NC Academy of Science

Conference Workshops

Using Art as a Tool in Scientific Figure Making

Jillian Davis
Department of Exercise Science, High Point University
13639847_10202019272201581_1859517402_oCasey Garr
Department of Biology, High Point University
Veronica Segarra
Department of Biology, High Point University

In our modern information-driven society, visual cues and data have taken on a new level of importance.  New ways of representing and conveying information are constantly emerging—many of them highlighting art as a useful tool for presenting information in creative ways. This is particularly true in the sciences, where it is necessary to convey complex and often abstract topics in a concise and clear manner.  Many times this is achieved by impactful illustrations and animations generated as a result of collaborations between scientists and artists.  In this way, art can help inform and drive science, as well as support innovation and a creative mindset.

In this workshop, attendees will learn basic principles to make scientific diagrams and figures more clear and effective.  Also, attendees will learn how to use the basic functions of software like Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator to generate publication-quality scientific figures and diagrams.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops, and to bring a scientific diagram or figure in electronic file form that can be used to improve upon in the workshop. Please contact Veronica Segarra at for more information and how to be best prepared to get the most from this workshop.

3D Printing

Jeffrey Regester
Department of Physics, High Point University

3D printing is a transformative technology, a tool that broadens access to innovation. So-called additive manufacturing allows anyone to design and produce physical objects that previously required difficult to acquire and/or expensive machining skills, and even allowing the creation of objects virtually impossible to execute using traditional “subtractive manufacturing” techniques. In research and education, 3D printing can facilitate the creation of experimental apparatus, demonstrations, visualization aids, and prototypes. Additive manufacturing accelerates the prototype-evaluation-redesign cycle, allowing iterative improvement that would be time- and cost-prohibitive using traditional machining.

In this workshop, attendees will be exposed to the most basic entry-level tools for designing objects, as well as advanced algorithmic methods. 3D printers and a variety of printing materials will also be demonstrated. Newbies as well as those experienced in 3D printing are all encouraged to attend.

Best Practices in Applying to Medical and Other Health Professional Programs

Brett Woods
Department of Biology, High Point University
Daniel Erb
School of Health Sciences, High Point University
Joy Greene
School of Pharmacy, High Point University

Going Viral: How to Post Accurate Science on Social Media
(and get people to read it)

Allison S. Walker
Department of English, High Point University

There is no doubt that 21st century science requires interdisciplinary collaboration. Without a shared scientific language, we can’t hope to solve the big scientific questions of our complex world and continue to innovate within our laboratories. If nearly half of all global citizens possess regular internet access and more than 2 billion own a smartphone, it stands to reason that the most likely method of communication isn’t a scholarly article in a prominent science journal, it’s through the vector of social media. Believe it or not, the general public wants to hear about your research, and they want to understand it. But in order to reach these audiences, you must learn to make your science accessible and contagious. Through techniques of SEO (search engine optimization), visualization, and careful attention to tone, reading level, and scientific accuracy, scientists can  generate a throng of enthusiastic followers.

In this workshop, attendees will learn how to tailor science-oriented social media posts to appeal to a wide range of public audiences. Using software programs such as the IBM Watson Tone Analyzer to improve the content of their writing, and infographics programs such as to generate cool visual representations of their research, attendees will leave this workshop session with a whole new digital toolbox to ensure that accurate science posts go viral.