2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

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

On the Air: Exploring Air Pollution Sources and Solutions

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 C



(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
NSTA 2023 CAP On the Air_ Exploring Air Pollution Sources and Solutions.pdf
The slides I presented are in pdf format. For more activities, see the OTA website.
On the Air Exploring Air Pollution Sources and Solutions
Your path to teaching air quality starts here! Check out one of our 5 modules on air quality, or take an overview tour of the curriculum. Based on the time you have to teach, and the grade level of your students, you may teach the whole curriculum or you may pick and choose individual modules. The path is up to you! If you wish to access student facing slide decks for 10 (out of the 50 total activities) we're using to pilot the Lead Teacher Learning Community, then please contact me at espik

STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

As the Clean Air Partners’ Education Program Manager, I will introduce the Clean Air Partners organization, our On the Air © curriculum, and how to navigate and implement the curriculum in science classrooms. There are five modules: 1) Our Lungs, Our Air, Our Health; 2) What’s the Forecast; 3) Air Pollution in the Community; 4) Air and the Chesapeake Bay; and 5) Air and Climate Change. I will explain how modules and lessons are formatted for faster navigation and facilitation. I will also share how to access the lessons for free on our website. Teachers will engage in very brief activities from five selected lessons, one from each module. I will highlight best science teaching practices, such as CER, anchor charts, KWL charts, and other visual thinking routines embedded in lessons. Teachers will have paper copies of the student-facing documents for each lesson and will be encouraged to work together during the session to complete lesson activities.

TAKEAWAYS:
Attendees will learn how to access and teach the free On the Air © curriculum resources to explore air pollution issues and solutions.

SPEAKERS:
Elizabeth Spike (Clean Air Partners)

“Raising the Green Roof” for STEM Learning: A 4th Grade Water Cycle Unit

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2201


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

“Raising the Green Roof” is a 4-week interdisciplinary STEM unit developed by university architectural studies and science education faculty working with elementary educators. In the unit, students use place-based strategies to explore how human-built structures impact the environment and then learn that green roof designs can help restore the natural water cycle. Water cycle basics (evaporation, condensation, precipitation) are emphasized as students explore stormwater runoff, test water retention in various soils, model roof design features, and discover the role that plants play in water management. The unit culminates in an engineering design challenge with students building their own miniature doghouses, green roofs included. Our workshop introduces teachers to our unit’s structure and the science and sustainability concepts behind it. Teachers will also have an opportunity to practice several hands-on investigations and modelling activities from the unit’s lesson plans.

TAKEAWAYS:
This hands-on workshop provides an overview of Green Roof lessons and gives participants a chance to practice modelling and engineering investigations from the unit. Educators will learn architectural content knowledge and receive a link to classroom-ready curriculum and teacher support materials.

SPEAKERS:
Laura Zangori (University of Missouri: Columbia, MO), Suzy Otto (University of Missouri)

Engineering Severe Weather Solutions

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2102 A


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Human activities have caused changes in global temperature and weather patterns. This generation of students will need to understand climate science in order to adapt to this changing environment. In this session, participants will explore a project in which students incorporate engineering and basic coding - no experience necessary. We will use micro:bit technology to connect basic coding commands to collect authentic data using embedded sensors. Participants will use this collected data to modify design solutions based on human vulnerabilities to severe weather. Participants will find ways to expose their students to the engineering capabilities needed to solve problems. This project allows students to compare design solutions to identify which is best for the problem at hand and to experience the interactive process of evaluating solutions. This project allows for the authentic integration of technology, mathematics, crosscutting concepts, science practices, and easy implementation

TAKEAWAYS:
Use technology to expose students to coding and engineering design solutions for severe weather.

SPEAKERS:
Stacy Thibodeaux (Southside High School: Youngsville, LA), Jessica Kohout (Howard County Conservancy: Woodstock, MD)

What is Hydroponics?

Friday, October 27 • 9:20 AM - 10:20 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2209


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

This session will engage attendees in answering the core question, "What is hydroponics?" After viewing phenomena-based video shorts and images of plants growing both in soil and hydroponically, attendees will work in small groups to model the phenomena, compare and contrast similarities and differences, and ultimately answer the questions: 1) What do plants need to grow? 2) How do plants grow through hydroponic farming? This workshop and corresponding lesson aligns with the NGS standards of MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-8, MS-LS2-1, & MS-LS2-3.

TAKEAWAYS:
Attendees will be able to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between growing food through hydroponic farming versus growing food in the soil. They will be able to explain how plants grow through hydroponic farming.

