ITEST Proposal Development Course - Registration Now Open

Friday, June 29, 2018

Are you designing or implementing a program that impacts
PreK-12 students’ future in STEM?

Are you interested in applying for NSF funds to support
the research and development of this program?

Are you new to proposal writing?

Register for the ITEST Proposal Development Course! 

What is the course?  

Back by popular demand - the ITEST Proposal Development Course is now open to the public.

The ITEST Proposal Development Course, hosted and facilitated by the STEM Learning and Research (STELAR) Center, is a self-paced online course in which novice NSF proposal writers will develop a full NSF proposal for the ITEST program, to be submitted for the August 8, 2018 solicitation deadline.

The course covers the critical components of developing a successful NSF ITEST proposal including; forming partnerships, writing a compelling narrative, developing research and evaluation designs that are well-aligned and impactful, planning for fruitful dissemination, preparing a budget, and finally, submitting the proposal to NSF.

Who should take the course?

The course best serves individuals who:

  • Have not yet submitted a successful NSF proposal 
  • Have a proposal idea that aligns with the goals and expectations of the ITEST Program
    • Research and development of PreK-12 programs that promote awareness of STEM careers, build skills to prepare for STEM careers, and provide technology-rich experiences  (see ITEST Solicitation 17-565 for further details) 
  • Plan to submit an NSF ITEST proposal due on August 8, 2018 

In addition, the ITEST Program and STELAR Center are committed to broadening the participation of the ITEST community to individuals from organizations and communities not currently represented in the ITEST portfolio.

How do I sign up?

  1. Click the “Sign up” button below 
  2. Complete the online registration form 
  3. Once you’ve completed the online registration form you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to create an account and enroll in the ITEST Proposal Development Course
Sign up for the ITEST Proposal Development Course

Feedback from previous course participants: 

On how the course made a difference:
“After meeting several professionals and having access to materials, diverse ideas, and contributions from individuals during this course, I am very confident in proposal development and in how to make a broader impact in my future projects.  It also helped me to connect with diverse professionals who are interested or doing great work in ITEST. Overall this course was a magnificent opportunity for me to develop intellectual merit in proposal writing.”
Strongest takeaway from the course:
“The proposal writing process is quite extensive and requires lots of planning, support, and … experience.”
General feedback on the course:
“I really appreciated how the modules took you step-by-step through a proposal. It helped me understand the micro steps within each proposal section, the kinds of questions I should be thinking about, and the kinds of resources I can pull on to develop this section of the proposal.”  

About the ITEST Program: 

The NSF ITEST Program is a research and development program that supports projects to promote PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. The ITEST program supports research on the design, development, implementation, and selective spread of innovative strategies for engaging students in technology-rich experiences that: (1) increase student awareness of STEM occupations; (2) motivate students to pursue appropriate education pathways to STEM occupations; or (3) develop disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, or promote critical thinking, reasoning skills, or communication skills needed for entering STEM workforce sectors.

About STELAR: 

The mission of STELAR is to build capacity and magnify the results of ITEST projects to deepen the impact of the ITEST program.  

  • We facilitate ITEST projects’ success in developing and articulating innovative models for STEM learning environments. 
  • We synthesize and disseminate ITEST projects’ findings nationally. 
  • We conduct outreach to broaden participation in the ITEST community of practice.

Whether you are implementing a project, submitting a proposal for funding, or looking to connect with other STEM education and workforce stakeholders nationally, there are multiple ways in which STELAR can assist you.  

Questions? Please feel free to contact the STELAR Team at stelar [at] edc [dot] org (subject: Proposal%20Development%20Course) (stelar [at] edc [dot] org)

View this invitation online HERE

Announcing the Missouri Transect Annual Meeting

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Missouri Transect Annual Meeting will be held at the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus on Friday, October 5, 2018.  A student and postdoc event will take place the evening of October 4.  More details about the agenda is coming soon.


The Annual Meeting website is HERE

Register HERE




2018 Plant Molecular Biology Gordon Research Conference and Seminar

Monday, April 2, 2018

Application Information

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 13, 2018. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the conference chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Conference Description

The theme of the 2018 Plant Molecular Biology GRC is "Dynamic Plant Systems". At this meeting, we aim to foster interactions in this emerging new field - plant system dynamics. Our goal is to spark discussions and collaborations across different scales of time (minutes, hours, days, years) - and across different levels of inquiry - from epigenetic and transcription dynamics, to dynamics of cell biological and developmental processes, to whole plant physiology and evolutionary dynamics. Our program will bring together thought-leaders in this new and emerging field of plant system dynamics that span PIs, post-docs and students.

Conference Website

Register now and see the full program here

Expand Your Broader Impact Skills: AIBS Communications Boot Camp for Scientists

Friday, July 28, 2017

Dear Colleague,

Rarely has the need for effective and influential communication about science been more important than it is today.

Politicians and political interests are redefining and reinterpreting science—with great persistence and impact. The public is routinely asked to make decisions about matters informed by science. The news media is endeavoring to share increasingly complex stories about science with the public. The majority of the public still respect scientists and value science, but they often find it challenging to discern who and what is legitimate.

