Bring your science teaching questions to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) this Fall. At our area conferences on science education in Reno, Philadelphia, and Kansas City, visit us at the #askNSTA booth in the exhibit hall or see what others are asking via Twitter using #askNSTA. Who will answer? Real people! Below are common reader questions. Read and learn more about us, and please send us questions when you have them.
Q. Who runs NSTA?
A. NSTA is supported by a staff that works to produce the materials you rely on–like our journals and conferences. They are guided by the NSTA Board of Directors and Council of District Directors, all of whom are science teachers and educators who have been elected by NSTA members. Read more about the Board and Council, and meet many of them at the NSTA Fall conferences at the #askNSTA booth in the exhibit hall.
Join the NSTA governance! We are holding elections now and calling for volunteers for various committees, advisory boards, and review panels. Read more about how to get involved with NSTA. –NSTA President, Carolyn Hayes; follow Carolyn @caahayes
Q. I want to get my elementary students outside more. Do you have any suggestions?
A. I’m thrilled to answer this, because getting outside is every child’s right and has been linked to better attention in students. It’s a wonderful way to get them interested in science, improve their connection to the natural world, and keep them healthy. Creating a garden is one of our readers’ favorite ways to engage students in outdoor learning. There is a great conversation happening in the NSTA Learning Center Early Childhood Forum and an Early Years blog post is devoted to it (The Joys of Gardening with Young Children). To continue the connection with nature, read trade books with good science content, such as Nature in the Neighborhood by Gordon Morrison (HMHarcourt 2004), an NSTA Recommends resource.
Use the CBC/NSTA yearly list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 and your local library to find great reading material. Science topics engage students and reach even your most reluctant readers. –Early education expert, Peggy Ashbrook; follow Peggy @PeggyAshbrook
Q. I’m an NSTA member. What does that mean?
A. You’ve joined an amazing community of science educators who come together to share resources and information about how to bring the very best science learning to all students. Many of our members get their information through our journals. But at our core are people like the ones Caroline Hayes mentions above. Teaching is a challenging job, and having access to trusted resources and answers is something that our members tell us they like best.
Read more about NSTA member benefits, and please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you need or tell us how we’re doing. –-Teshia Birts, NSTA Senior Director of Membership; follow Teshia @TeshiaBirts
Q. How can I use Twitter in the classroom?
A. Twitter is an excellent way to build your professional learning network. I have compiled a playlist of Twitter videos you can use to get started. Because of the global nature of Twitter, I have been able use it to introduce my students to scientists from around the world. My students and I talk with scientists on Twitter every month using #SciStuChat in addition to smaller scale conversations in class daily/weekly.
Recently we talked about a year in space. You can find the archive of the chat on scistuchat.com. You are welcome to join us in the future. –High school science teacher, Adam Taylor; follow Adam @2footgiraffe
Q. How can I get funding to attend an NSTA conference?
A. That’s a great question and there are several ways we can help. First, all NSTA members get a great discount to all of our conferences and other resources. And look through our teacher awards–many of them give conference attendance as one of the prizes!
At our conferences this Fall, we will be raffling off travel vouchers from Southwest Airlines at the #askNSTA booth. If you’ll be onsite, stop by and enter to win tickets to our national in Nashville this spring. –-Delores Howard, NSTA Assistant Executive Director, Conferences and Meetings
The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
Future NSTA Conferences
2015 Area Conferences
2016 National Conference
2016 STEM Forum & Expo