Info for Workshop Leaders

  • Overall Responsibilities
  • Goals
  • Workshop Support, and Supplies
  • Resources
  • Working with Lab Site Coordinators
  • STAR Conference Travel
  • Just for fun STAR STEM Photos
  • All of the procedures, forms, and deadlines that Fellows need to work with are available to them at the Placed Fellows page. That page and the Key Dates tab (above) is the first place Fellows should look when they have a "How Do I?" question related to the STAR Program. If, after reading the guides there they or you have a specific question please reach out to the Program via email using to coordinate with the Program Assistant, or contact the Program Director if an immediate response is required.

    Overall Responsibilities

    Workshop Leaders will support the STAR Program and each STAR Fellow in their assigned cohort by cooperatively fulfilling the following expectations:

    1. Co-plan and facilitate weekly science, engineering, and math education seminars which support stated Program goals in coordination with Lab Site Education and Public Outreach (EPO) staff. (mid-June to mid-August each year)
    2. Help review select program applications, if needed, provided by the Program to determine applicant eligibility and/or suitability for recommendation to projects.
    3. Actively communicate with Fellows in their cohort as individuals. It is expected that workshop leaders make themselves available, within reason, for individual communication with Fellows via emails, meetings, or phone calls to identify and support Fellows facing challenges with their professional development, research group, and personal well being. It is expected that Workshop Leaders will communicate with Program staff where they require professional advice, intervention, or other support.
    4. Ensure that each Fellow in their cohort is visited, at their lab site, at least once by a Workshop Leader early in the Program (within one month). The Program may decide that visiting some remote lab sites is not feasible, in which case a personal teleconference is a suitable alternative.
    5. Discuss research challenges and successes, the nature of STEM research, and career interests with Fellows during the lab site visits in addition to other topics which support the professional development of Fellows.
    6. Communicate regularly and in a timely fashion with Program staff.
    7. Submit a brief (2-3 sentence) description to the Program of what activities and/or topics they expect to address in each of the nine scheduled sessions prior to the Program's start date. Topics and activities should be designed to support the Program goals. (Typically by May each year)
    8. Submit a brief (2-3 sentence) description to the Program of what activities and/or topics were actually addressed in each of the nine scheduled sessions. It is expected that workshop leaders plans may change to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Activity and schedule changes must support the Program goals. (On an ongoing basis, weekly or bi-weekly during the summer session as required.)
    9. Provide constructive feedback to Fellows on their research presentations and lesson plans.
    10. Complete program evaluation surveys (individually required of each Workshop Leader) and support lab site evaluation efforts in coordination with site EPO staff. (At the end of the summer session.)
    11. Attend Program events including meetings, webinars, and conferences as required. It is expected that each Workshop Leader will attend such events. Travel and accommodation costs will be paid by the Program where applicable. (Coordinated on an ongoing basis)
    12. Provide a link between summer research experience and classroom practices, teacher education, and the credentialing process or other pathways to K-12 teaching.
    13. Help Fellows understand what it means to be a teacher; provide advice and guidance on career development and inquiry-based classroom learning practices in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.


    Program Goals

    STAR has three primary program goals which inform our goals for the education workshops.

    • Increase RECRUITMENT of high-quality science, mathematics, and engineering majors into teaching by attracting outstanding STEM majors, increasing the prestige of teaching as a professional STEM career, and engaging leading laboratories as partners in providing outstanding research opportunities.
    • Improve STEM teacher PREPARATION AND DEVELOPMENT by promoting a deeper and directly research-based understanding of scientific and engineering practices through summer lab experiences.
    • Increase STEM teacher RETENTION by building a teacher-researcher community strongly connected to the community of scientific practice through creation of teacher-researchers and leaders.

    Workshop Goals

    The weekly education workshops represent a significant professional development investment in our Fellows and their students. As STEM professionals, Workshop Leaders will develop individualised programmes in coordination with the STAR Program Director to best take advantage of the personnel and opportunities available at each site. Specific workshop activities and guided discussions developed by the Workshop Leaders will focus on:

    • Nature of STEM (NoS1) - How STEM research actually works
    • Nature of STEM (NoS2) - Becoming a researcher and the diversity of research careers and skills on research teams
    • K12 STEM education (STEM1) - Common Core and NGSS cross-cutting themes and practices
    • K12 STEM education (STEM2) - Research-learning environments
    • STEM communication (CommResearch) - Research products (oral and poster presentations)
    • STEM communication (CommLesson) - Teaching products (lesson plans based on each Fellow's research)
    • Professional development (PD1) - Getting a teaching job and setting yourself up for success in a school
    • Professional development (PD2) - Staying connected to research and being a scientific teacher

    Some houskeeping topics need to be announced and acknowledged at each workshop meeting. These topics will form a regular part of group discussions and personal communications (Care):

    • Program schedule - Workshop meeting places, times, and norms, upcoming field-trip meeting times and places, material requirements, STAR Conference dates, resolving any conflicts, redundancies, or synergies between lab site programs and the STAR workshops
    • Program deadlines - Online completion of the pre- and post-program surveys, online submission of research presentation title and abstract, research poster printing, lesson plan and research presentation uploads
    • Program requirements - Full program participation, research product requirements, teaching product requirements
    • Fellow success and support - Research project progress, research environment safety, culture, and strategies for success, pastoral care (do the Fellow's working and living conditions support their well-being), identify and commmunicate any issues which may require Program attention early.

