The last sessions


The Sci-agrams team

You’re ecstatic when your conference session proposal is accepted. And then you learn that you have a Sunday morning time slot, in competition with early departures, church services, hotel brunches, and last-minute sightseeing or souvenir-gathering. You predict 2-3 participants at best or an empty room at worst. Is it worth the planning and preparation?

But never fear–Science teachers work on the weekends! The die-hards at the convention center this morning were treated to some excellent presentations.

The 40+ sttendees at the Sci-agrams session, presented by a team from New York City, left with an I-can-do-this attitude. The team of presenters from several schools, guided us through a process of drawing accurate diagrams in science. “I can’t draw” is not an excuse! You can see more of their work in the November 2012 issue of Science & Children Drawing Out the Artist in Science Students.

Sissy Wong

Sissy Wong

One of the best discussions I ever had at a conference session was during the session Mentor-Mentee Dialogues: Fostering the Development of Beginning Science Teachers–the last session of the conference. The presenter described her research on new teachers/student teachers’ perceptions of their work and progress toward becoming more reflective and student-centered. She gave use some case studies and asked us (in small groups) to analyze the situations and offer suggestions and advise to the novice teacher. The 20+ in attendance included veteran teachers, administrators, student teaching supervisors, and some teachers with less than 5 years themselves. The variety of responses from these perspectives was fascinating and informative.

Thanks to all of the presenters (especially those with early morning, late afternoon, Sunday, and at-the-same-time-as-Bill-Nye time slots). Your willingness to share your experiences and expertise is much appreciated.



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  1. Vanessa Westbrook
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for coming to the 2013 conference!
    I hope you found many things at the 2013 National Conference in San Antonio! I hope you found answers to burning questions regarding science education especially in these times of the new NGSS release; I hope you found new colleagues from different parts of the U.S. and the world even, so that you can communicate about teaching and learning science; I hope you had sometime to enjoy the rich culture of San Antonio during your multi-day stay in the host city; and I hope you found the boost to your educator’s spirit that reminded you that this profession promotes and enhances learners from all ages and all walks of life. I hope you found enjoyment as an educator of science! Come visit us again in Texas the next time!

  2. Amy Banks
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this post!
    I actually presented in the same room as the Sci-agrams folks…in the time slot AFTER theirs, at 11am. The folks from NY were great, really stirred up their crowd, and as I watched them, I just felt more and more certain no one would show for my session. Thank goodness, I was wrong!
    Science teachers are a wonderful group of humans, always wanting to learn more, to hear one more cool idea, and to share one more story. The 30 (yeah, THIRTY) people at my session were excited, engaged, and active and they inspired me to work hard for them–if they were going to stick it out with me, I had to make it worth their while! To each and every one of those people I say “Thank you for your support and your enthusiasm!”
    The next time you find yourself with a time slot you dread, remember who you’re audience is, pack your supplies, make your copies, polish that PowerPoint, and get ready to inspire!

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