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, Environmental Science


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

Shared Waters: A Classroom Ready Watershed Themed Curriculum for 3rd-7th Grade

Thursday, October 26 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2206

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

Participants in this session will be introduced to the Shared Waters curriculum, a classroom-ready, watershed-focused, 10-lesson unit. This presentation will provide attendees with a brief overview of the unit exploring overall content, learning goals, lesson resources, and the culminating student-driven action project. During the workshop, participants will engage in a hands-on activity that explores watershed boundaries and how pollution enters waterways via stormwater runoff. There will be a demonstration of pervious vs impervious surfaces and a showcase of an online learning tool titled 'runoff simulator' that connects the two activities. Finally, presenters will highlight the culminating student-centered action project and how the Shared Waters curriculum guides educators through the process with students. All participants will have free access to the Shared Waters curriculum, including all lesson plans, worksheets, and PowerPoint slides.

Learn more about this curriculum while participating in a hands-on watershed activity and demonstrations exploring pervious and impervious surfaces' connections to waterway health. We'll tie it all together with an easy-to-implement student-centered action project that can be completed in one day.

Liz Fulton (Graduate Assistant: Millersville, PA)

“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


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.

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.

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

Exploring Soil Ecosystems: An Immersive Learning Workshop

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2103 B

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Digging Into the Secrets of Soil Lesson Plan
Digging Into the Secrets of Soil Student Document
Digging Into the Secrets of Soil Student Vocabulary Cards
Presentation Slide Deck - copy for attendees

STRAND: Tech Tools

Show Details

This workshop offers an immersive learning experience that allows participants to explore the roles of soil in the ecosystem as well as its function as a carbon sink. Designed for grades K-2 educators, this workshop provides a glimpse of a classroom investigation that can be adapted for use in their own classrooms. Participants will gain insights into key concepts related to soil ecosystems, such as the roles of different organisms, nutrient cycles, and the impact of human activities on soil health. Participants will also explore the importance of soil as a carbon sink and its potential as a tool for mitigating climate change. The workshop is designed to be highly engaging and interactive, mimicking the student experience. By the end of the workshop, participants will gain an understanding of how to use immersive learning activities to support classroom teaching and learning, and will have access to resources to help them implement similar investigations in their own classrooms.

Through hands-on experience, students gain a deeper understanding of sustainability by using observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive. The workshop highlights the value of adapting investigations within the context of sustainability to support teaching NGSS.

Elaine Makarevich (SubjectToClimate: No City, No State)

Nature Meditation IRL (In Real Life)

Saturday, October 28 • 2:40 PM - 3:40 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2201

Show Details

There is a strong need in the post (ish) COVID world, to help overworked, under supported teachers find the mental clarity needed to be the creative, innovative, and caring teachers we need to develop the future STEM minds of the future. As a certified nature therapy guide and long time NSTA presenter, I would love to bring this practice to the NSTA community. Participants will meet in the room and listen to a short overview of nature therapy and its roots in Shinrin-yoku. We will walk outside - encouraged to notice what is moving slowly as we walk through the busy conference. Once we are outside, I will lead in a land acknowledgement and sensory meditation. Participants will be given a chance to share what they noticed in a sharing circle. We will walk to the next locations and engage in more invitations / sharing circles. The invitations will be finalized once I am on site and connect with the land for inspiration.

Attendees will learn about the practice of nature therapy and its roots in the Japanese practice Shinrin-yoku which is widely researched for its health benefits.

Gina Tesoriero (Student / Educator / Researcher / Healer: Saratoga, CA)

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