Attendee Q&A – Inspire Educators Workshops

The presenters of the Inspire Educator Workshops are eager to answer your questions!

Use the form below to submit a question for workshop presenters AstraZeneca with Learning Undefeated, Discovery Education, Illumina, Thermo Fisher Scientific, or guest speaker Jonté Lee.

Answers to your questions will be posted on this page after the livestream dates. Scroll down to access a list of answers from each organization.

This form will be available to submit questions through Monday, 11/23


Q&A is now closed.
Please scroll down to see answers to frequently asked questions.


Workshop: Inspiration is Everywhere: Keeping Students Engaged with STEM in the Age of Distance Learning

How can educators incorporate stem activities in various subjects? For example: Math for middle school students.. Working on measurements and data or prime factorization. Why are these math factor important in stem…. Using scenarios and/or activities.

We think it is important for students to understand how science concepts translate to real world applications, and one way is by bringing science to other school subjects. Math is one of the best to tie in because science involves collecting data and the math helps to summarize that data. This is really important because if a scientist conducts an experiment and doesn’t have a clear and concise way to communicate their results, people won’t pay attention to it. By using statistics to summarize the data, you create bite-size pieces to communicate with people so that they can learn from your experiment or build off of it with new questions. For this reason, I think one of the best ways to bring science into the classroom is to talk about data manipulation. How can a graph be changed to change the information you want to display? Resources like DataClassroom and Data Nuggets can help to bring in real science questions to non-science classes. Measurement plays a huge role in science as well because that is how we collect the data! Along with measurement comes discussion of error in measurements. For more ideas on science and math integrations, check out this article from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


How can my students and I find out more about our local STEM Ecosystem?

Here are a few different resources to get you started: There are 89 communities across the world that form a global Community of Practice with cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning. Start here to identify partners by geography that may be able to help! The Mobile Laboratory Coalition (MLC) is an international community of traveling and laboratory-based education & outreach programs focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) – find more local partners in their directory.


Is the virtual field trip of AstraZeneca laboratories live (require sign up) or always available through the website?

It’s on-demand and always available here:


How can I obtain the at-home science kits for my students?

We’d like to help you locate local partners in your community and see if we can tailor a kit for your needs. You can email our education team at [email protected] with more information on what you are seeking (subject, grade level, specific concepts, number of students).


What are the best types of research laboratories I could find in my area that would likely donate materials for my students? Aren’t they very busy right now due to COVID-19?

Here are a few different resources to get you started: There are 89 communities across the world that form a global Community of Practice with cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning. Start here to identify partners by geography that may be able to help! The Mobile Laboratory Coalition (MLC) is an international community of traveling and laboratory-based education & outreach programs focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) – find more local partners in their directory.


Are the resources for Anywhere Labs free to anyone?

Absolutely! Our resources are free to teachers and schools. Check it out:


Workshop: No-Cost Digital Resources to Support STEM Learning and Career Exploration

Is the STEM Careers Coalition a site for educators only or can students explore on their own?

Students can certainly explore on their own! The Careers Portal is a great place for students to start. All of the content is easy to follow, view and download.


What is the virtual field trip on the site?

The Girls Get STEM: Unleash Your Citizen Scientist Virtual Field Trip takes viewers on a journey to experience STEM camp at the STEM Center of Excellence. The VFT features girls that are interested in STEM, along with women scientists who excel in STEM careers, plus pre- and post-VFT activities to extend the learning opportunity.


Can the Fueling Education Challenge be completed solely virtually?

Yes! Students can enter the challenge as individuals and the process for entering is all online – it only requires upload of a video to the website. Complete instructions, Q&A and entry resources are available here:


As a teacher of elementary school students, what would be the resource out of your list you recommend I go to first to begin a STEM education journey with my younger students?

There are several featured programs that offer K-5 activities to ignite students’ passion for STEM! The STEM Careers Coalition, Girls Get STEM and the 3M Young Scientist Lab all offer simple, fun hands-on activities that help demonstrate STEM principles and help students understand the value of STEM in innovation and improving the lives of others! You can find all resources here:


Workshop: Unlocking the Power of DNA In Your Classroom

How can I find the resources of decoded DNA classroom materials (from Vanessa Light presentation)? How do I find the education resources from Illumina website?

Career videos are available on page


Do you recommend teaching genomics to High School grades specifically to inspire their career search? Or can genomic education begin even earlier?

