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Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

We invite submissions of session proposals that will engage conference attendees in collaborative discussion, and especially those that directly address three key pedagogical tracks across four topics in biology education.

The conference is accepting proposal for three separate formats. Please review each format, and determine which option best fits the information for your presentation. Each session format has a separate timeline, please make note of the due dates for each session type.

While your presentation may be focused on a particular audience grade level, please be prepared to address all grade levels in your session. Of special interest are ideas that can help build the bridge between K12 and undergraduate biology education and engage underrepresented populations in organismal and environmental biology

Session Formats

The Life Discovery – Doing Science conference welcomes proposals in the following formats:

Education Share Fair (45 minutes)

Proposal submission deadline was October 31, 2012

This session is designed for educators to create or revise lesson plans or activities with a peer working group.

Proposals can be submitted for ideas and lessons at any stage of development. This allows for individuals to develop new lessons or to work on modifying currently existing lessons to a new grade level, teaching style, or learning objective(s).

Each lesson or idea will be presented by the author at a roundtable with up to 9 other participants. There will be time for each author to describe their lesson idea. Then discussions will follow provide feedback and ideas regarding the core concepts addressed, methodology, misconceptions, assessment or educational extensions.

To further facilitate exchange, lesson ideas and educational resources are encouraged to be submitted to the LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library community sharing site (pre-publication) between November 2012 and January 2013. Feedback will be solicited during the conference and online. All presenters are invited to submit their final products for formal publication at the live digital library site.

Hands-on workshops (1.5 hours)

Proposal submission deadline was 7/31/2012.

This session format is designed to give participants hands-on experience to implement a particular technique or activity or develop innovative approaches to curriculum design. Workshops are 1.5-hour sessions.


Short Presentation (20 mins + Q&A)

Proposal submission deadline was 8/31/2012.

This session format is designed for presentations that enhance understanding of key concepts, or project activities that feature effective ideas and approaches. Presentations should be limited to 20 minutes to allow for 20 minutes of Q&A.


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Conference Tracks on Teaching Biology grades 9 – 16

Conference tracks are used to identify session which focus on a specific pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. During the proposal submission process, you will be asked to identify which tracks is most appropriate for your session.

  • Lesson and curriculum design in the digital age The new multimedia, digital resource formats now available offer interesting opportunities for teaching organismal and environmental biology. In this track, we seek proposals that illustrate lesson and curriculum design for grades 9 – 16 aiming to engage digital natives in scientific inquiry. How can lesson and curriculum design take advantage of the digital resources? How can educators and scientists facilitate discovery and participatory learning that stimulate greater learning for diverse learners?
  • Classroom-true and field-tested technology A wide array of technology to study organismal and environmental biology is available ranging from sophisticated tools used by scientists such as DNA testing and plant canopy analyzers to user-friendly mobile apps that identify fish, plants and birds. Other technologies such as simulations allow learners to visualize changes in time and space. In this track, we seek proposals that feature high school and undergraduate classroom and field-tested technologies. How have these technologies been implemented in lessons? What insights have we gained regarding the impacts of technology on how educators teach and how students learn? Can technology help to draw underrepresented students into organismal and environmental biology?
  • Data exploration in a research-based biology Options for using existing data and collecting data in the classroom abound. In this track, we seek proposals that provide insight into the process of science, the place of research in education and/or the practical experiences related to data exploration in organismal and environmental biology education. Scientific research relies on solid data but should data be part of high school and undergraduate biology education? Where can educators turn for data? How can students generate data? What can we do with it? How should it be incorporated? How can we best prepare the nation’s diverse students to discern patterns, interpret evidence and make conclusions?


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Cross Cutting Conference Topics

Cross Cutting Conference Topics will be used to identify content that is relevant for specific subject matter across each of the previously described tracks.

Preference will be given to proposals that address one or more of the following topics:

Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics – the complex interrelationships of environmental disturbances and response among Earth’s living and physical systems.
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – the role of biological diversity and sustainable ecosystem functions that regulate and support natural processes, provide food, water, and fiber as well as offer cultural activities for human well-being.
Evolution in Action – the drivers, mechanisms and outcomes of biological change – gradual or dramatic – through genetic inheritance
Structure and Function – The relationship between the structure of biological components – from the molecular level to the whole organism – and their function and behavior in living systems.

While these themes and tracks reflect the primary conference focus, we are happy to consider innovative proposals that advance organismal and environmental biology education that do not strictly fit into the rubric shown here. Of special interest are ideas that can help build the bridge between K12 and undergraduate biology education and engage underrepresented populations in organismal and environmental biology.

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Submission and Notification Deadlines

Call for Submission site open Submission deadline Notification of Status Scheduled
Workshop Proposals 5/8/2012 7/31/2012 9/15/2012 9/30/2012
Short Presentations 5/30/2012 8/31/2012 10/15/2012 10/31/2012
Roundtable Session 6/30/2012 9/30/2012 11/15/2012 12/6/2012
Roundtable Session materials uploaded to LifeDiscoveryEd DL 11/16/2012 1/11/2013 n/a

*All presenters must also register for the conference.

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