2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

All sessions added to My Agenda prior to this notice have been exported to the mobile app and will be visible in your account when the app launches. Any sessions added now, will also have to be added in the app.
Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:PreK - 5, Hands-On Workshop, STEM Haven, Earth


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

Solving Problems Using Multiple Lenses

Thursday, October 26 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2206


Show Details

Problem based learning uses observable events and processes that occur in the world. It is important to provide students with sensemaking opportunities that require them to combine their knowledge about multiple, cross-disciplinary DCIs, science and engineering practices, and cross cutting concepts, and ELA, math, and social studies, to design solutions to a real-world problem. The purpose of this session is to model the intentional combination of multiple disciplines to design a solution to the impact farming can have on the environment. During the session, participants will engage in designing a windmill that will help them reduce the impact of farming on the environment. We will explore the transdisciplinary nature of designing windmills and work in engineering teams to create the most efficient windmill. This presentation provides access to an NGSS Design Badge 5th grade unit, and strategies for combining multiple disciplines to design solutions to real-world problems.

The audience will walk away with access to an NGSS Design Badge 5th grade unit that exemplifies strategies for engaging students in real-world problem-solving using multiple disciplines.

Christi Sanderson (mySci Instructional Specialist: University City, MO), Lauren Ashman (Washington University in St. Louis Institute for School Partnership: Saint Louis, MO)

Equity and Diversity in the STEM Classroom

Thursday, October 26 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2215 A

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Copy of NSTA National Conference- Equity and Diversity in the STEM Classroom.pdf
Here is the slideshow from my workshop.
Famous Bridges Around the World.pdf
Here are some of the famous bridges found around the world.
Links to Videos on the Constellations.pdf
Here are some links to videos on constellation stories from around the world.


Show Details

Too frequently, teachers wait until Black History Month to incorporate diversity topics into their curriculum. For this workshop, I will be sharing how to incorporate diversity and equity topics year-round into a STEM program for both lower and middle school students. We will examine different science topics, including my second grade engineering unit, that can seamlessly be included in the science classroom. I will be showcasing some of the work my second, fourth, and sixth grade students have completed. In addition, I will be discussing the latest addition to the sixth grade weather and climate unit: Hurricane Relief and Environmental Racism. Finally, we will be examining the stories that different cultures have composed about the origin of constellations. Participants will have an opportunity to develop their own constellations and to write a story that explains the origin of their star pattern.

After this workshop, participants will see how to incorporate diversity and equity topics into their STEM classroom. Teachers will experience some of the lessons my students have experienced and will discover how easily it can be to adapt lessons to celebrate the contributions of many cultures.

Joan Gillman (The Browning School: New York, NY)

Making it Middle Earth- Integrating Maps, Weather, and Geology in an Imaginative Literature Connection

Thursday, October 26 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2204

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

Participants will be given an outline map of Middle Earth. They will color-code landforms including mountains, hills, plateaus, and plains and then add bodies of water including oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers. Given weather scenarios, they will add weather features to the map and make a weather report for a specific location. Participants will then read literature descriptions from the series and match igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks on the map.

This activity is especially geared toward gifted students. Participants will see how to apply earth science concepts to a fictional world.

Laurie Boulden (Warner University: Lake Wales, FL)

How On Earth Do I Teach About The Earth? And Rocks, And Weather, And Water...

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 C


Show Details

Do your students bring you the rocks they've found? Do they find the weather, volcanos, and fossils fascinating? This workshop will provide classroom-ready activities to teach elementary/middle school students earth science concepts and mineral/rock identification with inexpensive earth science labs. Participants will receive a comprehensive set of earth science activities designed especially for elementary/middle school teachers. All of these activities are tried-and-true to teach all the basics of earth science, from basic rock and mineral identification to volcanoes and why some blow up (and some don’t), from the water cycle and weather to climate and climate change in a way that young learners can grasp. Viscosity labs include peanut butter and syrup, orbital motion with marbles, string, lace curtains, and hula hoops. Everything is readily available, cheap, easy to set up and, most importantly, makes concepts easy to understand for your students. Human impact on the environment will be considered throughout.

Teaching about the Earth can be cheap, easy, fun, and is the first step to helping your students become good stewards of our planet.

Melanie Carden-Jessen (Missouri State University: Springfield, MO)

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