Conference Program

This conference is designed for science teachers, by science teachers, to enhance science education. The conference will highlight sessions within the following strands: Scientific Literacy and Conceptual Understanding, Investigations and Experiences, Resources & Opportunities, and Integrating Science throughout the Curriculum. 

Preliminary Program

Updated  Program! 10/24/16: Many aspects of our program are described below. If you prefer to access the entire program, the 2016 Preliminary Conference Program is available!

Click here to download Please understand that this is a work in progress and schedules or session descriptions are subject to change! 

General Sessions

Well over 100 general sessions chosen to help you connect the pieces of science education. Sessions fall within the highlighted strands of Scientific Literacy & Conceptual Understanding, Investigations & Experiences, Resources & Opportunities, and Integrating Science throughout the Curriculum. General sessions are typically 45 minutes or 1 hour 15 minutes. These are scheduled throughout the day on Thursday and Friday. Please see our preliminary program for session titles, times and descriptions. 

Keynote Speakers

Kantis Simmons, Former NASA Engineer

Kantis-Headshot-hands  Rocket Scientist Raises Students to New Altitudes

  Thursday November 3, 2016, 9:00 am - 10:00 am

  Room: Lexington A & B

7,000 students drop out every single school day • 1.3 million students fail to graduate from high school every year • Only 1 in 3 college freshman will graduate and get a job in their field. 

Former NASA engineer Kantis Simmons is on a mission. As the nation’s leading academic success strategist he’s aiming to put an end to the academic failure epidemic sweeping across America’s high schools and colleges. And he’s winning; the schools he works with see a 15% - 23% improvement in student performance and test scores. Students and teachers readily respond when Mr. Simmons shares his advice and proven strategies for success, because he has emphatically walked the walk.

Overcoming the challenge of growing up with just 2 fingers on his left hand, Mr. Simmons now has 3 degrees. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Norfolk State University, a Master of Science degree in Textile and Fiber Engineering from Georgia Tech, and a Master of Science degree in Polymer Science from Lehigh University his career includes developing new products for Mobil Chemical Company, creating new contact lenses for CIBA Vision, and improving aircrafts for NASA.

Hundreds of thousands of students and teachers have already been inspired by Mr. Simmons. He is also the author of "Playing Your 'A' Game" and has been featured on NBC & Radio One. 

Find more info at

Edward L. Waterman, Chemistry Teacher and Author

    Wonder With Purpose: Molecular Connections to the World Around Us

    Friday, November 4, 2016, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Room: Ballroom A

What do J. K. Rowling, Robert Frost, Laura Ingles Wilder, Lewis and Clark and Martin Luther King know about science that we don’t? What does Harry Potter have in common with a common wildflower? Do pronghorn smell like popcorn? Why do autumn leaves change color? Explore some molecules hidden in plain view and discover their connections to science literacy, nature, poetry, history, classic literature, popular culture, music and much more.

Edward Waterman has taught chemistry, advanced placement chemistry, and organic and biochemistry since 1976 at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. Mr. Waterman conducts workshops for teachers on such topics as small scale chemistry labs, advanced placement chemistry, block scheduling, Internet for the chemistry classroom, and virtual chemistry. Mr. Waterman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Montana State University and a Master of Science degree in chemistry from Colorado State University.

Sponsored by:  Pearson Pearson-Logo-Horizontal

First Time Attendees' Breakfast

Thursday Morning 7:15 am - Lexington A

If this is your first time at an (SC)2 Conference, great! Join us for a special time designated just for you, that will include breakfast, fun and door prizes.  We'll help make sure you get the most out of your first conference. We are so glad you are here and want you to have the best experience possible.  Reserve your free ticket on your registration form. 

Presidents' Reception

Sponsored by School Specialty Science, Pearson, and Carolina Biological

Thursday Evening 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Lower Level near Lexington & Richland

Join President Debbie Bishop and the South Carolina Science Council Board Members to honor our Past Presidents.  The reception will take place on the lower level of the Convention Center, outside of the Richland and Lexington rooms. The outdoor venue will be open for socialization.  

Hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine will be served. 

Reserve your free ticket on your registration form. 

(SC)2 Business Meeting

Friday Morning 8:00 am - 8:45 am Ballroom A

Please join us for the (SC)2 Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony.  This is the only annual statewide business meeting held for all members of the South Carolina Science Council. Organizational business will be conducted including conference report and appointment of new board positions. In addition, recipients of the Palmer, Catalyst, and Reach for the Stars Awards will be announced, as well as recognition of any Presidential scholars or designated affiliate awards. Make-A-Wish awards will also be announced at the business meeting and you must be present to win! 

