MSU Urban STEM Educators Attend NSTA Conference

A few of our cohorts recently attended the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in Chicago, March 12-15.  These leaders in STEM education expressed excitement over a collection of modern day tips and tricks and overall, new learning.

Heard of PBL?  No, not Project Based Learning, PHENOMENA Based Learning.  Angelica Tobias got word of this teaching method at NSTA and is geeked to try it out with her engineering classes. This method focuses on authentic learning with modern-day gadgets and gizmos.  Students investigate an interesting object and are motivated by their own curiosity! They explore and discover how it works, as they identify the physical phenomena involved. PBL is based on curiosity and creativity.  What a F-U-N way to learn!

She also adds, “My biggest takeaway from the conference was discovering all the amazing ways that STEM can be learned and applied!  From Pre-K K’nex hands-on exploring of balls and ramps, to the complex manipulation of data on a high school data tablet, it was great to explore the different grade levels of science learning!”

This was Angelica’s first Science Conference ever. She sums up her NSTA experience with the word-Amazing!

Kevin Cramm isn’t a NSTA newbie!  He has attended the National Science Teachers Association conference for six years now.  He was most impressed with the abundance of ideas/resources that came from presenters who are actually practicing the art of teaching Science themselves. After a six year attendance record, he still walks away with new techniques and big ideas.  While at the conference, Kevin learned more about implementing gaming elements into his classroom routine in hopes of strengthening student engagement.  He specifically mentions Kahoot, which offers an engaging polling option for the classroom.  Kevin is also excited to try out ClassCraft.  This is a web tool that allows students to work in a collaborative, team atmosphere to achieve a common goal.  Students receive points for health, experience, action, and regeneration.  Students also have opportunities to gain powerpoints and  magical gold pieces!  These tokens unlock certain gear and even allow characters to have pets as secondary incentives. Sounds like an exciting motivator!

Below are some pictures from the conference courtesy of Angelica Tobias.

Science teachers (RJ and Angelica) are super Heroes!
Science teachers (RJ and Angelica) are super Heroes!
A mixture of butterfly larvae and larvae food found at Hands-On Carolina Booth
Our very own RJ Argumedo presenting on the Camras’ participation in the NGSS Collaborative