Women in Science 2020


WIS students at CHI Health Saint Elizabeth 2015

April 3-4, 2020, conference has been canceled

The 22nd Annual Women in Science Conference has been canceled. Sponsored by Nebraska EPSCoR, the NebraskaSCIENCE Program of Excellence, and the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, this two-day event brings high school students from across Nebraska and the Midwest region to campus to explore their interests in science careers. Women in Science is for students who want to interact with career and academic professional women in science, meet current undergraduate science students and other high school students who are interested in science, and discover countless professions as diverse as biologists, geologists, engineers, food scientists, computer scientists, and those in the medical fields.

Eileen Hebets

Keynote Speaker: Eileen Hebets

Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For many people, the sight of a spider is enough to cause a surge of fear, an impulse to run away or, for true arachnophobes, extreme reactions like heart palpitations and fainting. But to Nebraska biologist Eileen Hebets, eight-legged creatures are the stuff not of nightmares but of “D.R.E.A.M.S.” – discovery, research, engagement, adventure, memories and success. A professor of biological sciences, Hebets is at the forefront of arachnid and animal behavior research, having uncovered the science behind several previously unexplained phenomena. As part of her National Science Foundation-funded Eight-Legged Encounters project, Hebets has developed a variety of hands-on activities intended to bridge the gap between academia and the public. Hebets, who joined the university in 2005, has appeared in more than 100 publications and has three active grants totaling around $1 million. She’s heavily involved in outreach, having developed youth summer camps that have impacted hundreds of Nebraska students in the last decade, as well as the university’s Community Science Through Outreach course, in which Husker students create interactive programs for after-school science clubs. In 2017, she received the University of Nebraska’s Innovation, Development and Engagement Award, the system’s most prestigious award for using academic expertise to enrich the broader community.


The 2020 conference will begin at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, for those who are interested in a behind-the-scenes tour of the hospital. Then participants will head to the Nebraska Union in downtown Lincoln for a banquet featuring our keynote speaker. Saturday will kick off a day filled with hands-on activities for students to experience in the Nebraska Union on City Campus and lab activities at the Beadle Center in the afternoon. Students are encouraged to use hashtag NEBwis2020 to share their experiences with us during the conference on social media.

Friday Schedule

1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Hospital Tour, CHI Health Saint Elizabeth
4:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Registration at Embassy Suites
4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Department Displays at Embassy Suites
6 p.m.-8 p.m. Banquet and Keynote Speaker's Address at Embassy Suites
8:30 p.m. Student Observatory (weather permitting)

Saturday Schedule

9:30 a.m.-10:20 a.m. Speed Networking at Nebraska Union
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. First Round of Workshops at Nebraska Union
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch on own, downtown Lincoln
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Second Round of Workshops at Nebraska Union
2 p.m.-5 p.m. Hands-On Laboratory Workshops at Beadle Center and Evaluations

I am working on a letter of recommendation for a former graduate of mine to get into the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry because of Women in Science. My female students that attend seem to pursue higher degrees in education/careers due to having attended this fabulous function.

Ms. Marie Wadas Arcadia Public School, 7-12 Science Teacher

Registration is now closed

High school sophomore and junior students who have an interest in exploring a career in science are encouraged to attend. Participants are selected by their teachers based on interest and aptitude. Registration fills quickly, so interested high school teachers or counselors should contact us after registration closes to get on a waiting list at:

UNL Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education
251 Avery Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0131


There is no registration fee to attend Women in Science, and lodging and the Friday night banquet are covered by the university. However, there will be a no-show fee of $150 assessed, starting in 2020, for any schools that do not give a 24-hour cancellation notice and therefore either: do not attend the banquet, utilize their hotel rooms, and/or fail to attend the entire conference.

Selected students should know and agree to the following expectations prior to attending: I understand that the focus of this conference is exploring careers in science, and I will give my best effort to interact with the faculty and industry professionals who are volunteering their time to speak with me and to participate in the activities and workshops provided by UNL. For my safety, I will always be with at least one other member of the group and at least one teacher. During my stay at the conference hotel and on UNL property, I will treat my surroundings with the appropriate respect. I accept responsibility for any damage done to the hotel or any UNL property during my stay. I agree to follow the instructions and schedule established by conference activity workers. If at any time the UNL staff deems my behavior unacceptable, my guardians may be notified and I may be asked to leave the conference.