Attendee Information

Attendee Information

We look forward to welcoming you to the 94th NARST Annual International Conference—Science Education, a Public Good for the Good of the Public? Research to Empower, Evoke, and Revolutionize. Below is useful information for you to get the most out of your participation, including how to navigate the platform, details on timing, and how to get help if needed.

Accessing the Conference Platform

The conference is hosted through the virtual event platform, OpenWater. OpenWater utilizes Zoom as its broadcasting tool. Please ensure that you have a Zoom account, as it is required for your participation. If not, please visit and follow the steps to create a free account. To access the platform, please follow these instructions:

1.      Click here to access the platform. While the platform can be accessed from all browsers, it is recommended to use Google Chrome for the best experience.

2.      Select Log In in the top right-hand corner.

3.      You should see the below window. Enter the email address you used to register for the meeting. It is critical to use this email address in order for the system to recognize your registration and access. If you are having trouble, please contact

4.      Once you have entered your email address, you will receive a notification informing you to check your email (Subject Line: 94th NARST Annual International Conference Access Link). As an added form of security, you will be sent an email with a special link that takes you back into the website as a fully logged-in user. If you do not receive the link, please check your spam or junk folder first and then reach out to if you need assistance.

Once the conference is over, you still have access to the platform for one year to review conference content at your leisure.

Program Overview

The 94th NARST Annual International Conference digital program can be viewedhere. Pre-recorded content remains available for advanced viewing, Live Q&A sessions, and author-scheduled Presentations. Please be sure to view presentations prior to attending any of these Q&A sessions.

Navigating the Program

You may be prompted to log in to access the schedule. This will ensure that you have access to the proper sessions, as well as giving you the ability to create a personal schedule.

In the schedule, you will see each of the following items (each numbered item corresponds with the screenshots):

  1. Tabs for each day of the conference.
  2. Headings for each time slot on each page. Please note, time is noted in Eastern Time. You can adjust the time zone by clicking Change next to the time zone listed at the top of the schedule. 
  3. The title of each session. Additionally, you can select this star to add this item to your personal schedule. 
  4. Action buttons. All sessions will have a View Details button. When this session is live, you will need to select View Details to join the session.

When you click in the details view for a session, you will see the following (each numbered item corresponds with the screenshots):

  1. Time and date of the session.
  2. Title and description for the session.
  3. List of speakers, authors, or both. This is a slider, so you can use the arrows to navigate through all speakers/authors.
  4. This button will let you know when the session starts. If the session is live, you will see a Join Session button. If the time for the session to start has passed, please refresh the page to join the session. Once you click on Join Session, a pop-up will appear prompting you to open Zoom.
  5. You can navigate back to the list view with this button.
  6.  If this session has a Presider, they will be listed here.
  7. Any handouts attached to the session can be viewed here. Click the button to open the file viewer.
  8. For the Advanced Pre-recorded Viewing & Live Q&A sessions, the recorded presentation will live here; you can use this button to launch the video player. 

Once you have clicked Join Session, your window will pop out into a typical Zoom window.

Please note for the Advanced Pre-recorded Viewing & Live Q&A, attendees will need to view the pre-recorded presentation in advance of the scheduled session. At the scheduled session held live in real-time, presenters will provide a verbal summary (no more than 5 minutes) of the research and engage attendees in Q&A and discussion. As is the case at an in-person conference, the exact proceedings of the 60-minute live session will be determined by the speakers and the presider of the session (e.g., Q&A after each presenter summary or Q&A after all presenter summaries). The recordings of the presentations will be listed in their scheduled Q&A slot in the agenda.

Zoom Best Practices:

  •  Participants will be muted upon entry. Please remain muted unless you are speaking.
  •  We suggest keeping your video off during the presentation.
  •  Use the chat function to interact with other attendees and ask questions.

Navigating the Poster Hall

Posters will be displayed in a traditional poster display activated for a 23-hour window with asynchronous interaction by way of chat during the 23 hours.

In the gallery, you will see each of the following items (each numbered item corresponds with the screenshots):

  1. The title of each poster. Additionally, you can select the star to add this item to your personal favorites list.
  2. Poster Preview. This is a preview of the poster. If you would like to see more detail, you can select View Details (#4) or Open Poster (#5).
  3. Poster abstract.
  4. Link to view poster details.
  5. Link to view poster in the file viewer.