Simply adding to the noise will not provide individuals with the understanding they need to inform their deliberations and decisions. Scientists must become more skilled at communicating in impactful ways.

As called for by many sources, the time for business as usual has passed. There is a real and immediate need for scientists to become effective and engaged communicators.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is responding to this need by offering scientists a professional development opportunity. The AIBS Communications Training Boot Camp for Scientists expands on our highly successful media and science policy training workshops. The program meets the needs of everyone from graduate students to senior researchers and program administrators.

AIBS is the scientific organization that promotes the use of science to inform decision-making that advances biology for the benefit of science and society.

AIBS has a long and successful track record of engaging, informing, and influencing the public and science policy decision-makers. Our audiences include members of Congress, federal agency heads and program managers, state officials, and university administrators. In addition to working directly with these groups, we routinely engage the public through traditional and digital media.

Our staff members have used their decades of science policy and communications experience to develop training materials and resources that provide scientists with the skills needed to successfully communicate about their research with decision-makers and reporters. To date, AIBS has trained more than 1,300 scientists.

AIBS Communications Boot Camp

The Boot Camp is an intensive, two-day, hands-on training program in Washington, DC.

Participants will learn:

  • How to translate scientific findings for non-technical audiences
  • How to tell a resonant story that informs decision-makers
  • How to prepare for and participate in a news interview
  • How to prepare for and engage in a meeting with a decision-maker
  • How to protect your scientific reputation
  • How to identify and define the audience you need to reach
  • What policymakers want and need to know from a scientist
  • What reporters are looking for in an interview
  • How to leverage social media
  • How the nation’s science policy is developed and implemented

Participants will have the opportunity for formal and informal discussions with science policy and communications experts working in Washington, DC. Read the course outline.

Participants Receive:

  • Certificate of completion
  • Resource packet that includes publications and other materials for future reference and use
  • Invitation to participate in a Communications Boot Camp alumni network

Dates: October 9–10, 2017

Location: AIBS Washington, DC, Offices, 1201 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 420, Washington, DC 20005

Cost: The registration fee covers instruction, materials and resources, breakfast and lunch during the program, and a reception on October 9th. Transportation and lodging are not included, but AIBS can offer recommendations about lodging options.

$440/person  AIBS Individual Members. The course is not tax deductible, but a portion of an individual AIBS membership is tax deductible. A non-refundable $100 deposit is required at the time of registration. Join or renew now.
$440/person Individuals officially nominated to participate by an AIBS Member Society or Organization (MSO) in good standing. A non-refundable $100 deposit is due at the time of registration.
$495/person Individuals who are not AIBS members or nominated by an AIBS MSO. A $100 deposit is due at the time of registration. Join AIBS now to save $55.00.
  Group Discount: For any group or organization that sponsors the participation of four or more individuals, the registration rate will be reduced by $30/participant in the group. Please contact jpalakovichcarr [at] aibs [dot] org for details.











Register now:

We look forward to seeing you in October!


Robert Gropp, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Director

STELAR Webinar on Thursday, July 28

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

NSF Opportunities: Broadening Participation in STEM  

 Hosted by STELAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education and Human Resources. 

On behalf of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), you are invited to attend a special webinar on Thursday, July 28, 11:30-1:30 pm CDT, highlighting upcoming funding opportunities within EHR, especially  aimed at broadening participation in STEM.


Program Officers from all four EHR Divisions will be presenting:

- Division for Research on Learning (DRL)
- Division for Undergraduate Education (DUE)
- Division for Graduate Education (DGE)
- Division for Human Resources and Development (HRD)

Program Highlights will include but are not limited to:

- EHR Core Research (ECR)
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities & Undergraduate Programs (HBCU-UP)
- Tribal Colleges & Undergraduate Programs (TCUP)
- Robert Noyce Scholarship Program
- Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
- Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE)
- Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

You are encouraged to invite your colleagues to attend as well. In some cases, it may useful to reserve a conference room in your institution and invite faculty and program administrators from across the institution to attend the webinar collectively from one location.

We strongly encourage your participation. There will be opportunities to also ask the Program Officers questions and also receive tips on writing competitive NSF grant proposals.

The webinar is FREE but, registration is required.  The connection information will be sent to all registrants a week before the webinar.

We look forward to your participation!

Questions? Email stelar [at] edc [dot] org or visit our website:

We hope you can join us!

~ The STELAR Team 

Announcing the Next MO DIRT Soil Health Survey Training! Fenton, MO

Friday, June 10, 2016

For more information, visit the MO DIRT website Event Page.

Register at MODirt [at] danforthcenter [dot] org


Confronting Climate Change Symposium on MU Campus

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Confronting Climate Change
12th Annual Life Sciences and Society Program Symposium
March 12 & 17-19, 2016
Monsanto Auditorium
Bond Life Sciences Center
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
The Annual Life Sciences and Society Program Syposium will focus on "Confronting Climate Change."  See all the details below and on the LSSP website.   Registration for the Symposium is now open; REGISTER TODAY!  While all events are free and open to the public, registration is requested.

