2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

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Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:9 - 12, Presentation, Research to Practice, Physical Science


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

Making Physics Engaging & Accessible for All Students (even those who struggle with math)

Thursday, October 26 • 3:40 PM - 4:40 PM

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Jay McShann B

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

My first years of teaching Physics at Title 1 schools in Memphis were challenging. Many of my students were very behind, especially in math. However, I developed 5 strategies to make learning physics accessible and they completely transformed my classroom. 1. “Building Block” Method The biggest breakthrough in my classroom was breaking long problems down into building blocks. I will show how to do this with a sample forces unit. 2. Pre-manipulated equations I will share an equation sheet that shows all forms of each equation. It is a game-changer for students who struggle with algebra. 3. Setting-Up for Success I will model a consistent way to help students stay organized on different types of problems. 4. Simplifying Motion I will illustrate how to solve motion problems using simpler notation and simpler equations. 5. Simplifying Circuits I will show how to use the “routes method” so students can solve most circuits in a more conceptual way.

Teachers will come away from this session with strategies that they can immediately implement in their classrooms to make physics more accessible and engaging, especially for their lower-level learners.

Jack Replinger (FormerTeacher / Founder: , WA)

Dark matter and the fourth form of circular motion

Friday, October 27 • 1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Bennie Moten


Show Details

A lab done in science classes leads students to discover that the force of a hanging mass can be offset by the force of a spinning mass, finding equilibrium between centrifugal force and gravity. Discover how that same physics principle used in astronomy applies to the rotation of the Milky Way and led to the discovery of Dark Matter. Students will compare their calculations for circular and planetary motion with those for the rotation of the galaxy as collected by radio astronomer’s plotting the movement of neutral hydrogen. How will your students react when they discover these calculations don’t match? Learn how to lead your students through a discussion of the world of radio astronomers who grappled with the same problem when their data did not align with the laws of physics. The explanation became a new field in cosmology – the study of dark matter and dark energy.

Students will learn that galactic rotational motion follows different rules than either circular motion or Kepler’s planetary motion laws. This led to the discovery of dark matter.

John Clark (Volusia Online Learning: Port Orange, FL)

Crafting Three-Dimensional Multiple Choice Questions & More

Friday, October 27 • 2:40 PM - 3:40 PM

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Mary Lou Williams

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Revision History of Written Assessment

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

I will take participants through my process of crafting sets of formative multiple choice questions that each use 2 of the 3 dimensions of NGSS, so that all dimensions are addressed. I will also show my process for refining free response questions to get the exact responses I am looking for and that allow for an ease of grading and seeing students’ understanding. I will provide examples from my own classroom & direct them to where they can find more examples from various storylines. As an iHub Chemistry writer, I learned to write 3-D multiple choice formative questions. An assessment graduate course taught me how to write quality distractors to see limits of student understanding and get useful feedback data. I merge these 2 in my own classroom to create assessments to get to what my students know. I will share my learning from these trainings and more to set teachers on the path to quality 3-D classroom assessments.

Learn to craft three-dimensional assessments, multiple choice, and free response. Using quality distractors in multiple choice formatives allows you to pinpoint student misconceptions. Free response questions direct students to the specific response you want so that grading goes quicker.

Sarah Evans (Olathe South High School: Olathe, KS)

Implementing Differentiation Strategies in High School Classrooms

Friday, October 27 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Truman B

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

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

Differentiation in the science classroom is essential for student learning, allowing students to enter the lesson from different points and gain the tools to access material and ensure enduring understanding. In this session, participants will learn about a variety of strategies they can use in their classroom to engage students, identify misconceptions, provide varied practice activities, and offer choices in the learning progression. Differentiation seems to be a wide umbrella, but this session aims to narrow the focus and provide teachers with tools and tips they can implement as soon as they’re home from NSTA!

Takeaway a deeper understanding of approaches to differentiation, including both small- and large-scale strategies that are applicable to all science classrooms. Strategies range from simple techniques that can be implemented during a portion of one class, to unit-long approaches.

Kellie Dean (Adlai E. Stevenson High School: Lincolnshire, IL), Jin Kyung Hwang (Adlai E. Stevenson High School: Lincolnshire, IL), Molly Sponseller (Adlai E. Stevenson High School: Lincolnshire, IL)

High Altitude Ballooning to Engage All Students

Saturday, October 28 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 1501 A

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Activity to demonstrated bouyancy
balloon_program_fact_sheet_4 (1).pdf
balloon_science_science scope.pdf
Article on Balloon Science from Science Scope
Activity to aid in planning
Copy of tst1501_29 (1).pdf
Near Space Science - TST Article from Jan 15
HAB at HHS sample files.pdf
sample documents
HAB Training Videos (1).docx
Training Videos
Journal of College Science Teaching article on ballooning.]
NASA BEST Engineering Framework (1).pptx
A help for teaching engineering design
NASA_20230208_Workshop_scientific_balloons (1).pptx
An introductory Powerpoint on HAB
Student's at the Edge of Space from TST


Show Details

The presentation will cover the basics of high-altitude ballooning as done at Fort Hays State University. Attendees will be introduced to the FHSU website that we use with school groups who contact us to help with their launch. These cover physics and chemistry involved in launching a balloon, the FAA rules, where to find materials, tracking and recovery systems, designing an experiment, and processing data. We will also introduce the teachers to the technology that can be flown to collect data which includes cameras, data loggers, and how to make and code data collection devices with Arduinos. The presentation will include information about NASA resources on high altitude ballooning. We will also share the high school curriculum developed by Shepherd-Adams that she uses in her classroom for an aeronautics CTE course. Examples of student projects and presentations will be presented. The project aligns with NGSS standards related to engineering, earth and space science, as well as physi

Learn how to prepare and launch a high-altitude balloon that integrates science and engineering.

Cheryl Shepherd-Adams (Teacher: Hays, KS), Paul Adams (Fort Hays State University: Hays, KS)

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