Ambassadors Program for High School Classes

Invited Audience

Secondary School Classrooms (e.g. teachers, students, and parents)


Translational Science 2021. This experience will be akin to a digital field trip for your science students.


Secondary science classrooms or student groups with adult leadership (e.g. teachers, parents).


Thursday, April 1 (12pm-5pm EST) and Friday, April 2 (12-3pm) with opportunity for pre-meeting scientific opportunity (time TBD).


Attend and present at a national science meeting with the safe atmosphere of a welcome newcomer, network with other scholars, engage with science leaders, learn effective scientific communication skills


If you’d like your class or science team to attend, reply to Chris Pierret ( and ACTS ( with subject “ACTS Ambassadors.” There will be no cost to you. Spaces are limited, so we hope to hear from you soon! If interested in the pre-meeting opportunity, please include this ask with your reply.


The Ambassadors Program will strive to recruit, organize, train, and assess science newcomers and mentors with roles appropriate to carry out the aims of ACTS and its global community, culminating in activities for K-12 partners at the annual ACTS meeting. The focus of ambassadors is to carry out the aims of your program, while acting as a “Newcomers” program for a broad spectrum of science community members including young scientists, e.g. middle, high school, and college students, elementary and secondary educators, college instructors and faculty, research scientists, industrial scientists, business proprietors, and other community members.  Our team has carried out similar programming with the global zebrafish community at international meetings for over a decade.

Meeting in a Meeting

The first step of serving a broader scientific community is finding a way for non-professional scientists to attend. Within the meeting, selected presentations will be shared with the ambassador program participants, but timed as to provide a safe entry. Each session attended will be co-attended by recruited TL1 scholars with some knowledge of the particular session. The TL1 mentors will follow up with their assigned ambassador participants in a special session after the presentation to work through the language and methods used in the presentation, helping to teach any missing information for the participants. After that process, the TL1 scholars will support the participants in a Q/A session with the presenters from the previous session. This strategy allows both the mentors and participants to meet the leaders of ACTS and have an authentic interaction where they are empowered to get questions answered in a way that fits their needs. This can be a great way to onboard the scientists of the future. The TL1 scholar mentors are not meant to have every answer, but rather to be a safe “near-peer” to the participants to help them feel comfortable at the meeting.

Itinerary for for Ambassadors’ Program for Translational Science 2021

Location: Will be sent individually after meeting registration

  • Tuesday, March 30-Wednesday 31 - 12:00 – 5:00 EST
    • Meeting activities are available, but no specific activities for the Ambassadors program. Ambassadors are welcome to join any meeting activity. The full schedule is available here. Please note all sessions will be recorded and available through April within the virtual event platform.
  • Thursday, April 1 - 12:00 - 1:00 PM EST  
    • ACTS Ambassadors Introduction
      • Introduction to program
      • Introduction to translational science
      • Introduction to ACTS
  • Thursday, April 1: 1:15 - 2:15 PM EST
    • Attend main sessions of your choice:
      • Panel Discussion: Making Dissemination and Implementation Research Ubiquitous in Translational Science

        Making a scientific breakthrough is only the beginning of the story. The purpose of translational science as a field is to ensure that scientific discovery is translated into healthcare as quickly as possible. Dissemination and implementation is the process of disseminating ideas and quickly seeding their implementation in the field.

      • Panel Discussion: CCTS: Health Policy in the New Administration

        Budding scientists need to understand how public funding supports research. This session will feature senior staff from the Senate and House committees responsible for clinical and translational research funding. They will discuss the Biden Administration’s health policy priorities and how the Senate and the House are likely to respond.

      • Panel Discussion: A Novel Online Course in Translational Science Offered by NCATS: Course Design, Content, and Evaluation Results

        Representatives from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, highlight and provide perspectives on a course they developed to teach people what is included in translational science. This session will focus on their course outcomes and on future directions for education in translational science.

      • Workshop: Engaging Clinical Trial Participants through Effective Conversations

        Research on human participants requires consent. Depending on the study, potential participants may be more or less likely to consent to join the study. This session will explore ideas for improving the consent process. This will include how to engage in productive conversations that establish the kind of engagement, trust, and commitment every researcher wants with their participants.

      • Panel Discussion: Dimension Reduction and Feature Selection Methods: Reducing the Complexity

        This session will provide an introduction to statistical and machine learning methods for dimension reduction, variable selection, and classification methods. Emphasis will be placed on the types of research questions that can be answered, advantages over traditional methods, and interpretation of results. Primary topics will include: principal components analysis, orthogonal partial least squares, discriminant analysis, lasso regression, and random forests. Presenters will illustrate these methodologies with real data applications.

  • Thursday, April 1: 2:15 - 2:45 PM EST
    • ACTS Ambassadors Q/A Session
      • Education with TL1 scholar mentor
      • Interaction with panelists/presenters from previous ACTS session
  • Thursday, Apri 1: 3:00 -4:00 PM EST​
    • ACTS Ambassadors Presentations
      • Introduction
      • Flashtalks by participants
      • Education session for future ACTS planning
  • Thursaday, April 1: 4:00 - 5:00 PM EST
    • Scholar Career Pathways Session
  • Friday, April 2: 12:00 - 2:00 PM EST
    • Attend main meeting sessions of your choice:
      • Workshop: Overcoming Barriers With Bridges

        A small number of conference attendees, from students to full professors, have joined into randomly selected small groups at the start of this conference. Each group chose a topic of importance to translational science, such as overcoming vaccine hesitancy or combating “fake news.” Over the four days of the conference, groups have developed potential solutions to these real world problems, which they will propose during this session. The audience will get to vote on the best solutions.

      • Workshop: Drivers of Progress in Translational Sciences

        There are very different reasons why progress happens in science. The apple dropped from the tree onto Newton for discovery of gravity and Newtonian mechanics. This session will explore the stories behind discoveries and leaps that are happening now and the personal stories behind some of the efforts. The session will engage scientists who have found the passion due to personal reasons or through serendipity.

      • Workshop: Three Steps to Save Time and Increase Engagement of Communities, Stakeholders and Policy Makers

        The stakes of clearly communicating the impact of new research to communities has never been greater. Clear, concise and compelling communication is fundamentally vital to the translation of research to patient impact. This interactive workshop introduces participants to three fundamental principles proven to engage audiences of every kind.

  • Friday, April 2: 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
    • ​ACTS Ambassadors Closing Remarks
      • "Accessible Student" nominations forms
      • Future plans
      • Post-Evaluation

Co-Supported by: