2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

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Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:6 - 8, Hands-On Workshop, Tech Tools, Informal Education


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

STEM Outreach for Families: Plan an Engaging and Meaningful Event

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2208


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This will give information that will enable participants to replicate a STEM outreach event with various theme ideas. The activities are all low-cost and adaptable across student ages and generations of family members. The activities are meant to provide opportunities for students and families to experience success in a fun and enriching way while engaging with STEM concepts from the NRC K-12 Framework. We will also discuss how we used this event as a way for our preservice teachers to experience and practice implementing informal education strategies. This event was hosted at our local STEM Center, but we will also discuss ways that it can be implemented at school STEM nights, at community events, or even as neighborhood "pop-up" events to reach diverse learners in equitable ways.

STEM Outreach events can be a way to engage students and families in equitable STEM learning to encourage and support all learners. This will provide information on how to replicate a STEM outreach event we hosted at our local STEM Center along with ideas about implementing it in different formats.

Kelly Moore (Tennessee Tech: Cookeville, TN)

Power Up With Gamification

Friday, October 27 • 10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2214

STRAND: Research to Practice

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Countless studies have found that teachers are struggling to support students in maintaining focus, finding self-worth, and being intrinsically creative learners. Gamification provides the building blocks for engagement, community, healthy competition, and self motivation, and works with any grade level and any subject. With gamification, students can use their creativity in learning choices and earn incentives based around curricular and extracurricular themes. Student examples from a sixth grade science classroom include reviewing challenges that emphasize content and game elements. Participants in this session will gain the initial building blocks to create their own game for their classrooms that is manageable and can be enhanced over time. Activities will include defining gamification and creating their own game theme. During the session, the participant will participate in a game challenge by using a choice board to explore and expand the strategies and methods of gamification.

Participants will begin the journey of gamifying their classroom right away. They will also leave with resources to use to continue their gamification journey.

Michelle Simmons (Klahowya Secondary School: Silverdale, WA)

Nature Meditation IRL (In Real Life)

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

Kansas City Convention Center - 2201

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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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