Tuesday, November 28, 2006

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference

I attended the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) conference with Judy, Kristen in Baltimore, Maryland from Nov 1- 3, 2006. The conference is a great way to keep in touch with other science teachers and to see what is current in the areas of teaching. The conference offered a keynote speaker and over a hundred break out sessions designed to introduce new ways to teach concepts and explore ideas. I attended on session on the inquiry teaching in science, NOAA – Education and Discovery Center, and effective teachings in bio technology. Some of the sessions dragged on a bit, but most were very interesting and worthwhile. Brady Barr gave an excellent presentation on Kids in Science and how they make a difference. Brady is a resident scientist for National Geographic. He specializes in crocodiles and is a leader in the field. His presentation brought a real view of science in the field and how kids come up with great ideas and can have a share in finding and researching animals. Conferences are a way to stay in touch with your discipline. You have the time away from the classroom to hear your contemporaries speak and to reflect upon your own discipline. I always come back from a conference loaded with fresh, new ideas that I am eager to try in the classroom. It keeps me connected with other teachers in the field of science. This past conference was especially unique for me. I was able to see several former science teachers form Gilman School, an independent boys school in Baltimore, where I taught 19 years ago. It was great to see them and reconnect after a long time of teaching. They are still in the business, like me. We agreed that the kids keep us going year after year, else why teach?

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