Viewing and Chatting About a Poster

When you click in the details view for a session, you will see the following:

Note: If the poster presenter provided a recording along with their poster it will appear above the title of the presentation.

  1. Title and abstract for the poster.
  2. Poster Preview. This is a preview of the poster. If you would like to see more detail, you can select Open Poster in a new tab (#5)
  3. List of authors.
  4. You can navigate back to the list view with this button.
  5. You can choose to open the poster in a new tab to view the full screen.
  6. You will select Join Chat during the scheduled poster session time to interact with the poster presenter and other participants (more information on using the chat function is below).

Navigating the Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall will be available to access during these hours (all Eastern):

  • Wednesday: 11:30am-1:30pm, 6pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 1-2pm, 3:30-5:30pm
  • Friday: 8:30-9:30am, 12-1pm, 3:15-5:30pm

To access the exhibit hall, select Exhibit Hall from the navigation menu. You will see:

  1. The exhibitor’s logo.
  2. The exhibitor’s title.
  3. A brief overview of the exhibitor will be displayed here.
  4.  If the exhibitor has designated chat hours, they will be showcased here for your reference.
  5. This button will take you to the detailed listing of the exhibitor.
  6. If the exhibitor has uploaded a video, click here to watch.
  7. If chat is active, you will be able to use this button to join the channel.

By clicking View details, you will enter the booth. You will see:

  1. The exhibitor’s title.
  2. The exhibitor’s logo.
  3. If an address is provided, it will be displayed here.
  4. The point of contact for the exhibitor will be noted here.
  5. Check out the exhibitor’s social media here!
  6. Click here to view the exhibitor’s webpage.
  7. If the exhibitor has designated chat hours, they will be showcased here for your reference.
  8. If the exhibitor has uploaded a video, click here to watch.
  9. Read about the exhibitor here.
  10. Exhibitor banner ad.

Chatting with Other Participants

To network with other participants via the chat function, select Launch Chat from the navigation menu. When you use the Chat system for the first time, it will ask you to set up your profile. The image below shows the profile form.

Profile Form – OpenWater Profile Only

  • Add your first and last names, and other identifying details. Please remember to indicate if you would like your information to be displayed in the Attendee Directory so other attendees can find you easily. If you like, you can even upload a Profile photo.
  •  Click the Save button (circled in red below) to make sure you save your changes. You must save changes before you can continue.
  • Any additions or changes to your profile pertain to OpenWater only. Your NARST membership profile will not be altered.
  • Once you have saved your profile details, you are ready to use the chat features!
  • Once you are in the main Chat window, you’ll enter first into the default chat room for your conference.
  • On the left will be a list of all available chat rooms, followed by a box of helpful navigation tools for accessing the Attendee Directory; Chat Requests (people who would like to have a private chat with you); Group Chat Topics (a searchable directory of all chat rooms); and a Log Out function.
  • In the middle will be the current Chat and scrollable chat history. On the right will be details about the Chat room, plus tools for more specialized Chat tools.

1.      To chat, you’ll use the Chat bar across the bottom of the chat window.

2.      If you click the Close Chat icon, the chat will remain closed and unavailable to you unless and until someone else says something in that chat channel. At that time, it will reappear as a channel option on the left-hand side of the main window.

3.      To leave the chat permanently, you can use the Leave Group option.

4.      The Members icon will provide a shortcut to all attendees and exhibitors that are currently members of this channel. This window provides the username and user profile picture and is searchable!


On the bottom left of the main window are some useful features for managing your 1:1 Chat experience.


5.      Attendee Directory provides a browsable and searchable method of locating attendees, presenters, and exhibitors.

6.      Pending Chat Requests provides a way to accept or decline chat requests from people interested in talking with you 1:1. You may also see your history of chats and those with whom you decided not to chat.

The Networking and 1:1 Chat Feature provide a direct link to searchable Help from the How to Use It (circled in red above) link available from the main chat window.

Getting Help

The most effective way to resolve your question quickly is to chat with your support representative through the in-app messenger -- just click the blue bubble in the right-hand corner of the platform.

Don't feel like chatting? Email the support representative at Your ticket will still be routed to the dedicated support representative.

For anything NARST or program-related, please email one of our event support staff at

Enjoy the conference!