2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

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FILTERS APPLIED:6 - 8, Presentation, Tech Tools, Biology


Rooms and times subject to change.
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Bridging Science To Engineering: Biomimicry

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2204


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Going from pure to applied science is an emphasis today. STEM makes science applicative. A competitive workforce and making science relevant are reasons for making applicative connections. Do these “connective pushes” (e.g., STEM) make studying science for science’s sake worthwhile? We think so. We’ve created a biology-based assignment where students are involved in SEP through biomimicry after first studying seeds. We chose seeds to show how pure science can blend into the applicative sciences for two reasons. The diversity in physical characteristics and the means of transportation open possibilities for creative uses beyond what seeds themselves provide humankind. Using biomimicry as the driving force to incorporate the concept of SEP in lessons works well in the middle grades. Studying science, using argument from evidence, getting an inventive idea, building a prototype, and finishing with an engineered product is possible through biomimicry. The lessons cover about 3 class days.

Attendees will learn the processes behind how learning pure science concepts can become STEM, by way of using both biomimicry and SEP in the classroom.

William Sumrall (The University of Mississippi: University, MS)

Students as Scientists: Nature-Based Inquiry

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2104 B

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

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Discover our newest curriculum, “Students as Scientists: Nature-based Inquiry”. This free curriculum is designed to engage all students in hands-on, authentic, inquiry projects inspired by nature. The curriculum is NGSS aligned, grade-banded K-5 and 6-12, and teacher co-written and reviewed. We intentionally diversified the people representing scientists and incorporated culturally responsive and sustaining techniques. Learn how to harness questions that arise from observing nature and help students discover their inner scientist with materials that aid teachers in scaffolding authentic inquiry. Questions might range from “How do the kinds of birds we see change during the year?” to “Why aren’t we seeing more butterflies at our school and what can we do to get more to visit?” to “How good is the water quality in the stream that runs through town?” By engaging in nature-based investigations, students develop their science skills and engage in science practices.

Participants will explore our latest K-5 and 6-12 inquiry curriculum, discover tips and techniques for engaging all learners in nature-based inquiry investigations, and discuss ways to make inquiry learning relevant to your students.

Susan Licher (Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Ithaca, NY)

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