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2016 Closing Conference

The STAR Closing Conference is where STAR Fellows formally present their research findings to peers, mentors, and the broader community. While the conference spans three days, attendence at the October 15th session is mandatory for all STAR Fellows. In addition to learning about STAR summer projects, the conference also provides an opportunity to expand everyone's professional networks, meet their counterparts from other lab sites, share their plans for the future, and participate in professional development workshops.

- Registration
- Travel & Accommodations
- Schedule
- Digital Program
- Workshops
- Venue & Directions
- Meals
- Internet Access
- Dress Standards


Ames and STAR require that all attendees be registered and wear a conference badge while on the Ames grounds. Registration is provided by STAR's funding partners to all STAR Fellows, Workshop Leaders, Lab Site Coordinators, Research mentors, speakers, and approved guests. STAR Alumni (from any site, any year) are also encouraged to attend Saturday's events. Due to capacity and catering limitations, guest and alumni attendees must register in advance. Please contact if you have not already registered online before 1 October.


STAR welcomes a partner or family member to the Saturday portion of the conference and reception with advance arrangements, but is unable to provide travel or accommodation arrangements for them. Guests must have a government issued photo ID while on the Ames campus. The Closing Conference is not an appropriate event for children.

Travel and Accommodation

Ames Bldg 152 Map small

Details on travel and accommodation arrangements to the Closing Conference for each of the different STAR participants is provided on the Fellows, Workshop Leader, Lab Site Coordinator, and Research Mentor pages. STAR is able to provide travel and accommodation for all Fellows and Workshop Leaders, but would like to encourage and support Lab Site and Research Staff attendence wherever possible. Fellows will share dorm accommodations with another Fellow. Workshop leaders will be in single or double Lodge rooms. Fellows and Workshop Leaders, please check in at Building 19 (see map right) between 3 pm and 10 pm PST, checkout time is 11 am. For guests, the San Jose Double Tree provides comfortable nearby accommodations.

Fellow Dorms Bldg 583 Fellow Dorms Bldg 583 Ames Lodge Bldg 19, Single room Accommodations Check-in, Bldg 19

Schedule and Program

Groups are encouraged to coordinate for informal meals early Friday evening as suits their arrival. The Conference doors will open at 8:00 am on Saturday, October 15th, 2016. Fellows and Workshop leaders will check out of accommodation Sunday morning and bring baggage to conference center where education workshops will take place Sunday morning.


Printed programs will be available at the registration desk, but please consider downloading the PDF (16 Mb), to your mobile device so that you can plan which Saturday presentations and which Sunday education workshops to attend.

Download Low Resolution Conference Program (16 Mb)

In brief, the conference schedule is as follows:


  • Barcelona Cafe' (Building 3) is open for Lunch 11:00 am to 1:30 pm (Grab-n-Go to 2:00)
  • 3-10 pm - Self-arrival or airport shuttle by arrangement with STAR, check into NASA Lodging at Building 19
  • 5:30 pm - Workshop Leaders meet in Building 152
  • 6:30 pm - Collect conference programs and badges, social gathering with heavy hors d'oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages in Bldg 152
  • 7:45 pm - Trivia!
  • 10:00 pm - possible movie or bring-your-own-board-games as groups wish


  • 08:00 am - Conference doors open, collect conference programs and badges. Fellows hang posters and load short oral presentations. Please review instructions beforehand and come prepared as many other Fellows are also making preparations. Continental breakfast items and coffee/tea service begins.
  • 9:00 - Conference Program Begins with Welcome by Ames Deputy Center Director, Thomas Edwards, and Opening Remarks
  • 9:15 - CSU & STAR (Joan Bissell and Phil Bailey)
  • 9:45 - Plenary speaker Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology
  • 10:15 - Poster Session A
  • 11:45 - Networking Boxed Lunch (provided)
  • 12:45 pm - Panel Session 'Teachers Making a Difference'
  • 2:00 - Simultaneous short oral presentations (4 rooms)
  • 3:00 - Poster Session B
  • 4:30 - Partnerships (Blair Blackwell)
  • 4:45 - STAR
  • 5:00 - Group and Cohort Photos in the park across from Bldg 152 entrance.
  • 5:30 - Personal/connections time
  • 6:15 - Dining hall doors open (Bldg 152)
  • 7:00 - Dinner buffet service begins (hosted by STAR Partners)
  • 8:00 - Plenary speaker, Riccardo Bassiri, LIGO / SLAC / Stanford University
  • 8:30 - Conclusion of programming, social and networking events commence


  • Morning Room checkout (Please bring your baggage to registration desk in bldg 152)
  • 8:00 am - Conference doors open. Continental breakfast items and coffee/tea service begins.
  • 9:00 - Overview of the day
  • 9:10 - 10:10 Workshop Session I
  • 10:20 - 11:20 Workshop Session II
  • 11:30 - Plenary speaker, Marc Buie, Southwestern Research Institute
  • 12:15 - Closing remarks, end of program. Self-departure or airport shuttle by arrangement with STAR


There will be five simultaneous professional development workshops. Capacity for each workshop is limited due to space and materials. Attendees should select one workshop ticket for session I and one for session II at the registration desk. Workshop details are available in the Program

Conference Venue

Ames Bldg 152 Map smallThe conference venue is being generously provided by the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. All conference events will be held in the Kepler Science Conference II complex, Bldg 152. A map is provided (right) which also shows appropriate parking areas. The map is also available as a .pdf document. Driving directions to Ames can be found online here.

Security - All drivers may be asked to show a US driver's license to enter the Ames Main Gate. Passengers may or may not be required to show photo ID at the main gate, but a government-issued photo ID is required and may be checked during the conference depending upon security requirements at the time. If you do not have a driver's license please ensure that you have your US passport or other government-issued photo ID. Any non-US persons must contact STAR in advance to make arrangements. Every person attending, must also wear their conference badge on site. It is therefore essential that all attending Lab Site Coordinators, Research Mentors, and Guests contact us so that we can ensure they have a registration badge.


More details to be provided as they become available. There are no food-service facilities on the Ames grounds during the weekend. There are about 25 places within 3 miles (Yelp recommendations here) if you have a vehicle to depart the Ames grounds. STAR is only able to provide a limited quantity and array of food items, though vegetarian options will generally be offerred. If you have specific dietary preferences or requirements, please consider bringing appropriate supplementary foods. We encourage all participants to bring their own water bottle (we support San Francisco's sustainability efforts banning plastic water bottle sales). We have allocated 1 hour for lunch and casual conversation with your peers so there is not time to leave the premises Saturday afternoon.

  • Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served at the Friday evening social
  • Continental breakfast pastries, bagels, and muffins will be provided Saturday and Sunday morning
  • Coffee and tea service will be provided Saturday and Sunday
  • Boxed sandwich lunches will be provided on Saturday
  • Snacks and soft-drink beverages will be available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all participants encouraged to bring their own water bottle
  • Buffet dinner will be served during the Saturday night reception
  • A limited cash bar will be available during the Saturday night reception

Internet Access

STAR Conference attendees can access the Guest WiFi network while in the accommodations. WiFi access credentials at the conference venue can be picked up from the registration desk when you collect your badge. All presentations should be prepared to run offline and loaded onto a USB drive in case of service interuptions.

Dress Standards

STAR conferences are professional events where dressy casual is appropriate. We will take cohort and group photos during the conference.

Real research and engineering: Only by living it can you share it with your students.