So how was the conference?

Skye Diers

“I appreciated the words that they (the leaders of Connecting With Animals in the Classroom workshop) gave us to convey how important animals with children, and animals in the classroom, and animals as an enrichment to a science curriculum—it’s really essential to have the real thing and not just models or pictures in it. I completely agree with them that kids are really interested in that, and you start from there, and then teach from their interest. And they’re interested in the real thing: They don’t really want a diagrammed picture of it; they really want to hold it, and pet it, and feed it, and observe it.” Skye Diers, Gingerbread Nursery School & Kindergarten, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Carl Ahlers

“It’s my third NSTA conference in the states. It’s worth every cent or any penny or any dollar I spent flying 24 hours to the NSTA conference…I meet all my supplies in the Exhibition Hall, and then apart from that, I get a once-a-year boost in my professional development…my sort-of new inspiration for the year here…One of the best guys out here—the most practical, hands-on guy—is Al Guenther, and that’s the biggest secret of the NSTA. Everybody should go to his lectures. He’s just so amazing [and a] magical presenter. I love to go to the evenings, the flashy science evenings, the chemistry, the physics shows…Each year, I think, ‘Maybe I’m not coming next year,’ [but] since I’ve discovered these conferences, there’s no way someone can hold me back.” Carl Ahlers, Melbourne, Australia

Tony Oyola

“The conference was great all around, and I’m learning a lot. I specifically went to [news correspondent and journalist] Garland Thompson’s [Shell Science] seminar because I’m reading his book, he’s inspirational in the book, and I wanted to get a firsthand experience on his inspiration, from his stories, from his books, and this is why I came to this conference…I picked up some freebies, concerning some free examples of books…so I can see what’s available out there for my K–8 school. I picked up some of those; they were very, very good.” Tony Oyola, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Vivian Ng

“I was really excited to sign up [for the conference] because I wanted more tools and techniques to teach science in the classroom. I’m getting certified in chemistry, and so I’ve been going to various chemistry workshops, but on top of that, I wanted to go to more general sessions as well to improve my teaching skills because I have very, very, very little experience in that, so I wanted to absorb different pieces from different sessions.” Vivian Ng, Preservice Teacher in Master’s of Science Education Program, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About Debra Shapiro

Associate Editor of member newspaper, NSTA Reports ( Editor of Freebies for Science Teachers ( and NSTA Calendar ( pages. Follow me on Twitter: @Debra_NSTA
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6 Responses to So how was the conference?

  1. Interested Reader says:

    Cool! I didn’t know that people came to this conference from Australia, too!

  2. Karen S. O'hara says:

    I was disappointed that there was not an evaluation for the conference as a whole. I Was not happy with the room set up in Hall D the sound from other sessions made it so hard to hear. We should place the vendors downstairs and given the room to popular sessions like the food edible science. I liked the 1/2 hour between sessions to get to classes you wanted.

  3. Debra Shapiro says:

    Hi, Karen,
    I forwarded your comments to our Conferences department staff.

  4. Theresa says:

    This was my first National Science Conference and I was incomplete awe. Everyone who worked the conference was helpful and pleasant in general. I enjoyed the workshops and the vendor information.

  5. Tim says:

    The lack of internet connectivity at the different venues was disappointing. Had presenters known ahead of time, we could have better adjusted. Not finding out until arrival was not at all what I expect from our professional organization. NSTA dropped the ball on this one.

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