NSTA Engage: Spring21 - Sessions





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Tuesday, April 13
5:45 PM - 6:45 PM
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Using Picture Books to Make “Text to Investigation” Connections in Science

Literacy has used “text to” connections to help students make authentic connections. Integrating picture books helps expand text to investigation connections in the science classroom.

This session is targeted for novice/intermediate attendees.

Materials needed:

  • Children's book (related to science) of your choice
  • shallow plastic tub with water (similar to plastic shoeboxes)
  • variety of different objects that can be placed in water—some that sink and some that float
  • tin foil
  • common objects for weight to be used in tin foil boat such as pennies, marbles, similar sized legos, etc.

Takeaways: Participants will: 1. explore how to expand a common literacy strategy of “text to” connections when using picture books in the elementary science classroom; 2. engage in investigations that model the use of “text to” connections that help students connect their own authentic experiences and help students understand and make sense; and 3. consider criteria for the selection of books, identification of phenomena, and how the selection of investigations can be a powerful experience for students.


Tuesday, April 13
5:45 PM - 6:45 PM
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Supporting Educator Understanding of the NGSS Three Dimensions of Learning While Engaging Elementary Students in Engineering Design and Design Thinking

Learn to access hundreds of free hands-on engineering design activities that exemplify the interconnected three-dimensional elements of K–5 science learning.

For this beginner-level hands-on activity, each participant will need: 

  • 4–6 Lifesaver® mints
  • 4–6 plastic straws (with diameters smaller than the Lifesaver® mint’s hole diameter)
  • 2–4 popsicle sticks
  • 1–2 index cards (or thin cardboard or poster board scraps)
  • tape (duct or masking)
  • scissors
  • paper
  • pencil
  • ramp (made from sturdy poster board or rigid cardboard)
  • meter stick
  • 10–30 pennies

Takeaways: Participants will: 1. engage in a hands-on NGSS engineering design–aligned activity for elementary students from the FREE TeachEngineering digital library; 2. experience the integration of design and design thinking through 3-D learning while exploring a fun way to ignite student creativity; and 3. experience the interconnectivity of 3-D learning while strengthening their own ability to implement 3-D teaching and learning practices in their classrooms.