Antioch Faculty Converge at the NHSTA Spring Conference for Science Educators

Four Antioch faculty members presented at New Hampshire’s largest science conference for K-12 educators on March 24. The New Hampshire Science Teachers Association (NHSTA) conference began with a keynote speech by Tom Wessels and a surprise presentation to Tom of the Howard I. Wagner award for outstanding contributions to science education in New Hampshire.

Joining Tom at the conference were ANE faculty members Sue Gentile, Jimmy Karlin, and David Sobel, who all led workshops.

The workshops included:
Educating for Sustainability across the Science Curriculum, led by environmental studies core faculty member, Susan Gentile. Sue explored how educators can model sustainable practices and open their students’ minds to possibilities for a sustainable future. According to Sue, Educating for Sustainability (EFS) can be done at every grade level across the curriculum. She showed how educators can bring EFS into their work and share examples of educators and schools working towards sustainability through their curricula and practices.

Transforming Recipe-Based Labs into Real Engaging Problem Solving Lessons, led by ANE’s science teacher certification program director, Jimmy Karlan. Jimmy asserts that science classrooms should be places where teachers empower students with the rewards and challenges of tackling scientific problems, real and contrived, with and without known solutions. Toward this end, he led workshop attendees through an exploration of the nature of problem-solving and inquiry-based approaches to science teaching. His goal was to help teachers develop the skills they need to transform any science concept, demonstration, or algorithmic lesson into an engaging, relevant, hands-on, minds-on, student-centered, and student-directed problem-solving activity.

Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities, led by ANE’s Department of Education director of certification program, David Sobel. David talked about how place-based education can enliven curriculum through real-world problem-solving. He calls it Curriculum with a Public Purpose. He shared examples of place-based education from elementary, middle and high schools around New Hampshire and research on how place-based education increases student achievement.

About the NHSTA
The NHSTA is the professional science teaching organization for New Hampshire. Its purpose is to promote and improve science education in the state. For more information visit the NHSTA web site.

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