Society for Science & the Public Launches Virtual Middle School Research Teachers Conference

Peer-led conference will enable educators to share best practices, troubleshoot challenges, and learn more about top STEM competitions

WASHINGTON, DC – Middle school teachers from across the country will be gathering online this weekend for the Society for Science & the Public’s Middle School Research Teachers Conference, supported by the Department of Defense through its Defense STEM Education Consortium (DSEC). The peer-led conference includes 163 teachers from 25 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.

The conference, now in its second year, will take place virtually in order to keep attendees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the virtual platform, the conference will be open to middle school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) research teachers across the country. A cohort of 50 teachers were chosen via a lottery to participate in interactive breakout sessions.

Topics for the session topics will include supporting students who are Hispanic or Latino in student research, how to teach research virtually, supporting students from low income households in research and using citizen science as a launching pad for independent research. Participants will also benefit from a keynote address by Karrin M. Felton, Program Manager, SMART Program, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering/Laboratory & Personnel.

The online event will also include network chats and two “halls” where teachers will have an opportunity to take virtual tours, play STEM games, find interactive lessons, and learn about organizations that offer professional development, resources and grants for educators.

“At a time when teachers are under tremendous pressure, whether they are teaching in a classroom, virtually or some combination of the two, I am thrilled that the Society for Science & the Public is able to provide educators with access to support and best practices for mentoring student research,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.  “Through the Middle School Research Teachers Conference, we are able to offer teachers an important enrichment opportunity.”

About the Society for Science & the Public

Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).

About the Defense STEM Education Consortium (DSEC)

DSEC is a collaborative partnership of STEM-focused organizations dedicated to addressing and prioritizing our Nation’s STEM talent. DSEC aims to broaden STEM literacy and develop a diverse and agile workforce with the technical excellence to defend our Nation. Through strategic investment in STEM education and outreach activities, the effort will provide students with more exposure to educational and career opportunities, as well as DoD research. DSEC is led on behalf of DoD STEM by RTI International. For more information, visit