SPEAKERS:
Dr. Kim Smith Kolasa (Partnership Development Director)

Peer-to-Peer Learning From Coast-to-Coast

Friday, October 27 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle



(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Poster File
Copy of poster presentation file

STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Understanding environmental issues requires students to understand science and social factors. To improve student understanding of how different regions are impacted by, and seek solutions to, environmental issues, educators at three institutions connected students in General Education life science courses. Faculty from the participating institutions -- Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC), Louisiana State University (LSU), and San José State University (SJSU) -- have created a semester-long project in which students met virtually in small groups to discuss specific environmental issues. Students research local environmental issues to share and compare with their peers in other locations and create communication tools (e.g., websites, podcasts, etc.). Data collected through student surveys indicates that students connected with peers in different locations have enhanced knowledge and understanding of how similar environmental issues impact people in different parts of the world.

TAKEAWAYS:
This poster will showcase how the project is organized from both the faculty and student perspectives. This includes the faculty having to coordinate instructions and due dates, policies to protect students' rights when communicating, and the use of common rubrics for assessing student work.

SPEAKERS:
Tracy Hmielowski (Assistant Profesor: Riverdale, IA)

"H-Two-Poo": Contextualizing High School Science Through Wastewater Testing and Public Health

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

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Basie Ballroom B


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

In this session, participants will experience part of an NGSS-aligned unit on wastewater testing and COVID-19. This six-lesson unit utilizing the 5E learning approach was developed through the collaboration of educators, engineers, scientists, medical doctors, and public health experts within an NIH-funded project. Attendees will participate in the fourth lesson of the sequence, entitled “H-Two-Poo.” Participants will first test the quality of different water samples to answer the driving question “how do you know if water is safe to use?” Participants will then learn about sources of wastewater, methods of wastewater management, and the development of a wastewater testing protocol to detect the presence of COVID-19. The experiences of high school students and teachers who have participated in the implementation of this phenomenon-based unit will be shared, including data from student surveys and handouts, along with photos of field trips to the community wastewater treatment facility.

TAKEAWAYS:
Attendees will utilize science and engineering practices to collect and analyze water quality data. They will further learn how science and engineering have been used to develop wastewater testing techniques that inform public health decisions in our communities.

SPEAKERS:
Sahar Alameh (University of Kentucky: Lexington, KY), Jeff Chalfant (Ph.D. Candidate), Sagan Goodpaster (University of Kentucky: Lexington, KY)

STOM: Gamification of Ecology Based Topics

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 3501 G



(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Biodiverse City St. Louis Gameplay Guide
Biodiverse City St. Louis Gameplay Pieces
Native, ornamental, naturalized and invasive species
PlantLab Student Sceintists
Free downloadable curriculum
Presentation slides
Simple Garden Ecosystem

STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

While the concept of the interconnectedness of species seems fairly easy to understand the depth and complexity of these relationships is sometimes overlooked. Ecosystems are built with layers and layers of dynamic relationships and dependencies on top of one another and webbed among one another. In the following simulations, students will begin to visualize just how complex ecosystems are by simulating various scenarios using experiential learning. These simulations are fun and engaging - and also thought provoking and enlightening.  Most of all, students should come away from them with a deeper understanding of the relationships between living things both seen and unseen.

TAKEAWAYS:
Attendees will experience the games as a student would and receive electronic versions of the game pieces for adaptation to your local environment and classroom.

SPEAKERS:
John Lawler (School Programs Instructor: St. Louis, MO), Matthew Magoc (Manager, School Programs and Partnership: No City, No State)

Dumpster Dive with STEM

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

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Andy Kirk


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Connect the human impact of trash pollution to engineering design. Get your students thinking critically and creatively as they collaborate in real-world problem-solving. The global real-world issue of human-generated trash polluting local bodies of water is the main focus of this hands-on session. Using our partnership with the Howard County Conservancy, our students learn about their local watersheds and contribute to a Watershed Report Card. Students see how trash that is often found on our local schoolyards can affect our watershed, and they design a working model for trash removal in a local tributary. Basic coding will be used to design programs that will control sensors and motors through a microcontroller, thus removing the trash from the water source. The model will utilize solar and water power to move the trash into a separate receptacle. Various sensors will also be used to monitor water levels and determine the outcome of the program.

TAKEAWAYS:
1. Connecting the human impact of single-use plastics and their effect on aquatic ecosystems; 2. Exposing students to basic coding and engineering design in an NGSS-focused content classroom; and 3. Developing a project that enhances STEM skills in students such as collaboration, curiosity, and creativity.