Big Challenges and Bigger Opportunities
March 12, 10:30am in Monsanto Auditorium

Richard Alley is a professor at Pennsylvania State University, an environmental scientist, PBS host, book author, and one of the contributors to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

A Journalist's Anthropocene Journey
March 17, 7:00pm in Monsanto Auditorium

Andrew Revkin is a journalist, author and educator who has been covering science and the environment, from the White House to the North Pole, for more than three decades, mainly for The New York Times.

Climate Intervention: Promise and Peril
March 18, 4:00pm in Monsanto Auditorium

Marcia McNutt is the Editor-in-chief of Science and its family of journals and is currently nominated to be the next President of the National Academy of Sciences.

Natural Systems Agriculture: New Discoveries, New Opportunities
March 19, 9:00am in Monsanto Auditorium

Wes Jackson is the founder and current president of The Land Institute, which promotes science-based research into sustainable agriculture. He is a MacArthur Fellow and winner of the Right Livelihood Award

Zombies, Sports, and Cola: Implications for Weather and Climate Communication
March 19, 10:30am in Monsanto Auditorium

Marshall Shepherd is a professor of geography and the director of the atmospheric science program at the University of Georgia and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s What We Know climate panel.

The Health Consequences of a Changing Climate
March 19, 2:00pm in Monsanto Auditorium

George Luber is an epidemiologist and the Associate Director for Climate Change in the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Climate Change Denial: Where do we go from here?
March 19, 3:30pm in Monsanto Auditorium

Naomi Oreskes is a professor at Harvard University, as well as a respected essayist and author. Her 2010 book, "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming”, co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize.
Other Events


Facing Floods and Climate Change while Reforming Disaster Law
March 7, 1:00pm in Room 7, Hulston Hall, Missouri School of Law

Sandra Zellmer from the Nebraska College of Law will discuss how effective laws and policies could recognize and respond to the factors that subject people and communities to a climate-challenged world facing significant changes.

Panel Discussion on Faith and Climate Change
March 11, 12:00 - 1:30pm in Room 171 (Reading Room), Bond Life Sciences Center

The debate on climate change and environmentalism has taken on a faith-based component in recent years, with very public calls from some religious leaders to steward the earth (for example the 2015 Papal Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home). Representatives of several local faiths and scholars of religious studies discuss how theology, belief, and/or faith-based practice shape perspectives on climate and environmental practice.

Film Screening: Merchants of Doubt
March 14, 5:30pm at Ragtag Cinema (followed by discussion with Mike Urban from MU Department of Geography and Sara Shipley Hiles from the Missouri School of Journalism)

Inspired by the book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, this thought-provoking documentary (directed by Robert Kenner, 2014) takes audiences on a satirically comedic and illuminating journey into the heart of climate change skepticism.

Panel Discussion on Conservation in the Anthropocene
March 16, 12:00 - 1:30pm in Adams Conference Center, MU School of Veterinary Medicine

Anthropogenic (human-caused) changes to the environment are fundamentally transforming the goals and practices of conservation. Representatives from a range of conservation agencies discuss their experiences of the challenges of working amidst shifting socioenvironmental conditions.

For more information, including full speaker bios and abstracts, visit the LSSP website.

Registration Open for Danforth Center Fall Symposium

Event date(s): Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to Friday, September 28, 2018
Location: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 N Warson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63132

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center will host its 19th Annual Fall Symposium in Saint Louis, Missouri Wednesday, September 26, through Friday September 28, 2018.  The theme, “Bioengineering:  Synthetic Circuits to Sustainable Agriculture”, is particularly timely as the progressive integration of synthetic and designed biological systems is transforming biology and agriculture in the St. Louis region and beyond.

This symposium will focus on engineering plant, microbial, and ecological systems to deliver sustainable and novel solutions for agriculture; the introduction of novel pathways and traits; and the production of new biomolecules.  We will also feature several speakers who are developing novel tools and technologies to introduce synthetic circuits into microbial and plant systems.  Work in these areas will be highlighted in the context of recent advances in engineered biology at the level of pathways, organelles, organisms, and ecosystems.

Registration now open – click here

Early bird discounts for postdocs through August 24, 2018

Travel Awards available through August 24, 2018

Poster Contest - $200 to each of the three top posters

Missouri Transect Student Workshop

Event date(s): Thursday, February 22, 2018
Location: Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia (at the University of Missouri), 1225 Fellow's Place Boulevard, Columbia, Missouri, 65201

STUDENTS AND POSTDOCS, plan to come in on Thursday evening (February 22) before the Missouri Transect All-Hands Meeting for a workshop session, “Our Role as Scientists in the Media.”  Dinner will be provided at 6:00 and the workshop will start at 7:00.

This meeting and dinner will be held at the Hampton Inn in Columbia, MO (1225 Fellow's Place Boulevard, Columbia, Missouri 65201).  All students traveling into Columbia and in need of a hotel room will be required to share a room.  Contact Emily Haghighi, haghighie [at] missouri [dot] edu if you need help finding a roommate or for any other questions regarding the meeting.

For more information and to register, visit the All-Hands Meeting Event Page.

Register for the workshop and All-Hands Meeting here: