With spring break coming right after the conference my reporting has been delayed. There were many interesting sessions presenting and discussing many interesting ideas at the 2012 NSTA national conference in Indianapolis. Here are a few of the ideas from a few of the sessions.
Dr. John Payne of Mercer University involved participants in making and thinking about “density bottles,” a layering of liquids of different densities such as water, oil, corn syrup and dishwashing liquid (NOTE: do not use alcohol for young children). We also tested the sounds made by tapping our palms with different lengths of PVC pipe, observed a millipede curled up under bark in a terrarium, and used a “color box” to view colored balls through films of different colors to notice changes perceived color.
Nancy Sale presented a Butterfly Bonanza, showing examples of several species and slides of many others. Have you made a butterfly lifecycle craft out of pasta? We each got a early reader book or other classroom-useful goodie and drawings were held for big book copies.
In a session titled Inspired by Nature’s spectrum: Observation and questioning in art and science inquiry, Glenda McCarty and Jennifer Hope led us thorough an exercise in piecing a puzzle together by talking to each other and describing what we observed on our piece. We got it! In addition to bringing us together as a learning group, this exercise referred to how scientists may be working on pieces of the same question and need to talk with each other to determine an answer. They also shared ideas for creating a “parts of a whole” book with windows made from holes in pages, and notebooks with covers made from box cardboard and pages made from one-side-used paper.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay long enough to attend the other 8 sessions I had put on my schedule. I can look them up on the conference schedule page and hope they posted packets so I can get a few ideas to use with my students.
I’d like to hear about sessions that you went to. Post a comment to tell us all about something you learned so we can pass it on.