2021 National Harbor Area Conference

November 11-13, 2021

All sessions added to My Agenda prior to this notice have been exported to the mobile app and will be visible in your account when the app launches. Any sessions added now, will also have to be added in the app.
Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:PreK - 5, Hands-On Workshop, Developing More Inclusive Classrooms, Physical Science


Rooms and times subject to change.
5 results
Save up to 50 sessions in your agenda.

Using Nature as Inspiration to Design Martian Landers

Thursday, November 11 • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center - Annapolis 4

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Martian Lander Data Sheet in Microsoft Excel format
This is a condensed data sheet geared toward upper elementary for students to collect speed or distance data.
NSTA Using Nature as Inspiration to Design Landers Lesson Plan document
Suggested lesson plan for "Using Nature as Inspiration to Design Landers" in pdf format.
NSTA Using Nature as Inspiration to Design Landers PPT
The presentation is in Power Point format. The file can be used as a student presentation. In the notes section, data sheets, lesson plans, and lesson ideas are listed or linked.

STRAND: Innovating the Future of Education: Technology and Science Education

Show Details

Grades K–8 teachers—please join us for this hands-on workshop using biomimicry to design a system to land payloads safely to the surface of Mars.

Participants will: 1. integrate data using pocketlab sensors; 2. learn about modifications to this lesson that can help increase equity for all learners; and 3. see examples of formative assessments that can be used to assess student learning.

Lisa Pitts (Oakdale School: Edmond, OK), Sheryl McCarthy (The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori: Cincinnati, OH)

Developing Engaged, Future-Ready Science Learners

Thursday, November 11 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center - Annapolis 4

Show Details

Attendees will actively engage with innovative, technology-rich tools and learning strategies to teach data collection and analysis, engineering design processes, coding, and robotics. Come learn engaging ways to apply coding to make devices “work,” adding rigor and complexity as learners gain skills and understanding.

Attendees will learn how to: 1. design accessible, equitable hands-on learning experiences, in which ALL students actively participate and engage with innovative technology tools, helping students learn essential science concepts, engineering processes, and learn how to collaborate with peers to increase understanding; 2. teach authentic data collection and analysis, so that students can learn how to explore and test variables and measure and analyze their effects; and 3. use programmable technology tools and devices as effective teaching tools, helping students learn how to input code to achieve a desirable outcome, and how to analyze, diagnose, and correct the code when the device doesn’t perform as intended.

Donna Knoell (Educational and Technology Consultant: Prairie Village, KS)

Inspiring Literacy and Science Interest with Data

Friday, November 12 • 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center - National Harbor 6

STRAND: Literacy/Science Connections in the Classroom

Show Details

We use data to do science; data literacy is its own set of skills. Young learners benefit when we integrate data, literacy, and science together.

1. Identify how data literacy is a critical aspect of literacy and science literacy in the 21st century; 2. Explore strategies and resources to use to authentically integrate data into K–5 science instruction; and 3. Develop a plan for next steps to elevate data as an aspect of meaningful connections between literacy and science.

Kristin Hunter-Thomson (Dataspire Education & Evaluation, LLC)

How to Give Children More Opportunities to Use Science and Literacy to Make Sense of the World Around Them

Friday, November 12 • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center - Woodrow Wilson D

Show Details

This session introduces a way to create learning experiences that give students opportunities to talk, read, and write in the service of sensemaking as they use the DCIs, CCs, and SEPs to explain natural phenomena.

Takeaways: • How to ensure students have access to science by designing investigations that promote and supports the use of literacy skills • How literacy can be used to be used in the service of sense-making. • How to embed formative assessment of science practices and literacy skills into an investigation in a meaningful and informative way.

Todd Hutner (The University of Alabama: Austin, TX)

Toppling the Straw Tower: What Does Problem-Driven Learning Look Like in an NGSS Classroom?

Friday, November 12 • 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center - Woodrow Wilson D

Show Details

In this workshop, participants will discuss how NGSS-focused instructional materials can support an equitable classroom that empowers all students to design solutions to real-world problems.

(1) In the NGSS, problems are defined as “situations somebody wants to change,” which is different from construction or design projects, where the ultimate goal is achieving a design or tinkering. (2) Problems that describe real-world situations grounded in compelling contexts that students care about can create intrinsic motivation for all students to learn science and engineering ideas. (3) The presence of an authentic and compelling problem in instructional materials is not enough; it also needs to be used in instruction in a way that will effectively support students’ learning and motivation.

Neelo Soltanzadeh (WestEd: San Francisco, CA), Jenn Brown-Whale (Howard County Public School System: Ellicott City, MD)

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