Season 3, Episode 7

Telling the story of science

Join us for a new episode with doctoral student and 2023 NSTA keynote speaker, Minerva Contreras. Listen as Minerva tells her science story, discusses the benefits of storytelling in science, and shares how diverse representation and inclusion in science opens doors for all students.

And don’t forget to grab your Science Connections study guide to track your learning and find additional resources!

Meet our guest(s):

Minerva Contreras

Minerva Contreras, better known as Mini Contreras, is a fifth-year PhD student at University of California San Diego Neurosciences Graduate Program, with thesis advisor Dr. Nicola Allen, at the Salk Institute. Mini’s research focuses on investigating the cellular mechanisms that allow our brain to change in response to experience. Mini is a National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Pre-doctoral Ford Fellow, a San Diego ARCS Scholar, and a Society for Neuroscience (SfN) NSP Fellow.
Mini received her bachelor of science degree in biotechnology engineering at Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, Mexico, and her continuing master of science degree in neuroscience at UCSD. She is passionate about making scientific careers accessible to historically excluded minorities. She co-created and directs the Colors of the Brain-KIBM Undergrad Scholars Program, assists in teaching for UCSD’s BP-ENDURE STARTneuro, and is the host of Crash Course Biologia. Outside of lab, Minerva loves going on road trips with her wife and two dogs, Glia and Loki, she named the former.

Meet our host: Eric Cross

Eric Cross is a seventh grade science/technology teacher, grade level lead, and digital learning innovator for Albert Einstein Academies, International Baccalaureate schools. He is also an adjunct professor of learning and technology at the University of San Diego and a Google certified innovator. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Education from the University of San Diego. He had 17 years of experience working with at-risk youth and underserved populations before becoming a middle school teacher. By building relationships with students, colleagues, and the community, he has become an empowered leader in and out of the classroom. Through meaningful learning experiences centered around student agency, STEM has become accessible to students through highly engaging lesson design, thoughtful integration of digital tools, and culturally relevant pedagogy.


I do feel very much responsible to exist in this space, staying true to myself and just continue making this space more accessible for people like me. —Minerva Contreras