Ticketed Workshops

Tickets are required to attend all ticketed workshops. You are encouraged to purchase/reserve tickets with preregistration, but some may be available onsite at the Ticket Sales Desk. Please see the preliminary program for complete workshop descriptions and list of presenters. 

Wednesday Pre-Conference Workshops

  • WS1:  Project Learning Tree PreK-8 Workshop,  Wednesday, 9:00 am - 4: 00 pm, $20/person, Max 24     The award winning PLT materials have over 96 interdisciplinary, hands-on activities that use the environment to teach how to think, not what to think. 
  • WS2:  SC State Museum Boeing Observatory Workshop,  Wednesday, 10:30 am - 9:00 pm, FREE, Max 15    Train for your opportunity to operate the museum's telescopes and cameras from your classroom. Discover cool astronomy activities and teaching strategies. Lunch, snacks & light dinner provided. Evening viewing of spectacular night sky objects through observatory's telescopes. Certificate for 10 contact hours is provided. Teachers MUST complete a separate registration with the museum to attend
  • WS3: CPO Science - The Original Hands-On Learning, Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, FREE, Max 45     Receive valuable information on four CPO Science textbooks along with engaging hands on lab experiments with equipment designed to complement the text. Sponsored by Frey Scientific/CPO Science
  • WS4: STEM Institute Think Like an Engineer, Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, FREE, Max 45   A hands-on workshop designed for teachers to demonstrate an understanding of how the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) connect to the application of science concepts, the engineering design process and the real world. The training will walk teachers through the engineering design process and show them how to incorporate this into their science lessons. Participants need to come with a computer, tablet, or other device to connect to the internet for research and data-sharing activities. A note pad is suggested for taking notes. All handouts and materials will be shared digitally for attendees. Sponsored by Pearson. 
  • WS5: Engineering with the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 pm, FREE, Max 36   The Smithsonian Science Education Center will share strategies and insights on creating, collaborating, communicating, designing and innovating from kindergarten on up. Enjoy a preview into the Smithsonian Science Education Center's new engineering modules for grades 1 through 5.  Sponsored by Carolina Biological. 
  • WS6: Model Rocketry - A Highly Motivational STEM Tool, Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm , $12/person, Max 24   Introduction to Model Rocketry, Newton's Laws of Motion, Forces and Aerospace STEM Concepts and Principles. Participants will build and launch a model rocket. This workshop is also related to NASA's and JPL's Space Exploration Program. This workshop has successfully been presented at this conference and other venues for over 30 years and receives excellent evaluations. 
  • WS7: Drawing to "KNOW" the New Science Standards, Wednesday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, $15/person, Max 40  
    NEW Session Description: 
    South Carolina’s Read to Succeed program challenges teachers to develop “the knowledge and skills to intensify instruction for students having reading difficulties” The language of science can be particularly difficult for many learners. Join Dr. Merrie  Koester for an introductory, evidence-based workshop on making the science standards  visible to all students, especially the struggling reader. Learn how to visually organize science content by employing basic principles of graphic design. No drawing talent necessary! Merrie will also model several strategies for integrating the arts across your STEM curricula as a powerful way to connect students to content. Participants should bring a black pen, and a non-mechanical # 2 pencil.  Sketchbooks provided to each participant.  Sponsored by the University of South Carolina Center for Science Education. 

Thursday Workshops

  • WS8: Flying WILD Workshop for Middle School Educators, Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, $30/person, Max 24    Using 43 lesson plans, "Flying WILD" focuses on migratory birds. It includes 43 structured, field tested, and detailed lesson plans. The focus on migratory birds is designed to inspire young people to discover more about the natural world. The program encourages integration of bird education and conservation activities into the school curriculum, culminating with middle school students, teachers, and community volunteers implementing a bird festival at their school. 
  • WS9: GENES - Genetic Experiences for New Education Standards, Thursday, 10:15 am - 11:45 am, $3/person, Max 48    Explore available resources and instructional resources with Dr. Leta Tribble and Dillon Gary from the Greenwood Genetics Center. Hands on laboratory activities are integral to this presentation and workshop. 
  • WS10: Growing up WILD Workshop for Educators, Thursday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, $30/person, Max 24   Growing Up WILD connects young children with nature. The 25 activities connect young children (ages 3 - 7) to nature and the outdoors by focusing on wildlife. Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program correlated to National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards as well as to the Head Start Domains.
  • WS11: STEAM 4 Everyone! ,  Thursday, 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm, $5/person, Max 24   This hands-on presentation will show you how to use a children's trade book to explore gravity and end up with a STEAM creative display. Participants will create the STEAM project with paints and should come comfortable and ready to have fun as well as learn.               SOLD OUT!!! 
  • WS12: Home and School Science Activities, Thursday, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm,  $35, Max 50  PDI focusing on literacy and achieving progression to higher levels based on everyday physical science.  Participants will receive 2 resource books, lesson plans and materials. Air pressure, atoms & molecules, periodic table, forces, evaporation, condensation and Bernoulli included. 

