Accelerating Science Education Conference 2016

Click here for the 2016 MLC Conference Report

2016 MLC Conference- July 13-15 in Columbus, OH

The 2016 Mobile Laboratory Coalition Conference took place July 13 – 15, 2016 in Columbus, OH and was hosted by Farber Specialty Vehicles, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and MdBio Foundation, Inc. STEM professionals, educators and other partners from around the world joined together at the premier venue to learn about innovative advances in informal science education. Read all about last year’s conference here: 2016 MLC Conference Report

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 2016 conference included plenary sessions, poster presentations, and workshops that addressed key topics such as:

  • 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


Conference Location

Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square, 75 East State Street. Columbus, OH 43215, United States



Sponsors + Partners

Thank you to our 2016 Conference Sponsors + Partners who help make our annual meeting possible.

farberlogo only    SEPA Signage copy
scLogo_ResearchInstitute_smV_3col copy     West-Networks-Logo-01

05 07 12 Triune Specialty Trailers Logo     EVT01

Conference Agenda
Tuesday, July 12

2:00pm Our visit to the award-winning Center of Science and Industry, COSI!  

MLC Conference attendees joined other MLC colleagues for a visit to COSI, Ohio’s dynamic Center of Science and Industry, inspires the scientists, dreamers, and innovators of tomorrow.  Named America’s #1 science center for families in 2008 by Parent Magazine, COSI is more than a standalone science center.

COSI has established embedded partnerships including WOSU@COSI, the only working television station in a science center; the Ohio State University (OSU) Labs in Life, working research laboratories created through a partnership with OSU and staffed by OSU researchers; Battelle’s STEM Innovation Network, in partnership with one of the world’s leading research institutions; the Columbus Historical Society; and the STEM-based Metro High School, among others.

During the conference, keynote speaker Dr. Janet Weisenberger Senior Associate Vice President for Research at OSU shared details about these programs and the innovative partnership between OSU and COSI.  The MLC provided the opportunity to visit COSI in advance of this exciting presentation.  

Wednesday, July 13

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

8:45 – 9:00 am  Welcome + Introductions, Program Introductions Round One

9:00-10:30 am  Keynote Presentation

Dr. Joe Heimlich and Rita Deedrick How Evaluation Helps Make the World a Better Place

10:40-11:30 am  Concurrent Workshops, Session 1

Mary Stapleton The role of Next Generation Science Standards in Mobile Science Education

Ben Dubin-Thaler The Bus Electric – Making Your Lab Leaner, Cleaner, and Greener

11:30-12:00 pm Program Introductions – Round Two

12:00-1:00pm Lunch + MLC Update

1:00-2:00 pm Plenary Session

Thomie Timmons Story of a Mobile FabLab: An Unexpected Journey

2:10-3:00 pm Concurrent Workshops, Session 2

Becky Carter Optimizing your Partnerships with Classroom Teachers

Carla Romney Mobile Technologies for Teaching and Assessment on Mobile Laboratories

3:00-3:30 pm Poster Set Up Congressional Room

3:30-5:00 pm Poster Reception Appetizers + cash bar

5:00 pm Adjourn Dinner on your own

Thursday, July 14

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

8:30-9:30 am Plenary Session

Dr. Jan Weisenberger Ohio State’s Labs in Life at COSI:  A Science Center-University Partnership

9:30-10:00 am Program Introductions – Round Three

10:10-11:00 am  Concurrent Workshops, Session 3

Jennifer Colvin What’s Next? Exploring the Mobile Laboratory 2.0

Nik McGehee The Evolution of mobile STEM curricula:   Showcasing the STEMmobile programs

11:00am-12:00 pm Plenary Session

Stacey Glatz Bringing the Columbus Zoo to You!

12:00-1:30 pm Lunch on your own

1:30 pm Concurrent Workshops, Session 4

Rebecca Cors Mobile Lab Think Tank – improving how we interest pupils in STEM

Lorna Gitari-Mugambi Polymerase Chain Reaction with the Bio-Bus Program at Georgia State University

3:30-4:30PM Workshop Session 5 — this session will be held at Farber Specialty Vehicles

William Jacobs Envisioning the Ultimate Mobile Experience

4:00-6:00PM Mobile Laboratory Viewing + Tours –tours will be held at Farber Specialty Vehicles

4:00-6:00PM Farber Plant Tours

5:00-8:00 pm Reception + Dinner hosted by Farber Specialty Vehicles, 25 minutes

SHUTTLE to/from Hotel and Farber Specialty Vehicles  transportation to/from Farber Specialty Vehicles will be depart the following times:

  • Depart HOTEL:  2:45PM, 3:45PM, 4:45PM
  • Depart FARBER:  7:00PM, 8:00PM
Friday, July 15

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

8:30-9:30 am Plenary Session

Dr. Laura Wagner Language Science for Everyone

9:30-10:00 am Program Introductions – Round Four

10:10-11:00 am  Concurrent Workshops, Session 5

Jennifer Colvin Funding Innovation: Leave No Stone Unturned

Sarah Weisberg Not Another Test! Evaluating Science Learning through Student Choice, not Multiple Choice

11:00am-12:00 pm Concurrent Workshops, Session 6

Patricia Irizzary Outreach, Diversity and Program Sustainability: A decade of successful change!

Joe Luciano Osceola Mobile STEM: Putting students on the Road to STEM Careers/Curriculum Development

12:00-1:00 pm Lunch + Presentation of Inaugural MLC Awards

1:00-2:00 pm Annual MLC Business Meeting

2:00 pm Adjourn