Present a Session

STEM stakeholders, including K-12 educators and administrators, higher education faculty and students, and those representing nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other STEM groups, are invited to submit applications to present at Bridging the Gap.

Presenters are asked to share resources and best-practices in STEM education. Presentations should be interactive and engaging and should foster collaboration between North Carolina’s K-16 STEM education communities.  

Apply to Present a Session

Before You Apply

  • Review the Presentation Categories to determine the category to which you’d like to apply.
  • If your presentation is approved, each person who will be physically present for your presentation must purchase a conference registration. Up to 3 presenters for each approved presentation will receive a 40% registration discount. (This is in addition to any “early bird” rates that may be in effect for all conference registrants.) A special code to receive this discount will be included in each presenter acceptance email. Please note that the additional 40% discount is limited to individuals listed on the presentation application. Student presenters are not eligible for this discount. Also, presenter discounted registrations are not eligible for the Buy 3 Get 1 Free discount.
  • Please note that, if applicable to your presentation category, each room will be equipped with a projector, laptop, WiFi and microphone. You are responsible for supplying any other materials, such as printed copies of your presentation.

Important Dates

August 21, 2020

  • Deadline for presenters to register for the conference or presentation will be cancelled.

Presentation Categories

Industry Connections: Employment Needs & Career Readiness

50-minute presentation

Links educators to industry leaders in the exploration of specific workforce needs both now and in the future. This track focuses on the connections between education and the world of work through industry insight. Sessions may include:

  • Future workforce needs
  • Specific STEM industry needs
  • Middle-skill STEM jobs
  • Career readiness and employability
  • Extreme vertical alignment
  • Connecting education and employment
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • The 2+2 pathway
  • Industry involvement in the classroom
  • Digital disruption
  • Entrepreneurial design for teaching
  • Automation and artificial intelligence

Outreach Expo

10-minute, rolling presentation that is repeated multiple times during a 50-minute “expo” plenary session

Provides attendees from higher education and informal/other STEM groups who are looking to share research outcomes and finished products with an opportunity to:

  • Disseminate deliverables from grant-funded research activities
  • Disseminate STEM education resources
  • Disseminate STEM curricula
  • Promote museum and other informal STEM outreach opportunities
  • Promote STEM programs for K-12 teachers and students
  • Promote products in the final stages of development
  • Promote offerings from university centers and institutes
  • Promote partnerships for ongoing and future programs with K-12 teachers and students

Spanning Silos

50-minute presentation

Connects higher education researchers with K-12 educators to explore the practical application of learning theory and current research in classroom instruction. Sessions may include:

  • The science of learning in the real world
  • Applying research to personalized learning
  • Free and open resources, textbooks, materials and courses
  • Curriculum mapping and authentic higher education experiences
  • Contextualized instruction
  • Higher education collaboration opportunities
  • Blended environments and classroom community connections

STEM 101: Exploring the Basics

50-minute presentation

Provides K-12 teachers with practical strategies to meet STEM classroom needs (time management, space, integration, differentiation, funding, etc.). This track is geared for educators and partners who are new to STEM.

STEM for All

50-minute presentation

Explores ways to design a STEM learning experience that meets the unique and differentiated needs of all children in the classroom. Leveraging the latest research in universal lesson plan design, educators will learn how to develop lessons and activities that work for all students. Sessions may address:

  • Serving K-12 gifted students
  • Serving K-12 students with disabilities
  • Pedagogies for mentoring underrepresented students in higher education
  • Reaching low SES (socioeconomic status), rural, urban and minority students

Hands-On, Minds-On Instructional Practices

50-minute presentation

Provides teachers with inquiry-based, hands-on activities and practical guidance for incorporating STEM in the classroom using cross-content integration. Sessions may address:

  • STEM to STEAM, STREAM or STEMM: Strategies for building bridges across contexts and disciplines
  • STEM in elementary education: Bringing science back into the curriculum
  • Mathematical connections to the real world
  • Integrating creativity in the hard sciences with STEAM
  • Design thinking in the classroom
  • Problem- and project-based learning (PBL)
  • Instructional design innovations
  • Vertical alignment
  • The student-centered classroom
  • Teaching tools for differentiated instruction
  • STEM strategies and implementation
  • Grand challenges and critical thinking in the classroom
  • Online crowdfunding for classroom needs

In an effort to connect conference attendees with the most appropriate content possible, presenters will be required to select one of the following Hands-On, Minds-On audience subcategories:

  • It’s Elementary: Hands-On, Minds-On Instructional Practices
    These presentations will provide insights and hands-on activities for teachers in grades K-5.
  • It’s in the Middle: Hands-On, Minds-On Instructional Practices
    These presentations will provide insights and hands-on activities for teachers in grades 6-8.
  • High School Rocks: Hands-On, Minds-On Instructional Practices
    These presentations will provide insights and hands-on activities for teachers in grades 9-12.

Citizen Science

50-minute presentation

Provides instruction and ideas for implementing Citizen Science with K-12 students. Citizen Science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists. Sessions may address:

  • Implementing Citizen Science in the classroom
  • Working with research partners
  • Web-based tools and resources
  • Co-creating new Citizen Science topics with researchers
  • Data matters: Going from raw data to impact and classroom connections


50-minute presentation

Proposes alternative classroom designs that encourage active learning and development. This track focuses on emerging pedagogies and technologies designed to activate learning in new and meaningful ways. Sessions may include:

  • Alternative classroom design
  • Gamification of learning
  • The future of coding in the classroom
  • The tools, mindset and materials of makers
  • Makerspaces and virtual labs
  • Augmented reality
  • STEM video games
  • Artificial intelligence
  • N.C. Family Code Nights

Preparing and Teaching the Whole Child

50-minute presentation

Explores learning from a whole child development perspective, which recognizes the complex environments in which educators must work while empowering students with the latest STEM learning. This track also explores how to prepare students for today’s information environment and it addresses practical applications and knowledge related to critical thinking, training and development for students and educators. Sessions may address:

  • How to support learning, informed instruction and intrinsic motivation
  • How to communicate high expectations in the classroom
  • How to develop student motivation, efficacy and perseverance
  • Exploration of the intersection between inquiry, standardized assessment and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
  • STEM assessment: Formative and summative
  • Social-emotional learning (SEL) and whole child development
  • Connections between student wellness and academic success
  • Deeper learning: 22ndcentury skills, including soft skills
  • Communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity
  • What we believe about critical thinking skills and why
  • Media and digital literacy

Teacher Delight

50-minute presentation

Explores the recipe for redefining the teacher role in the classroom and ways teachers can feel supported and empowered in their work. Sessions may address:

  • Redefining the teacher role: Moving from lecturer to facilitator
  • Communication and partnering with parents
  • Professional development and capacity building
  • STEM discoveries: Fascinating new findings

Exhibitor Action Lab

The exhibitor action lab provides an opportunity for attendees to connect with premium exhibitors and engage in hands-on activities using the most-up-to-date STEM resources during a 50-minute concurrent session. These sessions may include demonstrations and advertisement for resources that are available for purchase.