Author Archives: Lynn Petrinjak

Scientist Stereotypes Eroding Among Students

Although a small majority of students still hold stereotypical views of scientists, many students have a growing awareness that anyone can be a scientist, according to science educators participating in an informal NSTA Reports poll. Fifty-five percent said their students see scientists as most likely to be white males. However, when asked to compare the […]

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Only at NSTA’s LA National Conference

I think one of the hardest things about attending the NSTA National Conference is know just where to be—attending one of the numerous presentations, taking part in a field trip, checking out the exhibit hall, joining a networking event. I like to plan my schedule in advance—selecting sessions (try to make sure they’re not too far […]

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The Mixed Blessings of Substitute Teachers

Like all educators, science teachers rely on substitutes to lead their classrooms when they have to take a day (or more) of leave. In a recent anonymous NSTA Reports poll, 46.8% of participants reported needing a substitute for their classroom three or four times a year, with 28.6% reporting they depend on substitutes five or […]

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Partnering With Utilities for Hands-On STEM

Utility companies, hoping to inspire the next generation of employees, meet community outreach and other obligations, or both, are teaming up with educators to create innovative, hands-on learning opportunities. Keri Randolph, director of innovation for Hamilton County Schools in Tennessee, has worked with two utility companies—the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the local electric power […]

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Science Educators Still Feel Budget Strain

 Five years ago, 67% of science educators participating in an informal NSTA Reports poll reported their typical school budget for classroom supplies was less than $500, and 27% expected to spend more than $500 of their own money on classroom supplies. This summer, Reports again asked educators about their school budgets, and found only 12% […]

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Multicultural Equity at NSTA16

Earlier today I attended the Equity Through STEM session presented by Jerry Valadez and Retiring NSTA President Juliana Texley. The discussion was intriguing—not only did they share the history of multicultural initiatives within NSTA, they talked about the disparity in the availability of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses to students. I was surprised […]

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Drifters Take Students on Scientific Ocean Journeys

For three years, sophomores at Swampscott High School in Swampscott, Massachusetts, have been releasing drifters—devices that float along and track ocean currents—as part of Chris Ratley’s College Placement II Geometry class. To a casual observer, geometry class “might not seem the right place for it, but there is so much math you might not think […]

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Students Collaborate Worldwide on Science, Engineering

 It’s an international effort that may be unique: Students in the United States and Canada are working together to design 3D–printed, portable, battery-powered, rechargeable lanterns that students in Uganda and the Dominican Republic, who do not have reliable access to electricity, will field test. This isn’t an act of charity, it’s a “global collaboration to […]

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NSTA 2015—Science Teachers’ Sense of Humor

One word I have never heard used to describe an NSTA conference is “boring.” There were swarms of science teachers everywhere! I am always amazed by the sheer number of educators at every career level, from first year teachers to veteran educators, eager to share and learn together.  And plenty of science and education humor was […]

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Share Your Conference Experience

This is my sixth conference with NSTA — my first, in 2008, was in Boston as well. When I tried to walk through the NSTA Science Store this morning, it was packed virtually shoulder to shoulder (the lines are considerably shorter now if you want to get some NSTA gear or pick up a few […]

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