#NSTA14 Boston Stories

Group selfie from NSTA's 2014 Boston conference on science educationNSTA was in Boston last week, where more than 11.5K science teachers gathered for our national conference on science education. It was no surprise that all the selfies seemed to be group shots—because that’s what science teachers do, they share! So we can’t think of a better way to give you a taste of the rich, collaborative experience we had in Boston than to tell it through the voices of the attendees who shared their stories with us.

The conference kicked into high gear on day one with Mayim Bialik speaking on the power of one teacher. A “proud product of the public school system,” Bialik told us about the teacher who inspired her to become a scientist and then sat down with NSTA President Bill Badders to answer questions from the audience. One of our bloggers featured a great image of Bialik talking about “science, teaching, and the Big Bang Theory.”

blog picturesBut what about lesser-known presenters? Apparently the experience builds character. We already knew that science teachers were super heroes, and now we have the proof. The “Hashtag WORTH IT” blog post features one of our favorite stories of the week, and one we heard over and over in various iterations. One teacher, inspired… becomes presenter, sees herself in a new light, and becomes a next generation superhero!

Blogger Nicole Fuhrman shared some really fun stories with us that show the lighter side of the conference–especially focusing on the super networking–and talks about how important building relationships is in effective classroom management. And that’s what everyone was doing in Boston last week, learning and building their professional learning communities.

One of the most important professional collaborations we strengthened last week is focused around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A day-long NGSS forum facilitated a deep dive into the Next Generation Science Standards with writers, state science supervisors, assessment experts, and  was the highlight of the week for many, especially the NGSS curators who gathered to learn to use the newly launched NGSS Hub, with user-friendly access to the standards.

Other conference highlights included Bill Nye speaking about Dancing with Mars, Meet Me in the Middle Day, the Elementary Extravaganza, the 2014 Teacher Awards gala (where NSTA’s own former Executive Director, Gerry Wheeler, received the NSTA Presidential Citation), a tropical flamingo roaming the Exhibit Hall, and these top 10 from Ms. Goldstein.

We heard over and over how energized teachers felt by the experience–and our staff felt the same. And it’s not over! NSTA will be heading to New Orleans next month for the 2014 STEM Forum and Expo. Ainissa Ramirez will be the keynote speaker, and strands will focus on Primary, Upper Elementary, Middle Level, High School, Partnerships, and Administrators.

See more of the story:

GroupShotBonus Feature: Who was the most photographed personality at the conference? An extremely nonscientific survey of Twitter pics reveals a tie between YouTube guru Paul Andersen and the Flamingo, with the Geico Gecko and Schmitty the Weather Dog coming in a distant second…

 

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