Friday Workshops

  • WS13: 3D Model Makers with Paper for Engaging Scientists, Friday, 9:00 am - 9:45 am, $12/person, Max 24  Engage your students with 3D paper model makers for different science topics. Learn to take graphic organizers to the next level. Leave with an assortment of ready to use activities for your classroom. Can be used for high school students but ideally designed for elementary and middle school. 
  • WS14: Updated Aquatic WILD, Friday, 9:00 am - 11:00 am, $20/person, Max 24  This workshop is for teachers previously trained in Aquatic WILD. You will receive the new guide along with an understanding of the changes in the curriculum. 
  • WS15: Geology of South Carolina Workshop, Friday, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm, $20/person, Max 24   Explore the landforms and rock/mineral distribution patterns of South Carolina in relation to its long and complex geologic history.  Participants receive a set of laminated maps and other materials. 

Field Trips

Space is reserved on a first-come, first served basis. Tickets are required to attend all field trips. You are encouraged to purchase/reserve tickets with preregistration, but some may be available onsite at the Ticket Sales Desk. All field trips will depart/return at the convention center loading area if you use the shuttle service, or you can drive your personal vehicle. Most are within 5 miles of the convention center. Please see the preliminary program for complete field trip descriptions.

Thursday Field Trips

  • TT1:  Sesquicentennial State Park Tour - Sesqui's Discover Carolina Field Trips,  Thursday, 8:30 am - 11:30 am, $12/person, Min 12/Max 30     Join us for an overview of our science curriculum based field studies for grades K-2. Think of the park as your outdoor classroom where science comes to life! We will do a brief sampling of each of the 3 programs - including "Insectigations" for 2nd grade, "Plantastic" for 1st grade and "Naturally Sense-sational" for Kindergarten. This is designed for teachers of K-2 students and will be outdoors. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes. 
  • TT2:  Congaree National Park: Land of Constant Change,  Thursday, 8:45 am - 12:30 pm, $12/person, Min 12/Max 30   Join the Congaree National Park Ranger as you learn about the astonishing biodiversity, natural and cultural history of the largest remaining section of bottomland forest in the southeastern United States. Enjoy a 2.4 mile hike along the boardwalk as you go through the floodplain, learning how the Congaree River has shaped the landscape to be what it is today, how people have used the land, and why it has been protected as a national park.  CANCELLED
  • TT3: ZVerse,  Thursday, 9:45 am - 11:45 am, $12/person, Min 12/Max 20     Learn about 3D printing from the company ZVerse, an applications company focused on accelerating the creating of meaningful 3D printable content. This is an insightful opportunity for teachers with 3D printers, or looking to invest in one, to learn more about their applications and programming. Come learn how 3D printing can be a motivational and educational classroom tool.   CANCELLED
  • TT4: South Carolina State House Tour, Thursday, 10:00 am - 11:30 am, $3/person, Min 5/Max 20  Tour South Carolina's most recognizable Historic Structure and learn first hand the history of our state through this magnificent building's architecture, history and legislative process. Please see preliminary program for additional description. Because of the proximity of the SC State House, there will not be a shuttle provided. Participants will meet at the Field Trip Check In at 10:00 am and walk the 2 blocks to the State House. 
  • TT5: Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens: Behind the Scenes African Adventure, Thursday, 11:45 am - 3:30 pm, $27/person, Min 12/Max 25   Explore the sights and sounds of Africa at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Get an inside look at some out of sight places. Encounter animals up close, explore behind the scenes and meet experienced zookeepers. Participants will wander through the elephant barn while our girls are out for the day. Participants will learn about the unique challenges for exotic animal care and the efforts that go into creating and sustaining a world class zoo. Includes other animal areas and plenty of photo opportunities. Also enjoy some individual exploration of the Zoo and Gardens. 
  • TT6: Palmetto Outdoor Center: Interdisciplinary Walking Tour, Thursday, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm , $3/person, Min 5/Max 15   Interactive riverwalk tour that highlights and interprets the educationally rich areas of Columbia and details how the Three Rivers region has shaped Columbia, SC. The tour covers a variety of topics relating to geography, ecology and historical events.  CANCELLED
  • TT7: Challenger Learning Experience, Thursday, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, $12/person, Min 12/Max 24   The Challenger Learning Center is an exciting and hands-on aeronautics and space themed educational program designed to provide interactive learning experiences, integrating science and math curricula with information and technology. Come experience a simulated space mission, be an engineer in Mission Control and an astronaut on the Space Station. Find out why students say we are the best field trip ever! Participants will also get an overview of other programs offered at Challenger and our ePlanetarium.   CANCELLED
  • TT8: Saluda Shoals Wetland Habitats, Thursday, 1:00 pm - 3:45 pm, $12/person, Min 12/Max 22   Join the Saluda Shoals' Lead Interpretive Park Ranger as you explore the wetland habitats around Saluda Shoals Park. This park is a premier, natural, environmentally sensitive riverfront park that invites visitors to experience the treasures of the Saluda River throughe exceptional educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities. Located on the banks of the Saluda River. 
  • TT9: New Learning Opportunities at the SC State Museum, Thursday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, $5/person, Min 20/Max 205 Explore all of the new education opportunities at the SC State Museum including the Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Planetarium, Boeing Observatory, and 4D Theater. Your trip will include a brief introduction by one of the State Museum staff, overview of museum educational offerings, and time to chat with Boeing Observatory educators about our on-site and distance learning activities. Of course you'll have time to explore the familiar and new exhibits while there. Because of the proximity of the SC State Museum, there will not be a shuttle provided. The museum is 0.8 miles from the Convention Center. Participants should meet in the lobby of the State Museum at 1:00 pm. 
  • TT10: Congaree River Kayak Adventure, Thursday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, $35/person, Min 6/Max 30  Join Bill Stangler the Congaree Riverkeeper and other Adventure Carolina guides on this three mile guided kayak trip down the Congaree River. This is an excellent trip for a beginner or experienced paddler. Bring your camera, binoculars and dress for the weather. Hat, sunscreen and bottled water are recommended.  CANCELLED
  • TT11: Edventure's Engineering 101, Thursday, 3:15 pm - 5:30 pm, $3/person, Min 5/Max 20  Join EdVenture's educators as they have participants engage in a series of activities designed to inspire young engineers. Teachers will participate in several engineering challenges that they can take back to their classroom, as well as explore the museum and learn about our program and opportunities. Because of the proximity to EdVenture, there will not be a shuttle provided. EdVenture is 0.8 miles from the Conventure Center. Participants should meet in the lobby of EdVenture at 3:15 pm. 

