The biggest science education conference of the year is happening in St. Louis this spring! Elementary teachers who want to be the student for a few days should join us. Here are 11 reasons why.
- NSTA’s inaugural Linking Literacy Event—Friday and Saturday, April 12–13
(See page 11 of the program preview for more information.)
Join science teachers from across the globe for a special event focusing on science and children’s literature. All are invited; however the event is especially geared toward elementary teachers looking for strategies to increase science instruction while meeting ELA standards as well. Highlights of the event include hearing directly from great authors of trade books as they celebrate their work, discuss their books, and suggest how to use them in the classroom.
- Global Conversations: Welcome to My Elementary Classroom (W-1)—Wednesday, April 10, 7:20–11:45 AM
Welcome to My Classroom is a program sponsored by NSTA’s International Advisory Board and is intended primarily for international participants to view science classrooms. Those with W-1 tickets will visit Maple Richmond Heights Elementary School, a grades 3–6 elementary school in which teaching and learning are focused by using the “School As Museum” metaphor to organize classroom projects. For more information, visit http://www.mrhschools.net/ elementary-school/about-us.
- Show your NSTA St. Louis Conference Badge and receive complimentary admission to the Butterfly House for a self-guided tour, courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Great care was taken in the design and engineering of the 8,000-square-foot glass conservatory garden to assure a natural and safe habitat for the butterflies. As many as 80 butterfly species and 150 tropical plant species are exhibited.
(See page 19 of the program preview for more information.)
- The Elementary Extravaganza—Friday, April 12
(See page 7 of the program preview for more information.)
Many elementary teachers consider this to be the highlight of their conference experience! Gather resources for use in your classroom immediately. Engaging hands-on activities, strategies to excite and encourage your students, a preview of the best trade books available, information about award opportunities, contacts with elementary science organizations, sharing with colleagues, door prizes, and much more will be available to participants. Walk away with a head full of ideas and arms filled with materials. Organizations participating in the Elementary Extravaganza include the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching, the Council for Elementary Science International, NSTA’s Preschool Elementary Committee, Science & Children authors and reviewers, and Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees.
- Space Mission & “Stellar” Elementary Workshop at the Challenger Learning Center (T-2)— Thursday, April 11, 9:00 AM–2:45 PM
Ticket Price: $82; by preregistration only
Become a “Jr. Astronaut” by going on a simulated space mission and making compressed-air rockets. Then engage in a hands-on workshop that integrates reading, writing, and math into astronomy by doing standards-based activities that take the unreachable and make it hands on. Junior Astronauts programs are geared toward students ages 6 to 11. Strategies will be shared for embedding STEM throughout the curriculum. Leave with at least three classroom-ready lesson plans and a renewed excitement for the wonders of space exploration. Box lunch is included.
- Association for Multicultural Science Education (AMSE)-Sponsored Session: Rooting Peer Learning Across Grades—Friday, April 12, 3:30–4:30 PM
Hear how yearlong written correspondence between elementary and high school students encourages authentic engagement in science content, racial equity, and social justice.
Click here for more AMSE-sponsored sessions.
- Council for Elementary Science International (CESI)-Sponsored Session: Creating (and Transforming) “Predict, Observe, Explain” Hands-On Science Activities for Lower Elementary Science—Friday, April 12, 12:30–1:30 PM
Learn how to create (or modify from activities you already do) Predict, Observe, Explain learning sequences for grades K–5 students.
Click here for more CESI-sponsored sessions.
- Launching an Elementary STEM Program—Saturday, April 13, 12:30–1:30 PM
Need ideas of where to start with building an elementary STEM program or enhancing your current program? The initial steps in building an elementary STEM program can be an overwhelming thought. NSTA’s PD expert, Kim Stilwell, will share success stories and how using Picture-Perfect Science resources became part of the foundation to a successful implementation. Leave with links to helpful resources and ideas on how to start an elementary STEM program.
Search the session browser for this and other STEMtastic ideas for elementary teachers.
- Elementary Science with NOAA: Free K–5 Science Resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration— Saturday, April 13, 3:30–4:30 PM
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers an array of free resources to teach K–5 Earth system and environmental science. Learn about our curricular units and stand-alone lessons, digital storybooks, and inquiry-based activities—resources that enhance literacy skills while encouraging scientific exploration by young minds.
Search the session browser for more NOAA-sponsored sessions.
- The Exhibit Hall—Daily
Some call NSTA’s exhibit hall the “science teacher’s playground,” and while it truly is fun, you’ll also pick up a lot of PD and get to try top-notch science ed resources while there. Check out this blog to see what happens there (and only there)—from the whacky to the wonderful. View the exhibit floor and plan your route here (and don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase for all the swag).
- Meet your fellow elementary teachers at the First-Timers Session—Thursday, April 11, 8:00–9:00 AM
This may be last on our list, but it should be first on yours. You’ll find tables marked “Elementary” (among other topics you may choose from like STEM and NGSS), where you can meet other attendees with similar interests, get to know the NSTA leadership, win prizes, and have a lot of fun. It’s the best way to kick off your conference experience!
Can’t Attend But Want the Experience?
ONE-DAY LIVESTREAM EVENT—Saturday, April 13, 8:00 AM–1:45 PM
Join us on Saturday, April 13, for a livestream event specifically for elementary teachers. We’ve developed an entire event just for your professional learning needs. The event will take place in St. Louis during our National Conference on Science Education.
We will kick off the event with Sean Carroll’s The Many Worlds of Quantum Mechanics. Join Sean as he discusses the ongoing dilemma of how we still don’t truly understand the theory of quantum mechanics, despite its use on an everyday basis.
In between each of the breakout sessions, we’ll be featuring interviews from WebsEdge. The TV segments will profile prominent science educators and scientists, highlight the hard work of teachers and organizations committed to elevating the quality of science education in the United States.
In our first breakout session, Picture-Perfect Science authors Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry will present Picture-Perfect STEM Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Inspire STEM Learning, K–5. Karen and Emily will share model lessons that integrate STEM and literacy through the use of engaging STEM-related picture books.
Carla Zembal-Saul, professor of science education at Penn State, will present the second breakout session of the day: Bringing English Learners into Focus Through Next Generation Science. Learn strategies and processes to intentionally design science instruction with ELLs at the center.
In the final breakout session, Linda Froschauer, former NSTA President and field editor of NSTA’s Science & Children, will present Facing Challenges, Making Changes, Changing Lives. In this talk, Linda will look back to what brought us to this point in the evolution of elementary science teaching.
We’re offering this program at a special introductory rate:
$75 for NSTA members; $99 for nonmembers.
We hope you’ll join us for this day of professional learning geared specifically toward elementary teachers.
Check out more sessions and other events with the St. Louis Session Browser/Personal Scheduler. Follow all our conference tweets using #NSTA19, and if you tweet, please feel free to tag us @NSTA so we see it!
Need help requesting funding or time off from your principal or supervisor? Download a letter of support and bring it with you.
And don’t forget, NSTA members save up to $90 off the price of registration. Not a member? Join here.
Future NSTA Conferences
2019 STEM Forum & Expo
San Francisco, July 24–26
The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.