    Workshop Support and Supplies

    Each workshop cohort has a small budget to support those activities which directly support the Workshop Goals. Workshop Leaders are encouraged to plan how best to use these funds to support Fellow success. Funds may be appropriately spent in support of team-building activities at the beginning of the STAR summer, but hosting (food, beverages, gifts) require special planning and permission from the Program office. Except for small, incidental costs, workshop materials and structured activities (e.g. activity which takes advantage of a local science center) should be authorized by the Program office before purchase. Wherever possible, Workshop Leaders can avoid additional paperwork by requesting that the Program purchase materials (e.g. books, math supplies, etc.) online and have the order shipped to the Workshop Leader's preferred address.Workshop Leaders can also be reimbursed for authorised expenditures by following the online procedure.


    Please don't hesitate to contact the Program Director to request any key materials or support required for effective workshops.

    Resources for STAR Workshop Leaders
    Workshop Leader Information Guide
    • 2017 Not yet available
    STAR Model Just how do we THINK STAR works?
    NoS1 & 2

    NGSS / Common Core Science Standards



    STAR Research Products


    Teaching Products



    Additional Information
    External Evaluation Each year STAR commissions an external evaluator to administer pre- and post-program surveys which provide insight into Program performance. The 2014 and 2015 reports are available while 2016 is in progress.

    Working with Lab Site Coordinators

    Workshop leaders spend a lot of time in one-on-one interactions with STAR Fellows and the Lab Site Coordinators are the most knowledgeable and authoritative support for Workshop Leaders and Fellows at each research location. The STAR program relies on close cooperation between Lab Site Coordinators and Workshop Leaders. Workshop Leaders are usually engaged in coordination with Lab Site Coordinators, and you will receive contact details well in advance of the program summer to aid communication. Workshop Leaders must arrange their Fellow lab visits (within the first month) with approval of their Site Coordinator. Procedures will vary from site to site, but coordination on activities including surveys, research/teaching journals, workshops, and field-trips has often identified constructive synergies and removed redundancies which helped Coordinators and Workshop Leaders alike while improving the overall experience for the STAR Fellow and their students. Workshop Leaders are in control of the content of their sessions and are encouraged to include the valuable skills and perspectives of the Coordinators in their program where the Coordinator is willing and able to contribute. At many sites, the Lab Site Coordinator is also an educator involved in Public Outreach.

    STAR Conference Travel

    Travel arrangements for Workshop Leaders to attend the STAR Research Conference are made by the STAR Program Staff. STAR will arrange flights or carpooling to attend these conferences. In most cases automobile travel will be using rental cars. In rare cases, STAR may approve travel in your own vehicle. In such instances, we are unable to provide reimbursement based on petrol receipts, but instead must reimburse you on a per-mile-travelled basis calculated as point-to-point at a rate of $0.54 per mile according to state regulations. If travel in your vehicle is approved by STAR in advance, please fill out this Travel form (PDF version, Excel Version) and submit to when requested. You may be requested to submit travel expense reimbursement requests via the online procedure. If STAR is flying you to the conference we will be able to reimburse reasonable parking fees for submitted receipts at the conference.

    Single-room accommodations near the conference venue will be provided by STAR. Depending upon travel arrangements you may be scheduled for one or two night's accommodations. If you live in the Bay Area (as defined below) we generally assume you don't wish to take advantage of travel or accommodation assistance unless you contact us ( We will contact you with further details. All other meals and travel costs (including airport parking and baggage) are the responsibility of the Workshop Leader unless special arrangements are made in advance. Accommodation and travel will not automatically be provided for Workshop Leaders serving sites in the Bay Area (as defined below), but please do contact us to request travel or accommodation if preferred in your particular case.

    • NASA Ames
    • SLAC
    • LLNL
    • SNL
    • RTC
    • SETI Institute
    • San Francisco State University

    Just for Fun Photos

    Many STAR Fellow projects produce some gorgeous graphs and delicious videos and every project involves a lot of great people. We'd like to share a bit of your STAR summer at the conference. To do that we invite everyone involved in STAR to share photos and/or videos of their summer experience on Facebook (Star Cesame) or via email to We'll share a selection (as many as we can really) in the Research Conference program and presentations. This is completely voluntary. Don't wait until the end, upload whenever you get something you like!