SPEAKERS:
Jessica Kohout (Howard County Conservancy: Woodstock, MD)

Power-Up Your Teaching: Exploring the energy grid supply and demand

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2210


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Through an interactive presentation, participants will engage with the learning concepts presented a "Sagging Circuits" lesson. Participants will build an electric grid using materials provided by The Energy Coalition’s program: Energy is Everything. The lesson will connect to real-world scenarios by portraying a town’s electric grid and monitoring the supply and demand. The lesson incorporates a story describing the various energy-use activities occurring to monitor the town’s energy consumption and manage the city’s electricity supply. Participants will be instructed to build a series of circuits to depict the energy load on the electrical grid and record their data on a handout and graph their daily load profiles on graph paper. Additionally, the lesson will inspire a discussion of the impact of renewable energy resources on the power grid.

TAKEAWAYS:
This hands-on, standards-aligned workshop will show the influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world. Participants will leave the workshop with concepts and strategies to implement a similar lesson with their students.

SPEAKERS:
Hanna Buechi (Sr. Project Coordinator: Irvine, CA), Jasmine Pineda (Project Manager: Irvine, CA)

Constructing Hope: Using Flexible Practices to Deepen STEM Engagment

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2205


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

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.

TAKEAWAYS:
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.

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

Bite-Size STEM

Saturday, October 28 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 B


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

STEM can be intimidating content for teachers to implement within their classrooms. Many teachers feel that they don’t have the time to do “extra” activities with state testing and making sure all standards are assessed. However, STEM can be a tool to engage students in the science standards and be a vehicle to help make sense out of the concepts they are learning. In this session, participants will explore projects in which students incorporate engineering and basic coding - no experience necessary. We will use micro:bit technology to connect basic coding commands to develop solutions for real-world environmental issues. All projects can be completed in 45 minutes or less; a perfect way to introduce or extend a lesson while exposing students to fundamental STEM skills. Projects include the following concepts: urban heat islands, energy efficiency, and biodiversity of an ecosystem.

TAKEAWAYS:
Expose your students to STEM skills through short, easy, and engaging STEM activities that can be completed in a single class period.

SPEAKERS:
Brad Posnanski (Comsewogue High School: Port Jefferson Station, NY), Jessica Kohout (Howard County Conservancy: Woodstock, MD)

Driving Down Electric Avenue: Integrating Electric Vehicles into Sustainable City Planning (Grades 6-8)

Saturday, October 28 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 C


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

In this exciting and topical workshop, participants will act as their students to roleplay as a team of EV drivers, city planners, and community members to plan EV infrastructure. Participants will need to balance the needs and desires of different stakeholders to place EV chargers in their community. They will test their plan by simulating a day trip by calculating distance, battery capacity, and charging time. The challenge will be to make it a whole day without running out of battery power. This activity is inspired by electrification lessons from The Energy Coalition’s Energy is Everything curriculum program. Participants will leave this workshop with the tools to facilitate a roleplaying activity that explores city planning, identifying and addressing tradeoffs, and electrification within their communities. All materials will be provided by The Energy Coalition’s program, Energy is Everything.

TAKEAWAYS:
This hands-on, standards-aligned workshop will show the influence of engineering, technology, and science on society. Participants will learn to facilitate a roleplaying activity that explores city planning, stakeholder tradeoffs, and electrification within their own communities.

SPEAKERS:
Hanna Buechi (Sr. Project Coordinator: Irvine, CA), Jasmine Pineda (Project Manager: Irvine, CA)

Filtration Station: Designing a water purification system

Saturday, October 28 • 10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 A


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

This workshop will demonstrate how to teach the engineering design process through building water filters and discussing water quality and water purification topics. Participants will work in groups to design and construct a water purification model using various materials, such as sand, gravel, and charcoal. The models will be tested by pouring dirty water through the system and analyzing the resulting water quality using test strips. The goal is to design a model that is both economically and environmentally beneficial to society. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a better understanding of the importance of water in society, as well as how engineering, technology, and science can be used to maximize the potential of this limited resource. Additionally, participants will learn how to adapt the lesson for different grade levels. All materials will be provided by The Energy Coalition’s program, Energy is Everything.

TAKEAWAYS:
This workshop will show the influence of STEM on society and the natural world. Participants will build a water purification model by developing a solutions-oriented approach to an environmental problem.

SPEAKERS:
Hanna Buechi (Sr. Project Coordinator: Irvine, CA), Jasmine Pineda (Project Manager: Irvine, CA)

"H-Two-Poo": Contextualizing High School Science Through Wastewater Testing and Public Health

Saturday, October 28 • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Share-a-thon Area


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

In this session, participants will experience part of an NGSS-aligned unit on wastewater testing and COVID-19. This six-lesson unit utilizing the 5E learning approach was developed through the collaboration of educators, engineers, scientists, medical doctors, and public health experts within an NIH-funded project. Attendees will participate in the fourth lesson of the sequence, entitled “H-Two-Poo.” Participants will first test the quality of different water samples to answer the driving question “how do you know if water is safe to use?” Participants will then learn about sources of wastewater, methods of wastewater management, and the development of a wastewater testing protocol to detect the presence of COVID-19. The experiences of high school students and teachers who have participated in the implementation of this phenomenon-based unit will be shared, including data from student surveys and handouts, along with photos of field trips to the community wastewater treatment facility.

