Congratulations to all of the teacher-presenters at NSTA—to those who were willing to share their ideas and experiences. It’s a quantum leap from the classroom to the national stage, but in the sessions I attended, my colleagues rose to the occasion.
For example, Greg Benedis-Grab from The School at Columbia University (NY) shared ideas he uses for sharing digital data in the elementary science classroom. (Greg does more than presentations—look for more of his ideas in an upcoming issue of Science & Children.)
I was blown away by the work of chemistry teacher Tanya Katovich (from Shaumberg IL). She is working with Northwestern University to create remote online laboratories. These are different from simulations, in that students manipulate actual devices. She demonstrated (live) an investigation that uses a Geiger counter located in Australia. The students get real data in tables and graphs. Check out the iLabCentral site for more information about this free resource.
Who would think that a session on Friday afternoon at 5:00 would be packed? Those who managed to squeeze into Using Interactive Notebooks for Inquiry-Based Science were treated to a dynamic presentation by LaTonya Walker, Helena Easter, and Leslie Hayes from Richmond VA. They showed the audience how to help middle school students organize and use notebooks. They also showed how to scaffold activities through several levels of inquiry.
The deadline for proposals for next year’s conference in Indianapolis is April 15, 2011.