2021 Los Angeles Area Conference - Sessions

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Thursday, December 9
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
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Designing a COVID Currculum: Lessons in Science (and Science Denial) from a Pandemic

Los Angeles Convention Center - 513

We will explore a COVID-19–based curriculum that provides a direct and compelling way to focus student attention on the most basic processes in biology.

Takeaways: 1. Participants will examine specific curriculum plans using the COVID-19 virus to illustrate basic principles of cell biology, including biological membrane structure, mRNA function, transcription, translation, replication, and immune response; 2. The emergence of COVID-19 variants will be explored as a case study in natural selection, evolution, and phylogenetic analysis; and 3. The public reaction to pandemic pubic health countermeasures and vaccination will be examined as a case study in scientific literacy and science denial. Participants will discuss ways to use their classrooms to promote student understand of the science behind these public health measures.

Speakers

Presenter Materials for this Session:

Covid-Curriculum-LA.pdf
Suggestions for a Covid-Based curriculum.
NSTA-LA-Covid-part-1.pptx
Part 1 of my Powerpoint slide file.
NSTA-LA-Covid-part-2.pptx
Part 2 of my Powerpoint slide file.

Thursday, December 9
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Evolution—How Strong Is the Evidence?

Los Angeles Convention Center - 504

Despite its central role in the Biology curriculum, evolution remains a topic of contention. We will examine evolutionary science today and the evidence behind it.

Takeaways: 1. Participants will see examples of how the evolutionary narrative can be incorporated into topics as diverse as ecology, physiology, taxonomy, and cell biology; 2. The evidence usually marshaled in support of evolution is often confined to passive descriptions of the fossil record and well-worn examples of natural selection. We will examine ways that students can use the availability of genomic data to pinpoint the marks of evolutionary change in DNA sequences and patterns of gene organization; and 3. Finally, we will explore and discuss approaches to overcoming student and community resistance to the teaching of evolution by emphasizing the core biological events behind the process and the central role they play in the living world.

Speakers

Presenter Materials for this Session:

PBS-Evolution-at-20.pdf
Article on 20th anniversary of the PBS Evolution Series.

Thursday, December 9
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
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The New Normal: Reviewing the Remote Experience, Keeping the Positive, and Blending Lessons When Returning to the Classroom

Los Angeles Convention Center - 402A

Multiple lessons were learned with remote instruction that can be transitioned into the face-to-face classroom and that support blended science instruction. Examples, tools, and strategies provided.

Takeaways: 1. Discuss the lessons learned during remote instruction that have the staying power and should be part of blended instruction; 2. Identify positive instructional strategies that maximize technology and digital tools and determine the best way to transition those tools into the blended classroom; and 3. Engage in example activities where connections between digital tools and strategies for use in student engagement are made.

Speakers

Friday, December 10
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
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Transforming Science Classrooms by Redefining Learning Spaces with Stile

Los Angeles Convention Center - 406B

Sponsoring Company: Stile Education

Redefine your science classroom with Stile technology. Experience how Stile empowers teachers to facilitate student-centered learning environments, all grounded in relevant, real-world science.

Takeaways: 1. Technology in science classrooms should redefine how we teach, not substitute it; 2. Current classrooms require multiple entry points for students to learn; and 3. Teachers can redefine how they plan for, facilitate, and analyze student thinking connected to the NGSS.

Speakers

Friday, December 10
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
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Smashing Classrooms Walls Through Virtual Events

Los Angeles Convention Center - 502A

Take your students beyond your classroom walls through virtual speakers and field trips with those on the front lines of science, exploration, and conservation.

Takeaways: 1. Discover the benefits of bringing exciting scientists, explorers, and conservationists live into your classroom through virtual guest speakers and field trips; 2. Explore how easy it is to do with exciting resources like Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, Explorer Classroom, Google, and more; and 3. What to do before, during, and afterwards so your students get the most from these experiences.

Speakers