2017 Science Educator Conference

September 21-22, 2017

Middle and High School Science Educator Conference

Start the school year with new and inspiring science lessons from Liberty University’s biology and chemistry professors who are experts in forensics, molecular biology, chemistry, microbiology, and more. You’ll learn practical teaching methods using the university’s state-of-the-art labs. With both high school and middle school tracks available, the conference can be tailored to fit your needs.


Registration includes the choice of Thursday or Friday sessions, lunch and coffee for that day.

Choose and indicate which day you will attend and which track you will attend within that day.


  • One day registration (through August 31) - $125
  • Late registration (after August 31) - $150

Sign up now

General Conference Schedule

8-8:30 a.m. Registration and Tour

8:45-10:15 a.m. Session I

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Coffee

10:30 a.m. - Noon Session II

Noon - 1 p.m. Lunch (provided)

1:15 - 2:45 p.m. Session III

3 - 4:30 p.m. Plenary

4:30 - 5 p.m. Closing


Thursday Session Tracks

Middle School sessions focus on physical/earth science topics. High school sessions focus on anatomy or molecular biology. Please indicate on the registration form which of one of these tracks you are registering for.

Elementary/Middle School

Session I: "Fuzzy With a Chance of Feathers:  Taking a Fresh Look at Dinosaurs and Birds" -- Dr. Ross

Session II: "Opposites Attract:  Teaching Elementary and Middle School Students About Magnetism" -- Professor Randy Tomkins

Session III: "Red Cabbage:  Easy Acid/Base Indicator" -- Dr. Randy Davy

Session IV: "Teaching for Worldview Impact" -- Dr. David DeWitt

High School

Session I

  • Anatomy: "Preparing Students for College Biology" -- Dr. Mark Blais
  • Molecular: "Fungi: More than Mushrooms" -- Dr. Michael Price

Session II

  • Anatomy: "Clinical Diagnostics in Anatomy and Physiology" by Dr. Ben Kalu
  • Molecular: "Anatomy of a Gene" -- Dr. Gary Isaacs

Session III

  • Anatomy: "Birds of a Feather" -- Dr. Gene Sattler
  • Molecular: "If You Are What You Eat, Then Who Are YOU? " -- Dr. Bridgett Townsend

Session IV

  • Plenary: "Teaching for Worldview Impact" -- Dr. David DeWitt


Friday Session Tracks

Elementary/Middle school sessions focus on general biology topics. High School sessions focus on chemistry topics. Please indicate on the registration form which of these tracks you are registering for.

Elementary/Middle School

Session I: "Demo Dissections for Students" -- Dr. Davis McQuirt

Session II:  "Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut: A Classification of Fruits and Vegetables Lab" -- Dr. Timothy Brophy

Session III: "Using Inquiry to Study Crayfish" -- Professor Kyle Harriss

Session IV: "Teaching for Worldview Impact" -- Dr. David DeWitt

High School

Session I: "Collaborative Learning Exercises" -- Professor Lauren Hopper

Session II: "The Chromatographic Analysis of Pigments in Fruits and Vegetables" -- Dr. Michael Korn

Session III: "Stoichiometry: Hands-on Method to Teach Stoichiometry" -- Dr. Matt Bryntesen.

Session IV: "Teaching for Worldview Impact" -- Dr. David DeWitt

Description of Presentations

The following descriptions are of presentations for the 2017 Science Educator Conference.

Elementary/Middle School Sessions

"Fuzzy, with a Chance of Feathers: Taking a Fresh Look at Dinosaurs and Birds" -- Dr. Marcus Ross

"Demo Dissections for Students: Cow's Eye" -- Dr. Davis McQuirt

Participants will be shown how to dissect a cow's eye for demonstration purposes in their classrooms. Participants will be given a cow's eye to take with them and use in their classrooms.

"Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut? A Classification of Fruits and Vegetables Lab" -- Dr. Timothy Brophy

Have you ever played the fruit or vegetable game with your students? How about the "Brophy Peel Test" for classifying berries? Did you know that peaches are mature flower ovaries and tomatoes have placentas? And what about that old candy bar commercial by Peter Paul, "Sometimes you feel like a nut?  Sometimes you don't.  Almond Joy's got nuts, Mound's don't." Did you know that it's all a lie? Come find out about these things and more with our resident botanist, Dr. Timothy Brophy.  Guaranteed to be a hit with your students!! Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers to touch, smell, and EAT! Easy to use take-home resources! And you can even bring the leftover fruits & vegetables with you! Great option for the morning session right before lunch!

High School Sessions

"The Chromatographic Analysis of Pigments in Fruits and Vegetables" -- Dr. Michael Korn:

Have you ever wondered how many different pigments make up the red color on red pepper?  Is that the same dye as in tomatoes -- or red beets? These are some of the questions we want to answer in this workshop. Participants will extract the dyes from various fruits/vegetables and analyze them be chromatograph methods. Participants will receive materials to be able to do this in their classrooms.

If You Are What You Eat, Who Are YOU?" -- Dr. Brigitte Townsend

This session will cover essential nutrients from a chemical standpoint. Using nutrition labels and common dietary myths, students will learn how the chemistry of nutrients impacts their body composition and long-term health. Students will be challenged to use this information to make conscientious nutrition choices. During this session, educators will be provided with handouts and easily accessible references that will enable them to engage their classrooms in this topic. 

"Fungi: More than Mushrooms" -- Dr. Mike Price

In this session you will learn the basics of fungal structure and growth. Both yeast and mold forms of fungi will be presented, and simple staining procedures for viewing fungi will be performed.  Participants will receive materials to be able to conduct this lab in their classrooms.

"Anatomy of a Gene" -- Dr. Gary Isaacs

Understanding the various DNA components of a gene is vital to an integrated view of how mutations affect our genome. This course will enable instructors and students to identify key components of a gene that relate to mRNA production and protein formation. Moreover, the techniques described easily turn a visual representation of real-world genes from a lecture into a take-home project for students. Introduction to mapping a gene using free, online software, as well as a discussion for classroom application will be the main focus of our in-class time. Bring your laptop so we can go through examples together. Post-course follow-up is also available for the development of assignments for your specific objectives.

"Birds of a Feather" -- Dr. Gene Sattler

Feathers and flight in birds will be considered with respect to their external anatomy and internal physiology, with hands-on examination of feathers that participants can take back to the classroom and simple apparatuses that can be made to demonstrate aerodynamic principles.

"Clinical Diagnostics in Anatomy and Physiology" -- Dr. Ben Kalu

Includes demonstrations and hands on practice sessions with ultrasonography, EKG/EEG/EMG/HRV

Plenary Session

"Teaching for Worldview Impact" -- Dr. David DeWitt

Dr. David A. DeWitt is chair of biology and chemistry and has over 20 years of experience in teaching origins. In his session, he will share insights on how to impact students' worldviews.

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Renae R. Bullock
(434) 592-4663