Genomic Education can begin at the elementary age, but we find that we discuss the ways you can see genomics in the world around you. For example, look in the mirror — do you have freckles, blue/brown eyes, fair or tan skin, dimples? All of these lead back to your genetics what makes you who you are. if you look outside, what items do you see that have DNA it them? A dog? car? Flower? A slide? Where can you see genetic variations? Maybe different colored flowers, or moths with different colored wings. We have some fun games and experiments at At the high school level, we talk alot about the applications of genomics, which you can see in the lesson plans on DNA Decoded.

Whether the topic is Agriculture, Cancer or Disease Transmission the technology of how we prepare DNA to be sequenced is all the same. Understanding that the applications and experiments are driven by the scientists is an important take away. If someone wants to work in the medical field with patients, but does not want to go to medical school — a genetic counselor might be a wonderful opportunity for them. By understanding the ecosystems of biotechnology companies, they can explore the various types of jobs that are available to them.


Are there certain genomics careers that you would like to see more interest in from this next generation?

Bioinformaticans and Genetic Counselors


Can the lesson plan for DNA Decoded be completed entirely virtually?

There are several lesson plans that are available on DNA Decoded. They can all be modified to use breakout rooms on google classroom and many of the newer lesson plans have call out boxes where they recommend how to shift the lesson plans using digital devices and online resources.


How long is the average wait time after placing a request on Skype a Scientist?

If you request a category of scientist, 1 week (that’s actually a max time, but we try to set expectations low so they’re thrilled when it only takes 3 days). If you request a specific scientist and you didn’t misspell it and they’re available, also 1 week. If you request for a scientist not in our database (like Bill Nye), it can take much longer. Teachers can always check what scientists are available here:


Workshop: A Virtual Showcase: Exciting Your Students about Careers in STEM

How can my high school students be best introduced to various Thermo Fisher careers?

Thermo Fisher has a series of internal signature STEM education programs designed to help students of various ages explore careers at Thermo Fisher. After contacting us at [email protected] you will be connected to Thermo Fisher colleagues at your nearest Thermo Fisher site who can offer these engagement opportunities.


Has working virtually due to COVID-19 posed challenges to Thermo Fisher research, lab experiments, or distributing products?

Thermo Fisher supports our customers with instruments and products in genetic research, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and water and food safety testing to name a few. Many of our manufacturing and distribution sites have been granted level 1 priority given our critical support in the battle against COVID-19. As a manufacturer and supplier of materials, Thermo Fisher has experienced similar supply chain hurdles as those found around the world. Additionally, many of our businesses have had to scale astronomically given our support of both healthcare providers requesting COVID-19 test kits as well as vaccine developers.


Can I access the full virtual lab tour online?

The virtual tour showing highlights of Thermo Fisher’s San Jose CA site during the Inspire Educator webinar is an example of a collaborative effort between educators and Thermo Fisher. Virtual tours are customized when working with your local Thermo Fisher site to highlight areas of interest and careers which are important to your programming. Reach out to us at [email protected] to create your custom tour!


How can I request a virtual tour and experiment from a Thermo Fisher employee such as the one shown?

Contact us at [email protected] so we can best identify your local Thermo Fisher site and help you make a connection with Thermo Fisher colleagues in your area!


Jonté Lee, Educator and DoD STEM Ambassador

How do you keep the dry ice in solid at home? Where do you purchase dry ice?

This is a GREAT question. Unfortunately, you cannot unless you have a freezer that goes down to -70 degrees celsius. I use a well-insulated ice-chest. There is a local gas station that sells dry ice. To find dry ice in your area, do an internet search for dry ice in your area.


Do you have a specific format or approach you use when having your students document their lab experiments, especially those they conduct at-home?

In my school district, we use the online learning platform Canvas, and they submit their lab reports there. They can upload a file to the site. I created a lab template for the students to place their data and responses. The lab template is a form.


Do you have any common effective approaches, tools or resources that you use to guide your students through quality data analysis?

The best approach is modeling and practice. I provide multiple examples, and I have the students practice it over and over and over. The practice comes from assessments, sample datasheets, and the lab itself.


For the dry ice bubble experiment, do you recommend using regular dish soap?

Yes, regular dish soap will work.


Is the dry ice experiment safe for students to try at home on their own?

Yes, under adult supervision. Dry ice should be handled using utensils, and the vapors should not be inhaled.