2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

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Rooms and times subject to change.
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Constructing Hope: Using Flexible Practices to Deepen STEM Engagment

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2205


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Explore the intersection of emotion, place, and issues of justice to support students' motivation, engagement, and deeper learning in the STEM classroom. We present 2 flexible practices (e.g., low-floor and high-ceiling tasks) that have been researched across classrooms in the United States and South America. The first practice is called photovoice, which can be used to uncover student thinking and engage deep reflective sensemaking using the medium of photography as a launching point for student-driven inquiry. The second practice is called Community Science Data Talks, which layer different lenses of data (e.g., percentage of tree canopy coverage across a city, intra-urban heat, air quality, etc,) onto students' local communities and prompt discussions as students make sense of local issues of environmental justice. We will share lessons learned are how these two strategies support students in making sense of complex socio-scientific issues and constructing hope for their futures.

You will takeaway teacher tools to support planning and implementing each flexible practice, along with understanding how these practices have played out with teachers and students. These takeaways will be supported by student and teacher examples of work with, and reflections on, these practices.

Michael Lawson (Teaching Assistant Professor), Imogen Herrick (Assistant Professor of STEM Education: , CA)

Leveraging the Humanities to Increase Global Stewardship and Agency in the Earth Science Classroom

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 3501 A

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Featured Works and Bibliography - Humanities and Climate Change


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The session will suggest ways in which to reach out of the science classroom and into the heart to connect climate science to the human factor of the climate crisis. Specific pieces of writing (fiction and essay), art, photography, poetry, music, and multimedia will be shared with audience members. These will be provided as examples of the science-humanities connection and how to leverage the emotions present in the work to underscore the severity of the climate crisis. The presentation will suggest entry points in the NGSS Standards to integrate the interdisciplinary approach. The session will also highlight artwork from diverse cultures, some of which will feel the impact of Climate Change earlier than industrialized nations (i.e. Marshallese or other Pacific Islanders). Resources and lists of potential works linked to Climate Change will be provided so attendees may select the works that would best connect to their unique student populations.

Teachers can use writing, art, photography, poetry, and other forms of expressions from our global culture to supplement a student's scientific understanding of the potential and current effects of Climate Change. If you humanize the problem, advocacy follows.

Peter Knutson (Dubuque Community School District: Dubuque, IA)

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