NSTA Denver – Day 2

5:45  – Woke up. Decide to swap order of presentation.

7:00 – Breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day after all.

8:00 –  Final presentation adjustments done.

8:45 – Public speaking makes me nervous sometimes so put on my favorite dress and purple tights for confidence.

9:30 –  First session of the day –  Effective Approaches for Addressing Next Generation Science Standards in the Earth and Space Science Classroom. This workshop was facilitated by members of the National Earth Science Teachers Association  (NESTA)  and began with an overview of how earth and space sciences fits in the NGSS. The presenters nicely summed up the NGSS Performance Expectations as – “involving a lot of action verbs.”  Instead of statements beginning with “students will understand” or “students will identify” these new performance expectations begin with statements  like “students who demonstrate understanding can develop and use a model to describe…” and “students who demonstrate understanding can analyze and interpret data to determine…”.

The remainder of the workshop focused on Windows to the Universe, NESTA’s learner and educator portal. There are a variety of activities available for use in the classroom. There is a yearly subscription fee if you want to download and print PDFs but activities and worksheets can be printed for free from your browser.

11:00  –  Second Session of the day –  Making the Connection Between Formal and Informal Education.  Staff from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Denver Zoo, and Denver Public Schools overviewed two long-term collaborations running in the Denver metro area. Passport to Health is a bilingual school-year program targeting at 5th graders and their families.  Through classes and events in school and at the museum, over 3,000 participants receive tools and knowledge promoting healthy living.  Urban Advantage Denver , the second program highlighted, is an in-depth collaboration between local school districts and the City of Denver’s scientific cultural institutions.  This program aims to empower every 7th grade student to think and explore like a scientist.

12:30  – Time to present.  A small but enthusiastic group of 15 came to learn about a variety of Zooniverse projects and the educational resources available to bring them into the classroom.  Sadly the internet decided to be uncooperative, but luckily I had a back-up plan and plenty of screen shots.  There were lots of great questions and contact details exchanged. I can’t say much more because I tend to suffer from “post-presenting amnesia”, but it was a great session.

2:00 – Stroll around the second half of the exhibition hall successfully found candy to temporarily relieve my hunger rage.  It was great to see the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Cornell Lab of Ornithology promoting their excellent programs.  Totally have science education crushes on those two.

3:00 – Starving.  Back at the hotel waiting for delivery while catching up on email.

It was a great meeting, but it will be nice to be back home in Chicago.  ‘Til next time NSTA!

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