Someone today asked me if I was enjoying the NSTA annual conference. What’s not to enjoy–a beautiful location (San Antonio), great weather (even though we’re inside most of the day), interesting sessions, and the company of 10,000+ colleagues! It’s an exciting professional development opportunity with sessions on content, teaching strategies, information on a variety of programs, and the latest in science lab materials on display.
The big news this year is the release of the final version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). And NSTA was ready with many informational sessions. Every hour, there was a brief overview and update with a guided tour of the standards. Another strand was a series of sessions to pick and choose from all day long. A lot of teachers were picking and choosing, from what I could see. I’m particularly interesting in the cross-cutting concepts, and I joined hundreds of teachers in the lobby outside of the designated room. The staff quickly found a larger venue, but that was soon standing room only (or sitting in the aisles).
The standards and supporting information can be viewed on the NGSS website. NSTA has released a Reader’s Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards, which could be the basis for discussion and learning more about the standards. The e-version is available now from the Science Store. I’ve purchased mine to read on the plane home on Sunday.