If you have yet to experience a National Science Teachers Association conference, take a look at the multiple opportunities offered each year. Attend a conference to firm up your understanding of science and engineering concepts, learn teaching strategies, meet with other science-interested teachers, get resources and have fun.
- National Conference—San Antonio, Texas: April 11–14, 2013
- 2013 STEM Forum & Expo—St. Louis, Missouri: May 15–18, 2013
- Area Conference—Portland, Oregon: October 24–26, 2013
- Area Conference—Charlotte, North Carolina: November 7–9, 2013
- Area Conference—Denver, Colorado: December 12–14, 2013
- National Conference—Boston, Massachusetts: April 3–6, 2014
A special event that I’ve enjoyed at a past conference is the Elementary Extravaganza, sponsored by the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching, the Council for Elementary Science International, the NSTA Committee on Preschool–Elementary Science Teaching, Science and Children authors and reviewers, and the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees. I hear they have coffee this year as well as door prizes and a chance to win an iPad.
Conference schedules are available online so you can see what sessions fit your needs. I usually search for terms “preschool,” “preK,” “kindergarten,” and “childhood” to try to find the sessions focused on early childhood teaching. Then at the conferences I attend a variety of other sessions to learn more about science and engineering concepts and to find out about new science and engineering standards being developed. From the first to last, sessions offer support and engaging discussion for incorporating science and engineering concepts into the curriculum, and hands-on materials—see these few examples from schedule of the 2013 NSTA National Conference in San Antonio, April 11-14, below.
Thursday, April 11 8:00–9:00 AM
“Bridging” Engineering and Science: Engineering Design Challenges That Inspire Inquiry
Marriott Rivercenter, Salon B
Through hands-on activities and discussions, we’ll explore how standards-based engineering and inquiry science can be authentically integrated in the classroom. Leave with a planning tool to use in your classroom!
Presenter(s): Kristin Sargianis (Museum of Science: Boston, MA)
Sunday, April 14 8:00–9:00 AM
Teaching the “E” with the “STM”: Integrating Engineering into Elementary School Curricula
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 214D
See how teachers at Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School are integrating engineering projects into their curriculum using materials ranging from popsicle sticks to 3-D printers.
Presenter(s): Sue Baillie (Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School: Boynton Beach, FL); Kris Swanson (Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School: Boynton Beach, FL)
Sunday, April 14 11:00 AM–12:00 PM
Combining Engineering and Ecology
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 208
Find out how we work with inner city and suburban students to enhance their knowledge of ecology through engineering activities.
Presenter(s): John T. Pappas (Carleton Washburne School: Winnetka, IL); Kerry Maxwell (Alcott High School: Chicago, IL)
Thank you to all the educators who share their expertise and experience! I hope others are inspired to submit a proposal for a future conference.