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2022 Chicago National Conference - Sessions

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Thursday, July 21
8:20 AM - 9:20 AM
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Unpacking the Crosscutting Concepts with a Brand New NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the Three Dimensions

McCormick Place - Skyline W375c

Since its release, the NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the NGSS has become an essential tool for many educators across the country. A new version titled the Quick-Reference Guide to the Three Dimension has been developed to not only support teachers in all states that have standards based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education. This new version of the Quick-Reference Guide still contains the most useful features of the original, including descriptions of the practices and the crosscutting concepts from the Framework of K-12 Science Education and K-12 progressions of the elements of all three dimensions. In addition, the new Quick-Reference Guide contains several new features that should make it even more helpful. For example, every element now has a unique code (based on the codes in the NSTA Atlas of the Three Dimensions) that makes it much easier to reference a particular element. In addition, there is an entire chapter devoted to the Performance Expectations. Finally, the guide also contains a number of tools for working with standards. This session will outline all of the features of the guide through the process of unpacking the crosscutting concepts to better understand how to make curriculum, instruction, and assessment more three-dimensional.

Takeaways: A deeper understanding of the Crosscutting Concepts and how a well-designed reference guide can make it easier to unpack the three dimensions for work in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Speakers

Ted Willard (Discovery Education: Silver Spring, MD)

Friday, July 22
10:40 AM - 11:40 AM
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The Scoop on STEM Competitions Administered by NSTA

McCormick Place - W176a

Join us for a chance to learn more about  NSTA-administered competitions and awards from NSTA staff and past participants. NSTA-administered competitions include NSTA Teacher Awards, the Army Educational Outreach Program, Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge, and Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competitions. This engaging hour will include discussion and tips on how to engage K–12 students in project-based learning opportunities that are no cost to participate.

Takeaways: 1. Engage with educators that have participated in NSTA-administered competitions and awards; 2. Learn more about opportunities to engage students in project-based learning; and 3. Share best practices and tips to foster inquiry-based learning and showcase ideas.

Speakers

Acacia McKenna (NSTA: Arlington, VA)

Presenter Materials for this Session:
(Please login with your NSTA account to view the materials)

NSTA Competitions_ presentation.pdf

Friday, July 22
2:20 PM - 3:20 PM
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Easily Understand Recursion through Natural Phenomena

McCormick Place - W187c

Recursion is a challenging topic for some students. In this session, we’ll present a blended approach to introducing recursion, wherein a textual description of natural phenomena is presented in an easy-to-understand, attractive, and informative graphic format. Fundamental rules of production systems are also presented, all in a format specifically targeted to high school students. Students generally gain mastery of this topic within a few weeks through this approach, achieving both a deep understanding of the concepts and a rewarding sense of accomplishment. As a bonus, they usually enjoy the topic and appreciate the opportunity this approach gives them to be creative.

Takeaways: How to enable students to be creative while learning about recursion

Speakers

David Ben-Yaakov (Educator: Allen, TX)

Presenter Materials for this Session:
(Please login with your NSTA account to view the materials)

Presentation Deck

Friday, July 22
2:20 PM - 3:20 PM
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Engaging with Your STEM Ecosystem Through After-School Programs: Lessons from Science Olympiad

McCormick Place - W179b

A challenge that STEM education presents to educators is how to stay current in an ever-evolving field to accurately represent and engage their students with new topics, activities, and careers. Too often STEM teachers become locked-in on a set of topics, activities, and careers because of the resources and opportunities to which they have access. After-school programs, and their ability to foster partnerships within a school’s larger STEM ecosystem, are one mechanism to open up STEM programs within schools to new topics, activities, and careers while offering avenues for professional growth and learning for the classroom teacher. By introducing the Science Olympiad program and the strategies used by our school participants for over three decades to build partnerships, connect to their STEM ecosystem, and expand learning we intend to help attendees draw parallels to their STEM ecosystems and their after-school programs. Building off of this information, attendees will analyze and discuss ways their STEM ecosystem can contribute to their STEM program, develop approaches for asking ecosystem members for support, and recognize opportunities to grow their STEM program through after-school programs. The session will close with a discussion of attendees’ specific challenges and issues ensuring attendees leave with actionable solutions.

Takeaways: The big takeaway from this session will attendees examining their STEM ecosystem to identify potential partners who align with their programming and can support student learning.

Speakers

John Loehr (Science Olympiad: Oakbrook Terrace, IL)

Saturday, July 23
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
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What is Happening to the Rusty Patched Bumblebee?

McCormick Place - W195

Did you know that the Rusty Patched Bumblebee has lost 80% of its range in the last 20 years? Today, it is the first native pollinator to be put on the endangered species list. Why is this happening? And why should you care? Come explore a unit that guides students in using science and engineering practices to make sense of the functioning of the Rusty Patched Bumblebee’s ecosystem. From data on climate change to theories of pathogen spread, students grapple with all that science knows to date and create their own model for how changes to that system are impacting this keystone species. Learning is then extended beyond the walls of the classroom when students engage in intergenerational conversations and design actionable solutions to help this endangered native pollinator. Links to teacher guides and free printable and editable files will be shared with participants. This lesson will be shared through the perspective of a 7th grade life science teacher Amanda Mellenthin and her students, but is appropriate for grades 6-12. This unit is created by NFP: OnlyOneSky and information about the unit is found on skydayproject.com.

Takeaways: Participants will walk through a high quality NGSS lesson that they can adapt to their classroom and supportive teacher resources.

Speakers

Amanda Mellenthin (Carriel Junior High School: O Fallon, IL)

Saturday, July 23
10:40 AM - 11:40 AM
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Brain-Based Instruction: Using Cognitive Psychology to Boost Science Learning

McCormick Place - W178b

Cognitive science has identified flexible and often counterintuitive cognitive strategies that boost student learning. Teachers will learn how to implement these techniques within their classrooms.

Takeaways: Learn how to apply multiple practical, flexible, and research-based cognitive strategies, including retrieving information from memory, distributing practice across time, scaffolding, and mixing together different examples, within their own classrooms to improve student learning.

Speakers

Jonathan Tullis (The University of Arizona: Tucson, AZ)