Author Archives: David Evans, NSTA Executive Director

Stand for Students, Stand for Science

Since the founding of our country, indeed since the beginning of western democracy, being well-informed includes being well-informed about science. “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” said Thomas Jefferson, 228 years ago, not long before he established the first science agency in the U.S. government, the Survey of […]

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The Most Profound News of Valentine’s Day 2017

NSTA Executive Director David Evans

This Valentine’s Day, while most media attention was focused on the dismissal of the National Security Advisor, The New York Times ran a story that received much less media attention, but has far greater potential impact on our nation’s future. Amy Harmon reported in the article, Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel’s Support, about a just-released study by […]

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Dear President-Elect Trump: Make STEM a National Imperative

The presidential election last week surprised everyone, delighted some, and confounded quite a few. Wherever you landed on this spectrum post-election day, as teachers, there is one thing that we can all agree on: that we must work even harder now to ensure that our students—all students—have the necessary tools and the opportunities to develop […]

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Science Lessons for the Next President—and Your Students

A recent feature in Science Magazine (21 Oct 2016) offers “Science lessons for the next president.” As I read the article I realized that these lessons exemplify the reason that all citizens need to be scientifically literate. While by no means comprehensive, the article covers the range of science-based issues that the next president will […]

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Survey Reveals Challenges with Teaching Climate Change

This week, researchers at The Pennsylvania State University released the results of a nationwide survey of middle and high school science teachers on the teaching of climate change that tells us two things: first, we need to reach more teachers with quality resources about climate change and second, schools of education need to do a […]

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Can Science Teachers Save Our Democracy?

A few months ago, I started to write an op-ed with the statement that science teachers are saving our democracy. Why do I believe this? Because science teachers provide the tools our children need to remain well-informed, participatory citizens. Jefferson said, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own governance.” Today […]

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Science and the Media

Scientists Christian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein published an article in the journal Science, “Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions” (Science, January 2, 2015, p 78). The discussion this article engendered provides an excellent teaching tool for teachers to showcase how scientific debate takes place among […]

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Science and Literacy: Reflections on Time

Science and literacy are inherently linked in so many ways. Just as a matter of practice, scientists must possess great proficiency in reading dense, data-filled texts. They must be expert technical writers who can describe their proposed studies for funding considerations, detail their experimental protocols for their peers to replicate, and summarize their work for […]

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Solace in the Solstice? Shedding Light on the Nature of Science

The coming of autumn at 9:29 EDT last night (which I was pleased to see featured in today’s Google Doodle) serves as the perfect segue to a theme of mine as Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association: We must teach students to understand that there are testable predictions about that physical world that […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Whether from Spiderman or Voltaire, the sentiment proves critically important to our approach to science education. As such, we hold great power to encourage, enlighten, and nurture young minds that are inherently curious and full of poignant questions. As good teachers, we are responsible not to be the authority that provides the answers to students, […]

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