2021 Los Angeles Area Conference - Sessions

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Thursday, December 9
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
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Keynote Presentation: Roving Mars and Exploring Solar System Worlds

Los Angeles Convention Center - Petree Hall C/D

Sponsoring Company: National Geographic Learning | Cengage

The dawn of the 21st century is a golden age for scientific space exploration. Missions from NASA and a growing set of international and commercial organizations launch space telescopes and send flyby, orbiter, rover, and sample return missions to explore our solar system. Dr. Ehlmann has been part of planetary mission teams since she was an undergraduate student working on the Mars Exploration Rovers. She has since worked on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers, the Dawn orbiter mission to the dwarf planet and asteroid Ceres, and is now the principal investigator leading the Lunar Trailblazer mission to map ice on the Moon. She will describe her journey from a child who loved science and science fiction to planetary scientist, telling the story of how objects that were once pinpricks of light in Earth’s sky have become worlds and how discoveries from the journeys of spacecraft can inspire the next generation of explorers.

NSTA wishes to thank National Geographic Learning | Cengage for sponsoring this speaker.

Speakers

Bethany Ehlmann (California Institute of Technology: Pasadena, CA)

Friday, December 10
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Featured Presentation: The Meaning Beyond the Words: How Language, Race, and Culture Impact Science Teaching and Learning

Los Angeles Convention Center - 515A

This presentation explores how race, culture, and language intersect to create the condition of contemporary learning. For years, research on the language of classrooms explored how the way we say things impacts students’ sense of belonging. Despite this research, Science and Technology Education have failed to adequately explore how issues of race, language, and culture shape the outcomes of teaching and learning in science. Through a sequence of research, this presentation explores the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of this dilemma. From a theoretical perspective, the talk will explore the Language-Identity dilemma. As students learn, the way academic language is taught to them can present a cognitive and cultural conflict. From a cognitive perspective, if science is taught without respect to the implications of how language is learned, students can be misunderstood and misunderstand the teacher’s complex discourse. From a cultural conflict perspective, students may feel they are cultural outsiders when the language of the classroom positions them as outsiders. The presentation provides an overview of a series of qualitative and quantitative experiments that document the realities of this complex interaction.

Speakers

Bryan Brown (Stanford University: Stanford, CA)

Saturday, December 11
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
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Featured Presentation: Fostering Joy: Designing Science Learning Around Climate Justice and Action

Los Angeles Convention Center - 515A

The intersections of climate, justice, and science learning offer a multitude of challenges and opportunities. As we look forward to our shared future, there is a growing understanding for the need to accelerate just climate action in mitigation of fossil fuel emissions and climate change adaptation efforts. However, not all of the choices we make will foster justice and not all decision-making practices on how to act are foundationally equitable in nature. To ensure our communities, particularly our youth, are equipped and inspired to engage in just climate action, we need to design learning that crosses historic boundaries, shifts power dynamics, and engages all involved in transformative experiences.

Speakers

Deb Morrison (University of Washington: Seattle, WA)