TAKEAWAYS:
Attendees will utilize science and engineering practices to collect and analyze water quality data. They will further learn how science and engineering have been used to develop wastewater testing techniques that inform public health decisions in our communities.

SPEAKERS:
Sagan Goodpaster (University of Kentucky: Lexington, KY)

Fostering Global Environmental Connections: A Collaboration in Tech, Science, and Spanish

Saturday, October 28 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Our cross-cultural environmental education unit allowed us to collaborate with classes in Venezuela and Nicaragua to deepen our understanding of migratory birds. We integrated Science, Technology, Art, and Spanish into the curriculum, and used technology to facilitate cultural exchange. Through Stop Motion Animation and paper maché models, students connected with peers and learned about the challenges birds face. By understanding their role as environmental stewards, students learned how they can help preserve habitats and protect these birds. We're hope this unit inspires others to take action in preserving our environment and the habitats of migratory birds. We connect learning across disciplines and relationships with students in Nicaragua and Venezuela to promote global education and environmental stewardship. The collaboration and partnership with a school in Ometepe Island allowed for a holistic approach to learning about the birds and their migration patterns.

TAKEAWAYS:
Our trans-disciplinary approach deepened students' learning by raising awareness of the challenges neotropical migrating birds face, such as building collisions during migration. By understanding their role as environmental stewards, students can help preserve habitats and protect these birds.

SPEAKERS:
Larissa Giacoman (Spanish Teacher: Alexandria, VA), Michelle Bruch (Primary Science Teacher)

Climate Action Using STEM

Saturday, October 28 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Climate change is the biggest threat affecting our collective futures. We need to provide young people with the tools to be able to navigate a future that is unclear. Technology is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to climate solutions. However, teaching students how to understand the limitations and benefits of how technology can lead to climate solutions is important. This poster session will showcase student work that was completed during the Howard County Conservancy’s Youth Climate Institutes STEM Action Team. Students worked collaboratively to identify climate impacts within their own communities and developed models to potential solutions.

TAKEAWAYS:
Get ideas of how to incorporate STEM projects while teaching Climate Change and Environmental Science.

SPEAKERS:
Jessica Kohout (Howard County Conservancy: Woodstock, MD)

Becoming Disease Detectives: Students’ and Teachers’ Experiences With an Interdisciplinary STEM Unit on Wastewater and Public Health

Saturday, October 28 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

The interdisciplinary STEM unit is a series of six science lessons and activities for grades 9-12 about viruses, wastewater, and public health with COVID-19 as the anchoring phenomenon. The unit was implemented at a rural high school in the southeastern United States. The presenter co-taught the unit with each teacher during their regular biology classes. Along with the three biology teachers, over 160 students in grades 9-11 participated in the implementation. The students experienced hand-on, inquiry-driven lessons exploring the role of wastewater testing in public health. Additionally, the co-teaching provided an immersive perspective into students’ and teachers’ experiences throughout the unit. We will provide insight into these experiences and discuss how they helped students develop science understanding associated with wastewater testing and public health.

TAKEAWAYS:
Explore the experiences students and teachers had during the implementation of the STEM unit on wastewater and public health. We will present examples of student work and share students’ and teachers' experiences from the unit.

SPEAKERS:
Jeff Chalfant (Ph.D. Candidate)

Building Insights Through Observation – Integrating Science and Art to Support Data Literacy

Saturday, October 28 • 1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 B


STRAND: STEM Haven

Show Details

Data is an increasingly prevalent resource for addressing real-world challenges, however, the transdisciplinary skills needed to interpret and think critically about data are lacking in the public. Geospatial data visualizations are tools used to transform large datasets into representations that support learning, but our understanding of how to effectively use them in instruction is under-studied. To support data literacy, a new model for teaching with data visualizations in middle school science uses arts-based instructional approaches including visual thinking skills that apply in both science and art. The model helps teachers develop greater comfort with data visualizations, understand arts-based pedagogies that support close observation and critical thinking, and integrate these approaches in their curricula, resulting in students’ data literacy skills gains. Workshop attendees will experience the program as students and reflect on how the approach supports teaching and learning.

TAKEAWAYS:
Attendees will experience a new model for exploring geospatial data using arts-based instructional approaches for learning about earth science and learn how this transdisciplinary approach supports teachers and students in improving data literacy.

SPEAKERS:
Kathryn Semmens (Science Director: No City, No State)

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