District-Wide Science Initiative (NSTA Component)


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Used with permission of the NSTA

The National Science Teacher Association's National Conference on Science Education is in Boston. Help us send 13 teachers district-wide!

The NSTA Boston National Conference on Science Education provides teachers with the following:

  • An opportunity to converse with colleagues from around the nation about new content and strategies for their classrooms.
  • An intense professional development opportunity, presented by teachers, for teachers. (Research shows that such professional learning opportunities have a high return on investment.)
  • A time to reenergize, get jazzed, and come back ready to challenge students with new materials and ideas.
  • Explore the current trends in STEM education by personally experiencing lesson plans
  • Relationship building activities for in-district staff (will be built throughout the conference)
  • Presentations in four strand areas:Science and Literacy: A Symbiotic Relationship, Teaching Elementary Science with Confidence!, Leading from the Classroom, and Engineering and Science: Technological Partners

Idea History:

It started around the Kindergarten soccer field…an elementary school teacher lamented that, "There are simply no resources out there for science teaching." Upon hearing this, a high school science teacher cringed.

Out of this overheard comment grew a partnership and friendship between two colleagues who worked together to learn from each other. The science teacher brought science content knowledge. The elementary school teacher brought an uncanny understanding of how kids learn and work. During the course of the last year, the elementary school teacher's fifth-grade class had four science-related experiences that were developed collaboratively.

This year, the two teachers are working toward implementing this model district-wide. Two high school teachers will work with four self-identifying elementary school teachers and three teachers from the middle school in a science-related collaboration. All teachers involved are committing to a group book study (1 hour per month), 1 hour per month of collaborative work planning science lessons for their classrooms designed around meeting new national science goals, and attending four Curriculum Topic Study sessions.

Ideally, the work would include sending ALL teachers involved, and the entire high school science department to the National Science Teachers Association's national conference. This four-day conference is in Boston, the closest to Maine that it comes. Teachers who have attended this intense conference report coming back to the classroom energized, jazzed, and ready to try new tactics. This year also includes a strand geared specifically to elementary teachers.

Current research shows that intense professional development leads to significant student impacts. In other words, in order to best prepare district students, district staff needs to have good professional development. Unfortunately, in times of tough budget decisions, professional development funds are often cut. Even in the best of times, sending 13 teachers to this conference would be cost prohibitive for the district. That's where you come in.

The conference registration is $275 for each teacher attending. Then there's lodging, travel, and meals which should be provided so that good learning and relationship building can occur. It will cost close to $1,000 for each teacher to attend. Sending teachers to professional development has a proven impact on our students.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Organization Information

2250 Millard Harrison Drive
Readfield, ME 04355

NCES ID: 231478800234


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