About the Middle School Research Teachers Conference

Who can attend?

Teachers are eligible to enter the lottery if they meet the following criteria:

  • You must be employed full-time by a middle school in the United States
  • You must teach a STEM course to students in at least one grade between 6th and 8th OR serve in another role enabling you to promote STEM to students in these grades.
  • You work directly with students.
  • You are able to attend the entire conference.

How are attendees selected?

Ten teachers who have attended in a past year are selected to return as captains, serving as a resource for new attendees. Captains are selected first by geography, one per state, giving priority to states that did not have a captain in the previous year. Consideration is then given to active involvement in the Society’s online educator communities and familiarity with all Society programs.

The remaining 65 teachers will be selected to attend via lottery — one third consists of veteran teachers who have significant experience teaching research, one third of teachers who have some experience, and one third of teachers who do not have experience yet, but would like to begin supporting students by teaching research. No more than one teacher per school will be selected to attend. Schools that have never had an attendee will be given priority.

When and where will the conference take place?

The conference will be held in late July / early August each year.

What costs will be covered by the Society?

The Society is pleased to cover the cost of meals, lodging, and transportation.

What will happen at the conference?

The conference typically consists of plenary sessions hosted by the Society and a keynote speaker. Attendees are invited to apply to lead breakout sessions with an assigned partner on topics such as:

  • Tools and strategies for managing student research projects, clubs, and classes
  • Projects in particular subject areas such as plant science or engineering
  • Supporting students in research communication and competition entry
  • Supporting students underrepresented in STEM