Bridging the Gap 2015

Media coverage, extensive NIH participation mark fourth annual NCABR STEM conference

NCABR’s fourth annual Bridging the Gap: Uniting North Carolina K-16 STEM Education conference attracted media attention and included extensive participation from NIH – both firsts for the program series.

The conference, held October 27-28 at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh, drew 377 speakers and attendees from 42 North Carolina counties and seven other states (AL, MD, NE, NJ, NY, SC and VA).

Time Warner Cable News produced a 90-second story that aired twice on Oct. 27. The first 30 seconds of the interview can be viewed online. The news crew filmed a session led by Rahman Tashakkori, Lowe’s Distinguished Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science at Appalachian State University.

Education NC, which has more than 2,700 subscribers and also collaborates with traditional media outlets to republish content at no cost, produced this piece with extensive photography and quotes from attendees.

NCABR’s online photo gallery from the conference is here.

Extensive NIH Involvement

NCABR was delighted to have Tony Beck, director of the NIH Office of Science Education and program officer of the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, as a program speaker and exhibitor this year. Dr. Beck led two conference sessions: one for K-12 attendees showcasing SEPA-funded preK-12 educational programs and resources and another session for higher ed faculty about how to apply for SEPA grants. Dr. Beck also distributed more than 1,000 free copies of the NIH curriculum supplements on various biomedical topics to conference attendees at the NIH exhibit booth. While this was not the first time NIH had participated in Bridging the Gap, (Dr. Bruce Fuchs, then director of the NIH Office of Science Education, provided a crowd-favorite keynote address at the inaugural conference in 2012), Dr. Beck’s participation was by far the most extensive partnership with NIH to date.


We thank the following conference sponsors for keeping costs affordable for all attendees: the Biogen Foundation, Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, National Geographic Learning/CENGAGE Learning, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Davidson College, East Carolina University and UNC Charlotte.

For more information

For more information about the 2015 conference, including presentations and photos, please visit

Special Thanks

We extend special thanks to the following NCABR board members and others who volunteered from the NCABR membership at this year’s conference: Ron Banks (Duke), Terry Blankenship-Parish (NIEHS), Harriet Burgess (formerly of GSK), Jere Confrey (NCSU), Chris Duffrin (ECU), Melani Duffrin (ECU), Rob Dunn (NCSU), Yolanda Dunston (NCCU), Stephanie Evans (WSSU), Tonya Hargett (NC A&T), Lisa Hibler (NCSU), Julie Johnson (ECU), Jason Painter (NCSU), Liz Parry (NCSU), R. Mitchell Parry (Appstate), Scott Ragan (NCSU), Ashley Roseno (ECU), Dave Small (J.D. Small Consulting), Leyf Starling (NCSU), Holly Sullenger (NCSU), Paola Sztajn (NCSU), Rahman Tashakkori (Appstate), Bill Wade (Duke), Bill Wilkison (Duke) and Chandra Williams (UNCC).