Friday Field Trips

  • FT1: Sesquicentennial State Park Life in an Urban Forest Nature Walk, Friday, 8:30 am - 11:00 am, $12/person, Min 12/Max 25    Join us as we explore Sesqui's sandhills and learn about this unique and delicate Carolina ecosystem. Participants will also find out what animals and plants call the park home while enjoying the sights and sounds of the forest. This is a half-mile walk on uneven terrain. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes. 
  • FT2: Palmetto Outdoor Center Interdisciplinary Walking Tour, Friday, 9:00 am - 11:00 am, $3/person, Min 5/Max 15  Interactive riverwalk tour that highlights and interprets the educationally rich areas of Columbia and details how the Three Rivers region has shaped Columbia, SC. The tour covers a variety of topics relating to geography, ecology and historical events. 
  • FT3: USC McKissik Museum Tour and Lunch at the McCutchen House, Friday, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, $10/person*, Min 5/Max 22   The McKissik Museum is located at the heart of the historic Horseshoe on the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. It was established in 1976 to bring together under one roof the many object collections housed in the various departments and colleges across campus. These collections date to 1801 and provide insight into the long and illustrious history of the University. Following the tour we will be treated to a gourmet lunch dining experience at the McCutchen House, one of the original buildings constructed on the USC Horseshoe. The students of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management will prepare and serve a four course luncheon. Meals feature their famous tomato pie, soup, salad, plated entree and dessert bar. Because of the proximity of the Horsehoe, a shuttle will not be provided. Participants should meet in the lobby of the McKissik Museum at 10 am and are encouraged to carpool if driving. *Gratuity is not included in the price of the field trip. Please tip your wait staff accordingly. 
  • FT4: Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens - The List: Conservation Challenge Tour,  Friday, 12:30 pm - 4:15 pm, $17/person, Min 12/Max 25  Some animals make the "A" list, some animals make the "E" list. Making the list is great for celebrities but not for animals! Tour the Zoo to see animals that have made it off the list. Find out what Riverbanks is doing to get animals off the list and to help prevent animals from making the list in the future. Also enjoy some individual exploration of the Zoo and Gardens. 
  • FT5: Congaree River Kayak Adventure, Friday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm,  $35/person, Min 12/Max 25  Join Bill Stangler the Congaree Riverkeeper and other Adventure Carolina guides on this three mile guided kayak trip down the Congaree River. This is an excellent trip for a beginner or experienced paddler. Bring your camera, binoculars and dress for the weather. Hat, sunscreen and bottled water are recommended. Please note that this trip ends after the Conference ends, so you will need to take all of your belongings with you when you depart the Conference Center.