2022 Chicago National Conference

July 21-23, 2022

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Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:PreK - 5, Hands-On Workshop, Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL, Technology


Rooms and times subject to change.
3 results
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STEM for All! Benefits of STEM Integration for Struggling to Gifted Learners, and Everyone in Between

Thursday, July 21 • 9:40 AM - 10:40 AM

McCormick Place - W187b

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

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To effectively engage audience members, I will balance their readiness to learn, cognitive load, and stimulating activities. Using real-world examples, I will demonstrate the power of STEM in elementary classrooms to grow all learners and provide necessary 21st-century skills. Often STEM is an enrichment offered to high-achiever but struggling learners have even more to gain from STEM including confidence and leadership. I will focus on practical application, but valuable references and data will be included to support my practices. I will begin the session with a survey to identify the needs and perceptions of participants regarding STEM integration. Based on input, I will share research-based strategies, classroom integration examples, or dispel misconceptions. I will include an interactive STEM activity using index cards and paper clips to provide a STEM lesson model and demonstrate the ease of integrating STEM with simple, classroom supplies. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of the benefits of STEM in K-5 classrooms and feel more comfortable integrating STEM into their own classrooms.

Participants will understand the value of STEM integration beyond the four letters of the acronym, including the benefits of productive struggle of high achievers and how the grit of struggling learners are paramount in the success of STEM challenges.

Erika Neuman (University of Texas at San Antonio: No City, No State)

Programming Simple Tools to Facilitate Science Inquiry Investigations

Saturday, July 23 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

McCormick Place - W184d

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Programming Simple Tools to Facilitate Science Inquiry Investigations.pdf

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

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Participants will learn about the framework for computational thinking and then learn to apply it to science inquiry investigations using Block Coding (used with students in elementary and middle school in many jurisdictions) and how it can be used to improve the conduct of science investigations (and be more like the investigations conducted by scientists).   Participants will apply the computational thinking framework to creating/modifying/using simple programs (either using a free online programming tool OR with a simple, inexpensive microcontroller that will be loaned by the presenters) that can be used in science inquiry investigations either for conducting the investigation (e.g., a random number generator) or for collecting data (e.g., a counter and a timer). Investigations where these can be used will be discussed and demonstrated. The use of the microcontrollers and/or a free online programming tool to develop a simple measurement tool provides participants (and their students) an opportunity to experience a simulated situation a scientist or engineer would face as they use computing tools to develop automated measuring responses.   Finally, as an example of what is known as “physical computing”, participants will learn to build (and will build if time allows) a physical interface (to use with a computer or Chromebook) that allows them to interact with a program they have either written or downloaded.   Participants will be provided printed copies of example lesson plans and instruction sheets on how to engage students with using the Scratch program and the microcontrollers). Note that no knowledge of coding or any equipment is necessary to participate in this workshop. 

Attendees will learn how computational thinking (applied to simple block coding examples and simple micro-controllers) can be used in science classrooms to help students conduct better inquiry investigations and better experience “authentic” science practices.

G. Michael Bowen (Mount Saint Vincent University: Halifax, NS), Susan German (Hallsville Middle School: Hallsville, MO)

Butterfly Gardening Using Native Plants

Saturday, July 23 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

McCormick Place - W185d

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

Show Details

Butterfly Gardening Using Native Plants workshop is a very exciting educational experience! This session will guide participants through exposure to native North American plants that are host plants for butterfly caterpillars as well as nectar plants to attract adults. We will participate in an assortment of hands-on activities which include creating a "Life Cycle Plate" and singing the "Metamorphosis Song". A main focus of this session is to provide participants with strategies to enable them to create and sustain their own schoolyard habitat. A roadmap to success will be shared, along with a question and answer session for potential challenges! . Beyond the workshop, continued implementation support will be shared with a comprehensive digital data collection and email contact information provided to participants. They will also receive contact information for the North American Butterfly Association, and The Native Plant Society for their local area. Resources will be shared focusing on the importance of organic gardening in relationship to a successful butterfly garden. Finally, an assortment of grant opportunities will be shared in order to assist teachers in getting funding for their projects. Upon completion of this time together, butterfly enthusiasts will be dispatched throughout the country. Once implemented, students and parents will be captivated by the beauty of the garden, and will sustain life lessons on the vital connection we share with our environment.

Participates will leave with the knowledge to go back to their schools/classroom equipped with the knowledge to set up an area to attract an assortment of native butterflies.

Nancy Sale (Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center: Miami, FL)

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