The 2020 NSTA conference was canceled.
April 2-5, 2020
Every year the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) hosts a national conference on science education open to member and nonmember science educators. NSTA is committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
Wednesday, April 1
Professional Learning Institute: Using Technology to Conduct Investigations and Model Scientific Phenomena
Chad Dorsey, Daniel Damelin, Tom Farmer, Sarah Haavind, Sherry Hsi, Trudi Lord, Amy Pallant
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Commonwealth Ballroom C, The Westin Boston Waterfront
Ticket Price: $125 with conference registration
Using technology in three-dimensional learning experiences can be truly transformative, empowering learners to discover the world for themselves. Concord Consortium experts guide participants through a series of interactive investigations using technologies ranging from probes and sensors, to data exploration tools, to flexible tools for modeling and simulation. In the process, participants observe how technology can make scientific phenomena more accessible and understandable and how the use of technology can personalize students’ learning. Participants gain experience with free tools they can use for their own teaching and develop a research-based understanding of the importance of investigation and modeling that can make all their science lessons more engaging and effective.
Friday, April 3
Precipitating Change: Embedding Computational Thinking into the Middle School Science Classroom
Joyce Massicotte, Brenda Lopez Silva, Nathan Kimball, Kelly Sturmer, Carolyn Staudt, Tom Moher, Nanette Marcum-Dietrich
9:30 – 10:30 AM, 258C, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
The universal interest in the weather, combined with the use of computational methods in meteorology, make weather forecasting promising in the integration of STEM learning.
Building K–12 Data Fluency Within Three-Dimensional Learning
Moderator: Chad Dorsey
Panelists: Tom Baker, Lin Chambers, Jan Mokros, Karon Weber
9:30 – 10:30 AM, 253C, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
We live in a world awash in data at every turn, yet experiences with data for K–12 learners can be few and far between. What does it mean for us to prepare today’s learners for a future defined by data? What competencies and understandings are necessary in navigating the world of big data as a citizen and worker? How can three-dimensional learning experiences introduce and engage learners with data in meaningful ways? This experienced group of panelists will debate these and other important ideas in a lively conversation that draws upon current research on learning and the current realities of the workplace and world at large.
The WATERS Project: Student Use of Emerging Technologies and Motivation to Pursue STEM Careers
Steve Kerlin, Carolyn Staudt, Nanette Marcum-Dietrich
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 258B, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Collaborators of the NSF-funded WATERS project will share curriculum and resources featuring universal design for learning principles and watershed science technologies promoting STEM careers.
Supporting Student Exploration of Phenomena with Free Inquiry-Oriented Tools and Curricula
12:30 – 1:30 PM, Harbor Ballroom III, The Westin Boston Waterfront
Students should learn science by “doing” science, but how? Explore technology-enhanced integrated tools and curricular supports for experimentation in an NGSS-focused approach to STEM learning.
The Concord Consortium and NESTA Present GeoHazard: Use Simulations to Explore Natural Hazards and the Risks They Pose to Human Lives
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, 052AB, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Explore classroom-tested curriculum that help students explore hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding, as well as the factors that contribute to risk and human impact.
Powerful, Free Simulations for Three-Dimensional NGSS Teaching
3:30 – 4:30 PM, Plaza C, Seaport Hotel
Come discover how free, NSF-funded molecular simulations and curricula from The Concord Consortium can add all three dimensions of the NGSS to your physics, physical science, and chemistry teaching, with a special emphasis on the science practices. Bring a device and take away free tips and resources that you can use immediately to bring NGSS to life in your classroom!
Saturday, April 4
The Concord Consortium and NESTA Present GEODE: Transform How You Teach Plate Tectonics with Free Interactive Models
8:00 – 9:00 AM, 052AB, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Explore classroom-tested simulations that help students make observations and hypothesize about how tectonic plate motion has shaped Earth’s features.
Short Course: An Introduction to Using Free, Online CODAP Data Software in Grades 6–14 STEM Classrooms
8:00 – 11:00 AM, Pacific Salon C, Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
Ticket Price: $37 advance, $42 on-site
We’ll dive into datasets useful at multiple grade levels, learn ways to use CODAP, and think about data practices. Participants will work with three or more datasets spanning multiple disciplines using the NSF-funded Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP), which is free, online, open source, and classroom friendly. Working in pairs, participants will explore data, generate conjectures, share visualizations for whole group discussion, learn about “data moves,” and become sufficiently proficient with CODAP to begin using it with students. Bring laptops (not tablets)!
Students Building, Evaluating, and Sharing Systems Models Using Multiple Free Tools and Scaffolded Case Studies
Steven Roderick, Becky Howsmon, Claudia Ludwig
12:30 – 1:30 PM, 258C, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Bring your computer to learn about and explore a student-driven platform for using systems thinking and computational modeling to gain insight into complex biological phenomena.
Professional Learning Institute: Developing Data Fluency Through Citizen Science and Real Data
William Finzer, Jennifer Fee, Christine Voyer, Meggie Harvey, Margaret Auclair
1:00 – 5:00 PM, Faneuil, The Westin Boston Waterfront
Ticket Price: $50 with conference registration
Citizen science offers a supportive framework to engage in science investigations that are grounded in real-world observation, contributing to and building on locally relevant questions, and to work with real-world data to draw evidence-based conclusions. Through these learning experiences, students build science practices, data fluency, and critical-thinking skills in an authentic and engaging way. This PLI engages participants in models of data learning taken from multiple citizen science contexts and leveraging multiple technology tools that support work with large and complex datasets.
Dragon Genetics and Other Powerful, Free Simulations for Biology Teaching
3:30 – 4:30 PM, Seaport A, Seaport Hotel
Add some fire to your genetics teaching with Geniventure, a game-based unit on dragons, genetics, and DNA! These research-based genetics curricula from the Concord Consortium deepens student learning and engages them with all three dimensions of the NGSS. Bring your device and learn how to bring cutting-edge technology and fun to your biology teaching with this and other biology simulations. Receive a free login and class account.
Sunday, April 5
Supporting the Development of Computational Thinking through System Modeling
A. Lynn Stephens, Namsoo Shin, Daniel Damelin
8:30 – 9:00 AM, 107C, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Explore how students build computational thinking skills by developing, creating, debugging, and revising system models of varying complexity.
Sensing Science through Modeling Matter Free Apps for Kindergartners
Nathan Kimball, Carolyn Staudt
8:00 – 9:00 AM, 256, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
The Sensing Science project has developed and researched a curriculum to support learning about states of matter and its phase changes at the kindergarten level.
Bringing Systems Thinking and Modeling to Students Using a Free Online Tool Called SageModeler
Steven Roderick, Emil Eidin
9:30 – 10:30 AM, 107A, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
We will share how to use SageModeler, a free, online modeling and simulation tool, to support students in thinking systemically. Participants should bring a laptop or Chromebook.
Powerful, Free Simulations and Tools for Three-Dimensional Chemistry Investigations
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 203, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Come discover how free, NSF-funded molecular simulations and curricula from The Concord Consortium can add all three dimensions of the NGSS to your chemistry teaching, with a special emphasis on the science practices. See how tools such as sensors and infrared cameras can make invisible chemistry phenomena visible and explorable, and take away free tips and resources that you can use immediately to bring NGSS to life in your classroom!