Roya Heydari, Director of Program Evaluation, BioBus (NYC)

Three Phase Evaluation to Measure Success of Impact of Salk Mobile Science Lab on Students and Teachers. Dona Mapston, Director, Education Outreach, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Evaluation Onboard the MXLab: Strategies and Lessons Learned. Joseph Wilkerson, Mobile Laboratory Manager, MdBio Foundation | Emily Freeland, Education Outreach Instructor, MdBio Foundation

Session B: Solar Circuits with Science on Wheels

Dr. Sherry Painter, Assoc. Prof. of Chemistry, LeMoyne-Owen College

11:50-1:15 pm Lunch 

1:15-2:05 pm Concurrent Sessions

Session A: Mobile Learning for Mobile Labs. Dr. Carla Romney, Director of Research, Boston University | Dr. Donald DeRosa, Director, Boston University CityLab

Session B: Is Your Science Diverse? Promoting Equity of Access in Your Mobile Lab Program. Daniel Wheeler, Science Programs Outreach Educator, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

2:30-4:00 pm Mobile Lab Rodeo

Rocket Fiber Trailer

Northern Michigan’s Mobile CNC Digital Fab Lab

eNOW Solar Panel Demo Lab

Double Expandable Demo Trailer

4:30-8:30 pm Old School Game Night and Dinner at Punch Bowl Social. 1331 Broadway St, Detroit, Michigan 48226


Friday, July 27

Location: Wayne State Integrative Biosciences Center. 6135 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

Breakfast on your own. Guests at Inn on Ferry Street have breakfast included in room rate (begins at 6:00 am).

8:30-9:00 am Registration at Wayne State

9:00-9:15 am Program Introductions, Round 2

9:15-10:15 am Keynote Session: “Yes, And…” The Power of Improv to Improve your Teaching

Pj Jacokes: Producer and Co-owner, Go Comedy!

10:15-10:30 am  Coffee Break 

10:30-10:45 am Program Introductions, Round 3

10:45-11:30 am Micro-Learning Workshop: Thinking Outside the Box: New Ways to use Mobile Labs

Incorporating Google Expeditions in Curriculum. Chris Chung, Founder, Sustain-ED | Dr. Donald DeRosa, Director, Boston University CityLab

Mobile Education’s Role in Disaster Relief: A Template for Innovation. Emily Freeland, Education Outreach Instructor | Joseph Wilkerson, Mobile Laboratory Manager | Jennifer Colvin,Vice President of Education, MdBio Foundation

11:30 am Adjourn 

Conference Sponsors